Sea Isle City New Construction, Builders, Floor Area Ratio and Parking

This blog refers to buildings that are the standard, side-by-side condo/townhouse on a standard lot of 50 ft. by 110 ft.

The ongoing parking and Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R.) issue being discussed by Sea Isle’s City Council, its residents and builders continues. The last amendments to Ordinance 1584 that passed this year limiting F.A.R. to .8% of the total lot size may change again.

In 2010, F.A.R. was eliminated. It was .7% but that did not include the grade level bonus room.  The 2010 ordinance allowed homes to be built higher to raise the bonus rooms from off the grade level to above Base Flood Elevation (B.F.E).   The building height limit was increased to 32 ft. above B.F.E. from 30 ft.    Before the 2010 ordinance took effect, bonus rooms were on the grade level and being used as living space but not insurable.  F.A.R. should never have been totally eliminated.  The building footprint did not need to change and shouldn’t have.  Raising the building height and, in essence adding another level for the bonus room, brought the F.A.R. to about .9%.  However, some developers took advantage of the no limit to F.A.R. and were building duplexes whose F.A.R. was over .10% and higher.  These are what I believe are the true “monster houses.”  The homes that were built to the intended translation of the 2010 Ordinance were not bigger, per se, just higher.  The intention of the 2010 amendments to Ordinance 1584 was to give Sea Isle City a better rating with F.E.M.A. and allow the much in demand bonus room to be legal and insurable.

It is important to understand that the increased building height to 32 ft. above B.F.E. has not been amended in the recent 2016 Ordinance 1584 which limited F.A.R. to .8%.    The reason I doubt it will ever change is because it adheres to F.E.M.A. rules.  There is a popular demand for this style home.  By meeting the demand, overall property values are sustained and have increased over time.  New construction is selling for higher prices now than it did before the bubble burst.

On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 9:00 a.m., City Council convenes to address F.A.R. and a new Ordinance is forthcoming allowing F.A.R. to be changed from .8%.   I heard it may be .85% and I’ve also heard .87%.  Everybody is trying to figure out a way to create more parking by again changing F.A.R.  I’m afraid the cow has left the barn (and moved into a bigger home).   There are not many standard lots left prime for redevelopment to make a difference.  What City Council and all concerned may need to do is to stop wasting time trying to please those that view progress made in Sea Isle City as negative.  Instead it may be more useful to attack the real issue which is lack of parking and too many cars.   Here are a couple of ideas.   More parking areas could be provided for excess cars to park long term and only allow 1-3 cars per residence, depending on off street parking spots that residence has.  Maybe the cars can be parked at a remote location and Golf carts implemented that don’t take up much space.    Maybe they can be rented for a minimal fee at the remote parking locations.   It may need to become part of the rental lease that only 1-3 cars are allowed per residence and make it mandatory that guests or additional renters will need to carpool or be picked up at a remote location, especially on weekends.  The Jitney can be made available during the day. Maybe a bike path on the dunes would help. Lastly, let’s face it.  We are a resort town and for about 8 weeks, the population swells.  I have lived in the center of town for 25 years so I have an idea of what it is like.  I’ve used a bike to get around a lot.


I believe that the F.A.R. should be capped at .9% to meet the popular demand (for homes with 5 bedrooms plus a family room/6th bedroom) and keep flood insurance rates down.   Many owners have children and grandchildren they want to have room for which is within the tradition of Sea Isle City being a family town.  If you support this and agree, please come to the City Council meeting on Saturday, May 21, 2016.  I hope to see you there.

Sea Isle City real estate deals in the south end

This is a continuation of my series on the best real estate deals in Sea Isle City.

