Casino Pier Expansion/Carousel/Land Swap Hearing March 22nd

A public comments hearing regarding the proposed beach land swap that would ultimately lead to the doubling, and a $40 million investment in Casino Pier, will be held March 22nd at 6 p.m. in the Annex Courtroom, above the Seaside Heights Firehouse, 116 Sherman Avenue, The George Tompkins Municipal Complex.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will take public and written comments to the proposed land swap between the Borough of Seaside Heights and The Storino Family, owners of Casino Pier. The Borough would be trading the little used beach between Sherman and Sheridan Avenue for land along the oceanfront, facing the boardwalk, between Carteret and Sampson Avenues, the old Pleasure Island property.

At the crux of the issue is the salvation of the sacred 1910 Dentzel and Loof carousel, which is part of the trade, and would be housed in a proposed building to be located at the newly ascertained property. The Carousel is seen as the symbol of the Borough, and its loss would be crippling, as attested when the carousel was planned to be dismantled and sold at auction in the Summer of 2014.

If Casino Pier was to expand, plans are to add a giant Ferris Wheel large enough to continue to regain the skyline of Seaside Heights in the amusement arena, and a large roller coaster to symbolically replace the roller coaster in the ocean, lost to Hurricane Sandy.

According to Borough Administrator Christopher J. Vaz, The DEP requires two hearings.

The Borough Mayor and Council and business community are for the project, which is seen as a vital step in the re-development of the Borough in the wake of Sandy and the 2013 fire. There were some opponents from the public.

People can send written comments to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Green Acres Program, Bureau of Legal Services and Stewardship, Mail code 501-01, 501 East State Street, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 and give a copy to Christopher J. Vaz, Seaside Heights Borough Administrator.

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