New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Michael Testa

Testa Bill Paving the Way for Renewed Development in Wildwood Clears Senate

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The Legislation Moves to Governor’s Desk Pending Action

Senator Michael Testa’s legislation making development more viable in the City of Wildwood is awaiting consideration by the Governor after being approved by the Senate today.

Sen. Michael Testa’s legislation making development more viable in the City of Wildwood is awaiting consideration by the Governor after being approved by the Senate. (SenateNJ.com)

The bill (A-2676/S-1212), passed by the Assembly in June, amends the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), changing the way development in Wildwood regulated and removing review permit requirements for certain developments beyond 500 feet of the mean high water line in Wildwood.

“To attract more developers to Wildwood, this will waive some of the costly permits that often impede residential and commercial construction in Shore communities,” said Testa (R-1), whose First Legislative District mate Asm. Antwan McClellan sponsored the Assembly bill. “The city will benefit when permitting follows the template that has worked well in locations like Atlantic City, Long Branch and Asbury Park. We can fuel a new age of expansion and progress in a crucial coastal center.”

CAFRA, enacted in 1973, established regulations for specific CAFRA zones. Current law divides CAFRA zones based on proximity to the water and requires permits for residential, commercial, industrial, or public development.

Most coastal municipalities require a CAFRA permit for a development beyond 500 feet of the mean high-water line that would have 25 or more residential units or a commercial development with 50 or more parking spaces. A CAFRA permit for the proposed development of 38 townhomes and duplexes to replace a former catholic school on New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood could cost as much as $30,000.

“By carving out a more advantageous position, we can help Wildwood better compete with larger municipalities who have enjoyed preferential status under CAFRA,” said Testa. “This bill is good news for Wildwood and good news for South Jersey coastal towns.”

Late in the previous legislative session, the Senate passed an identical version of the bill with a vote of 37-0 on January 10.

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