Lowest priced 4 bedroom 2 bath townhouse south of 52nd  Street in Sea Isle City.   This spacious beauty located on 76th St. is priced to sell at $475,000.   The other 4 bedroom/2 bath properties range in price from $539,000 to $667,000.  If you like the big, quiet type, look no more.  This home is located on a very private, wide street with little traffic and family friendly.  The current owner never rented and enjoyed 15 years caring for this home which is immaculate.    The master bedroom is huge.  The other three bedrooms are spacious as well.    The entire home is well proportioned on 2 levels.    It has central air.   There are no condo fees.  Taxes are only $2,935.  Flood insurance is only $600/year because the base flood elevation is high at this location and this home is known not to flood.    It’s the perfect starter home or one to hold on to because it is has so much to offer.   See you on the beach soon.


Sea Isle City Properties for Sale in the Beach Block and at a Bargain Price

Welcome to my ongoing blog on bargains prices for prime real estate in Sea Isle City.  Take a look at this lovely beach block property listed for sale.

Here is a great example of the deals that can be found in Sea Isle.  This older home needs some improvements but it was well cared for and that is why it made my list.    With an asking price of $689,000 for this beach block location at 30 52nd St. South, it is one of the lowest around for a townhouse.  That is half the price one would pay for a new construction.   Albeit, it doesn’t have as many bedrooms and bathrooms but it does have plenty of space with a bright and cheerful interior with a living area equal to something new.  The unit has been rented and has a history of being rental machine although it doesn’t show.  Rent out the prime weeks which are about 6 or 7 weeks and enjoy it the rest of the time when it is not as crowded and the weather is prime.  Only 6 houses to the beach is incredible at this price.  Being sold furnished and equipped for you to move right in and enjoy.  Taxes are only $3,426/year.  There are no condo fees, only the property insurances.    This “middle island” location is becoming the new “south end.”  By living here you can walk to all of Sea Isle’s main attractions and the hassle of driving and finding parking doesn’t exist.  The beaches have all been replenished so you can enjoy our beautifully redone dunes, beach paths and big beaches.    AND OF GREAT CONCERN THESE DAYS, this property is located on high ground and has no history of flooding.  Please do not hesitate to contact me, LuAnn Mashura, Sea Isle City Real Estate Broker, at 609-374-0730, my cell.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Stay tuned….there are more to come.

Beach Block Home with Good Ocean View! Sea Isle City Real Estate Deals!

exterior side entrywayThis is another home I present to those looking to buy property in Sea Isle City, NJ.  This property, like others I’ve been posting, is an older home but has been well kept and this particular one has never been rented.   It is in the beach block in the south end of Sea Isle and the asking price is $769,000.00.    New construction in the beach block at a location like this property is selling for almost $1,200,000.00.  This beach block street has a wide beach access so the ocean view is good.  Also, this particular unit is the east unit which makes it better yet as you are not looking over your neighbor’s deck.  No matter where you are located on the island of Sea Isle, these bargains can be found.  I only present those properties that in my professional opinion are good deals because they offer unique details that make them valuable.

Welcome to 36 81st Street, East.   Located in Townsends Inlet, a true beach block with no streets to cross and only 5 houses from the beach. Good ocean views too. One of the most preferred locations on the island with protected bathing and rafting on 81st St. Surfing on 82nd and Kayaking on 79th. AVAILABLE FOR THE ENTIRE SUMMER. NO RENTALS IN PLACE.   SECOND floor spacious living area spans the entire length of the home with decks on each end and atrium windows in living area, this townhouse offers a light, bright and airy floor plan. Open the sliders on each end and enjoy the ocean air and sounds of the surf. Great area for all ages with few steps in and one flight up to living area. Entire top floor offers private master suite. Current owner never rented but could expect average of $35,000 to $40,000 for summer. With a little updating and a few improvements you can get into a prime location for less of an investment. Update as you go along or rent for a summer season and make improvements after the season!    No condo fees and taxes are only $4,200.    Call LuAnn at 609-374-0730 for location to see this very nice home and have your summer home ready for you to enjoy.

