Poor Lucy. First, the Margate Dunes project obstructed views of this 137-year-old landmark from the beach. Now, a new Margate beach high-rise hotel threatened to literally overshadow her. The proposed high-rise would leave her almost invisible from Atlantic Avenue. If that happened, it could be detrimental to Lucy’s very existence. Luckily, plans for the new Margate Beach high-rise were shut down, thanks to the actions of several concerned citizens.
Plans for New Margate Beach High-Rise Hotel Rankle Residents
Recent news of a proposed eight-story high-rise hotel on our local Margate beaches was met with criticism by many residents. First and foremost, why did it take so long for local citizens to hear about it? Records show that discussions of a hotel overlay zone that would usher in projects like the proposed Margate beach high-rise began as far back as March 2018. Commissioners stated that they provided “plenty of opportunities for public input”, including posting a public notice about the project in the local newspaper. With newspaper readership at a historic low, many people were unaware of the plans. They let the commision know their displeasure at the lack of information disseminated by their office. The people want more transparency in the future.
Concerns Raised by Residents
Lack of transparency was just the beginning of the concerns raised by local residents. Another reason the new Margate beach high-rise ruffled feathers was due to the idea of any high-rise hotels along the shoreline. If the commission creates a new hotel overlay zone, it brings the potential for more hotel construction along our beaches. With that comes more traffic. In the summer, traffic congestion presents a serious problem. More traffic also means more opportunity for accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists, and skateboarders.
Unlike nearby Ventnor or Atlantic City, people come to Margate for its more residential feel at the beach. Not a lot of partying going on here. The dunes project already hurt beach access for many beachgoers. Things like the Margate Boardwalk could help overcome that issue. Adding hotels to the beach sightline would not.
Finally, there’s our beloved Lucy. She fell into disrepair from years of neglect before. The same fate could very well befall her if developers build a hotel right next to her.
While plans for a new Margate beach high-rise hotel were tabled at yesterday’s commission meeting, that doesn’t mean others won’t come up again in the future. Residents need to keep their eyes and ears open for whispers of new developments on the horizon. Hopefully, the mayor and commission members allow for more transparency after they heard the public’s concerns yesterday. But it doesn’t hurt to remain vigilant.
What do you think about creating a hotel overlay zone in Margate? How do you think the commission should release information about other hotel projects to the public? Please sound off in the comments below.