If adopted, a revised design ordinance would eliminate the use of pavers and cobblestone for new businesses in the 34th Street corridor.


Ocean City officials want some uniformity in the area of the 34th Street gateway, not as much for aesthetic purposes, but for safety.

City Council introduced an ordinance Thursday amending design standard provisions for the 34th Street corridor that have been in place since 2010.

Officials specifically noted the need to streamline the sidewalks. What that means is for all new businesses, there will be no cobblestones and no pavers. Standard concrete sidewalks will be allowed.

A public hearing and final Council vote on the ordinance are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 25.

Mayor Jay Gillian and Council would like the walkways clear and easy to walk along.

The ordinance specifically states that, “All lots adjoining 34th Street between the easterly side of Bay Avenue and extending to the westerly side of Central Avenue, and extending along all cross streets for mixed use and nonresidential lots where new development or a change in use is proposed.”

Some businesses in the corridor have complied with the existing zoning laws by adding pavers or cobblestone. Others have not, creating an inconsistent appearance and also inconsistent materials making up the sidewalks.

The sidewalks around the 34th Street playground are the same, but need repairs in some areas.

By eliminating pavers and cobblestones from the design standard requirements, City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson noted that it will make the area “easier to traverse for people in walkers, using strollers and in wheelchairs.”

“It eliminates the special amenities that were required when the ordinance was put in place in 2010,” McCrosson said of the revised version of the ordinance. “It will eliminate requirements for special pavers and cobblestone and sidewalks, special trash receptacles and special lighting facilities.”

After the meeting, McCrosson said that businesses in the corridor tried to comply, but years passed and the newer business owners couldn’t find the same materials.

“They don’t match because so much time went by,” McCrosson said. “The mayor is concerned about trip hazards. He wants clean sidewalks.”

Councilman Dave Winslow represents the Fourth Ward. The area of 34th Street is in his ward. He is supportive of the revised ordinance.

He said currently the area is a “hodgepodge.” Some areas have broken sidewalks. Other areas have complied with the current requirements.

“I think it is a great move to take some of the requirements out so people can traverse, especially with walkers and things like that,” Winslow said.

Winslow agreed with McCrosson that construction materials aren’t always available for specific pavers and cobblestones.

“I think we made it a little more generic, and business owners are going to do the right thing and make it look nice,” Winslow said.

Councilman Jody Levchuk represents the Third Ward. Although the revision doesn’t apply to the area of his specific constituents, he said that Council should take a look at other areas of town where the same situation may apply.

“This is definitely something I agree with and is good,” Levchuk said.

For more information about Ocean City Council visit ocnj.us.

The revised design ordinance will be up for a public hearing and final vote by City Council on Jan. 25.

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