bedroom1 bedroom2.1 bedroom3 bedroom4.1 bedroom4.3 bathroom1 livingroom2 livingroom3 kitchen dining dining2 foyerdeck

Sea Isle City Single Family Home Under $400K

My ongoing series on “great deals” in Sea Isle City presents a single family home on a 32 x 100 lot.   How many different ways can you say “adorable?”    This lovely light blue cottage holds all the charms of yesteryear.  The box shelved wall is my favorite.  Or, is it the bright and cheerful sunny yellow porch that’s my favorite?  You won’t find too many of these around town anymore except maybe in Strathmere you will.   This home is situated on Landis Avenue where all the action is and where you can sit and watch the passer byers as they head into town for an evening out.  You have the option of taking advantage of this great location, which is very close to the beach,  by tearing this vintage cottage down and building a beautiful new single family home.     Enjoy the new vantage points by taking in the sights of the city from one of your decks on the second or third floors.  The lot size is big enough for a 2,500 square foot new construction.  Priced at $399,000, as is, you can’t beat it.   This property was very well cared for and obviously loved for decades.  Walk everywhere from this fine location and never worry about driving or parking.    Call me for more details on how you can buy this one-of-a-kind, well preserved home.    I also can provide you with specific information as to what you can build and everything involved with property redevelopment in Sea Isle City.


Real Estate Deals in Sea Isle City under $300,000

Here is another opportunity to own a place at the shore for under $300,000.  Matter of fact, this adorable free standing cottage is under $210,000.   Asking $208,900, it doesn’t get any better.   It’s private and has potential to be more than it already is.  It did not flood during Sandy or Jonas.  AND, there are no condo fees although it is considered a condominium as it shares the lot with the front but separate unit owner.inside3
Take a look at Sea Isle’s “Tiny House” located in Townsends Inlet. This cute summer cottage features a modern kitchen with granite countertops. One bedroom and one full bath.   The second room is used as a living room/bedroom.  Also, there is a loft area for extra sleeping. Two wall air conditioners. Full size washer/dryer. A large private deck which is great for relaxing and sunning.   Steps away from Sunset Pier restaurant, grocery store, ice cream and new seafood restaurant, Doc MacGrogans.   About one and a half blocks to the beach this unit has been rented seasonally for the past few years.    Call LuAnn at 609-374-0730 for additional information.

Real Estate Deals in Sea Isle City

Sea Isle City is a charming, family sea shore resort that has changed dramatically over the last 40 years.  There are many types of homes here and in every price range.  Prices range from $150,000 to $2,000,000.     Style of home ranges from a small one bedroom condo to a large beach front single family home.  The real estate deals are the homes for sale that are a little older and don’t have all the bells and whistles.    Here is one currently for sale:

230 76th Street South, Sea Isle City, NJ

4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms Asking $479,900

Pick #2Pick #2aPick #2b

BACK ON THE MARKET AT A REDUCED PRICE ! One of a kind design, 4 bedroom, 2 full bath townhouse. Located in the south end on a very private street with little traffic, this unit has a traditional layout with the living room, kitchen and dining area on the first floor. Two bedrooms and one bath on the first floor and two very large bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. At the entrance of the unit is a large sunny deck for major enjoyment and outdoor dining. The yard has partial fence and a peek at the bay. The property is on an extra wide street that is family friendly.    You will like this:  There are no condo fees!    You pay taxes and insurances just like you would on any other home.
Call me if you would like more information on this property or others like it.

Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge Weekend 2016



Check out the video:

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It’s time to start planning PBP weekend in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.   Next weekend is the Super Bowl and the following is PBP so if you don’t have a plan yet, get one going!      Winter storm Jonas took a bite out of 42nd street beach so the plunge will take place on 40th St.   Yes, sadly a few dunes were affected but not much and thankfully the dunes kept the ocean back where it belongs.  Everywhere else I looked, the dunes and beaches looked like a storm never hit.   So bring your PBRs to the PBP and let’s celebrate that it is February and we are on our way to Summer 2016!   I hope to see you there!   Please “like” Ocean View Realty on Facebook. Thank you!

