Approvals for 14 New Homes in Brigantine, NJ

BRIGANTINE, NJ 08203 — An amendment to the Atlantic County Water Management Plan will allow the construction of 14 single-family homes in the historic Rum Point section of the island, slated to start in the fall.

A 0.991-acre expansion of the Atlantic County Sewer Services will allow for Rockwell Brigantine LLC to subdivide 48 acres into 18 lots. Approximately 14 of those lots will be used to build homes with stormwater improvements.

“The Rum Point development area is the last large piece of developable land on the Island,” said Mayor Vince Sera. “There is land across the boulevard at the base of the bridge that could be developed, but it belongs to Atlantic City not Brigantine.”

The single-street development, which will be accessible from Atlantic-Brigantine Boulevard, will feature a cul-du-sac and seven homes on each side of the street, according to plans.

Two of the remaining lots will be used for stormwater improvements, while one will be used as open space and landscaping, and the other will remain wetlands.

Rum Point was used as a drop-off point for pirates in the 18th and 19th centuries. During Prohibition in the 1920s, “rum runners” rolled barrels of rum on and off the beach, which gave the area around the Brigantine Bridge its name.

“It will clear a historically used unofficial landfill site,” Sera said. “It’s believed that when the old Brigantine Bridge was torn down, the construction debris was dumped and/or buried in that area. The testing the developer did prior to the preliminary subdivision showed large amounts of concrete and other debris on the site. All of that will be removed as part of the proposed project.”

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The Planning Board first approved plans for the site in 2009. Sera said the Planning Board reapproved the plan May 24 to make sure the project was still in compliance with city codes, zoning rules and ordinances that have changed since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“A lot has changed since Superstorm Sandy, and we wanted to make sure that the developer understood that they needed to conform to the new standards. And that they are not somehow grandfathered in under the old regulations,” Sera said.

Rockwell Customs, based in Media, Pennsylvania, has 10 other properties, including ones in Avalon and Brigantine. The Oceanside by Rockwell at 321 Sixth St. South is a 16-unit condo site with water views.

Rockwell Customs did not return a call seeking comment on the project.

“The single-family lots that are being created comply with all of the land use requirements of the city and will also need to comply with any (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) requirements for development along the waterfront,” said Sera. “Bulkheads will be added to the site that will assist the island and its residents with flood mitigation as well as erosion control on the cove side of the site.

A homeowner’s association will be formed and will maintain responsibility for nonstandard street amenities, like streetlamps.