Sea Isle City Passes Ordinance Limiting the Size of New Homes

Ordinance 1584 was passed by City Council this morning with 3 voting in favor and 2 against.     For almost 2 hours, opinions, concerns and questions were exchanged.   Architectural plans were introduced showing three different size duplexes demonstrating that from the front, they will look like they do now whether they are .7, .8 or .9.  The size difference doesn’t mean much except that future homes built will be smaller.   It may be that there is one less bedroom but maybe not.   There is no limit to the number of bedrooms in the Ordinance.  This is exactly what is frustrating because will the difference in size really make a difference?  Will we have that many less cars and people to notice because some homes will be a little smaller?   I doubt it.    The cow left the barn a long time ago.   I also disagree with the quickness in which this all happened.   It was suggested by some concerned people, and I agree, that the Ordinance should become part of the Master Plan for the City that will be completed in about a year by the  City’s Planning Board.   I like this because this very important issue would have been examined more carefully and completely.   It is be better to have real facts to refer to when making good laws.    I think it was hastily done and I am not alone.  But, it is what it is.    A new design is on the horizon.  Please see:    Ord – 1584 – reinstate FAR at 8 – as introduced

The other issue is parking which will be next.  The City wants every duplex (condo/townhouses) to each have 4 parking spaces so that makes 8 parking spots for a side-x-side duplex.   The Ordinance that was just passed doesn’t change the footprint of the buildings.  And the height will not change.  The area remaining around the building will be the same so there won’t be more room for parking.  (The setbacks haven’t changed.)   However, the garages can go the full length of the building which will provide more garage parking unless these areas are closed in and used as living space which will be illegal but there are hundreds of illegal bonus rooms existing today.   What would stop anyone from doing it again?  (I think this is what is referred to as creating a monster, no pun intended.)     The amount of impervious coverage is 70%.  In the architectural drawings provided at today’s meeting, it showed 8 parking spots which would require concrete underneath.    Unless a house is pitched correctly, water could accumulate in the rear of the property.  This created another series of comments and peoples’ ideas of a better way.   It will be a challenge to meet this requirement.     It’s because of bad laws in the past that we don’t have as much parking as we should because the curbs in between the driveways have been cut too small and a car can’t fit.polar-bear-plungeI will keep you up to date as to what happens with the parking.  I hope the solution makes sense.   See you at the Polar Bear Plunge

Sea Isle City Monster Houses…..what are they and is there a practical solution to the problem?


What you are seeing here are two side-by-side condo/townhouses built to V-Zone construction normally only found with Beach Front or Bay Front constructions.  These homes, however, are in the middle of the block.  The living spaces in each of these buildings total 105% of the lot size.

The following letter was written to the Mayor of Sea Isle City and the City Council in an effort to offer information and a solution to the problem of “Monster Houses.”  The same day it was sent, the Sea Isle City Council voted on an Ordinance reducing allowable Floor Area Ratio to .8 percent in an effort to end the building of Monster Houses and satisfy the voices of those who complained about them.  They voted this time in favor of the Ordinance but it is not law yet.  This all came about very quickly.  I hope the following letter was read by all it was sent to and the contents taken seriously by the minds of those who we trust to make the best decisions for our city.   I hope they are not acting in haste and are listening to all the people of Sea Isle City.    Most importantly, I hope their votes are not based on personal preferences of their own.  The photos included in this blog are of 4 monster houses that I found in the lower lying areas of town.    Some of them get as much as $6,000 a week in rent and they are west of Landis Ave.  There are beach front rentals that don’t get that much.  These homes’ living space is 105% of the lot size.   The designers of these homes took advantage of the elimination of Floor Area Ratio creating big, boxy and unattractive buildings that are objectionable.  Here is the letter received by the City:

“Dear Mayor, Council Members and City Administrator,

If I may, I wanted to share a few thoughts I have in regards to the much publicized “Monster Houses”. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read and take into consideration my thoughts.

Five years ago, City Council passed revised zoning ordinances for the purpose of advancing compliance with FEMA and the NFIP. The main goal was to eliminate below base flood elevation grade level storage rooms (that were being improved into “bonus room” living spaces) by allowing these rooms to be built at the required base flood elevation height. To accommodate this goal, zoning codes were revised allowing roof heights to be raised two feet and the elimination of the floor area ratio. I believe this has been a very effective remedy to eliminate further non-complying bonus rooms, as evidenced by the flood insurance discounts the city procured for their property owners through the NFIP CRS program. I am certain that every property owner is grateful for the hard work the city officials put forth to bring the flood insurance discounts to fruition.

As a builder of many single and two family homes in Sea Isle City, we found the zoning changes to be well received by our clients and the surrounding owners of the properties we have re-developed. In the spirit of the zoning changes, we were able to take our prototype two unit, 5 bedroom condominium and simply raise the foyers and bonus rooms (into a complying family rooms) to accommodate the city’s goals. Additional bedrooms or floors did not need to be added to produce safe and enjoyable homes. With maintaining the 35% lot coverage requirement, the volume or footprint of the building was not changed except for the additional two feet in building height. The raised family rooms did increase the floor area ratio to approximately 90% of the lot size; however I do not believe these are the style buildings being described as “Monster Houses” that many property owners are up in arms about.

I believe the essence of the Monster Houses started with the changing of base flood height requirements after SANDY. The FEMA advisory maps changed some A-zones to V-zones which initiated the construction of four story buildings on inner island streets. These buildings provide for grade level parking with three full floors above and with as many as 8-9 bedrooms per unit. With three floors conforming to the 35% lot coverage, the floor area of this style building totals 105% of the lot size. Now that it seems FEMA has resolved this problem with the soon to be adopted preliminary maps, some of the four story looking buildings no longer will be built. However, due to the increase of the base flood elevation heights in certain areas, it is still possible to squeeze in four story buildings in some low lying A-zone areas. These buildings are not in keeping with the purpose and intent of the zoning changes made five years ago.

My concern is this; will reverting back to a floor area ratio be taking a step backwards? To maintain 70-80% FAR, I anticipate new designs to include grade levels being primarily used for parking and the 2nd & 3rd floors for living spaces. The oversized grade level garage may be attractive to property owners as areas to partition off for recreational and/or other habitable uses.

There is much more to consider than what I have mentioned above. For example, beach front V-zone style homes have typically been built in the past as elevated three story buildings with parking underneath. These properties have been the unintended beneficiary of the zoning code changes made 5 years ago. Now beach front V-zone homes can be built two feet higher with three full floors at the 35% lot coverage or at a 105% FAR. Also, there are other areas with undersized lots such as in Townsend Inlet where currently larger single family homes with added bedrooms can be built without the need to accommodate additional off-street parking.

One criticism sometimes mentioned is the lack of uniformity of homes and neighborhoods in Sea Isle City. Perhaps changing zoning codes every 5 years or so can create uniformity problems. I also think there are areas in Sea Isle City that differ from other areas and therefore should be treated differently. I do not think there is a one zoning code fits all.

I believe the recent “Monster House” concern is an opportunity to address some major challenges in making Sea Isle City an even more enjoyable vacation destination. It is my suggestion to consider an immediate ban of 4 story buildings from being built in low lying A-zones. This would provide an immediate action to address some of the concerns and may allow for additional time to effectively address all concerns. Perhaps a task force of city officials, realtors, builders/developers and concerned property & business owners can be assembled to work together in unison to devise a plan that suits the best interest of the Sea Isle City community as a whole.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

Rich Mashura

Mashura Builders”