FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Christie Administration Announces Post-Sandy Planning Grant to Margate, Atlantic County

Grant Will Help Sandy-Impacted Local Government with
Long-Term Recovery and Resiliency Planning

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of $360,000 in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to Margate City, Atlantic County, to put into effect comprehensive long-range plans designed to enable the City to become more resilient in the event of future significant weather events.

These grants are the second Post-Sandy Planning Assistance funds that Margate has received. The City was awarded its first planning grant in October 2013, and used the $30,000 grant to complete a Strategic Recovery Planning Report, which serves as the City’s comprehensive guide for planning initiatives it takes moving forward to recover from Sandy and to reduce its vulnerability to future disasters. The second round of planning grants now enables Margate to proceed with planning initiatives based on the strategies detailed in its Strategic Recovery Planning Report.

"We applaud Margate for being proactive in planning for the long-term and developing ways to make their community better able to withstand potential future natural disasters," said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the State. "By taking full advantage of the Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant Program, the City has demonstrated its commitment to finding solutions to the very specific challenges they are facing."

The City’s Strategic Recovery Planning Report evaluated the impact of Superstorm Sandy on Margate’s residents, businesses, infrastructure, public safety and open space/recreation sectors. That information is useful in informing economic recovery initiatives, enhancing public safety and identifying other steps to make the city better able to withstand potential significant storms in the future.

The eight planning projects that are being funded in Margate will:

  • Prepare a Capital Improvement Plan to focus municipal capital investments on public facilities, vehicle fleets and equipment to build community resiliency in plants and equipment such as raising generators above flood hazard elevations and developing contingency plans.

  • Conduct a Master Plan Reexamination to address post-Sandy strategies and policies related to hazard mitigation and community resiliency with up-to-date mapping of current land uses, new FEMA floodplains and wetlands, critical community facilities. and important natural resources areas and historic preservation.

  • Prepare city-wide Design Standards and Zoning Ordinance revisions to be implemented per the recommendations developed through the Master Plan Reexamination process. The revisions will likely also include but not be limited to a regulating plan, public space and building form standards, and environmental standards.

  • Prepare Environmental Design Standards for the Amherst Avenue Business District, which was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy. These standards will address heights and design of bulkheads, design of a boardwalk to create pedestrian access, and an evaluation of the entire neighborhood as it relates to long-term sustainability, hazard mitigation, flooding and resiliency.

  • Create Environmental Design Standards for the Beachfront Area, which was severely impacted by Sandy. These standards will address short- and long-term infrastructure needs, bulkhead heights, and sustainable environmental design techniques to protect, enhance and create resiliency for this area.

  • Prepare an Economic Development Plan and Community Development and Neighborhood Plan for city-wide business districts to help foster sustainability and a more competitive business environment, whereby both the infrastructure and the business climate can sustain future storm events.

  • Develop and implement a Sustainability Plan and Element of the Master Plan, which will be prepared with the Margate Green Team and the City’s governing body. The Plan will incorporate green building and design, sustainable infrastructure techniques, renewable energy, and sustainable land use development and techniques.

  • Conduct a Capital Improvement Plan for Regionalization and Shared Services to strengthen continued shared services with Absecon Island, Longport, Ventnor and Atlantic City. Currently, these municipalities share dispatch services and regional trash and recycling collection services.  The City will investigate capital expenditures that will reduce the costs of service delivery, while maintaining high service quality.

The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant -- Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grants are currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

The program provides funding in two phases. The first phase is producing a Strategic Recovery Planning Report as described above. To date, the DCA has approved 46 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to assist local governments in completing this planning report. When their planning reports are done, local governments are then eligible to apply for Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, which assist them with implementing the planning priorities identified in their Strategic Recovery Planning Report. For example, Phase 2 planning grants can help local governments fund initiatives to determine infrastructure needs to protect business districts on the waterfront from future storms; design standards to protect and increase resiliency in storm-affected neighborhoods; conduct topographic surveys and preliminary engineering studies to gauge future infrastructure needs; and develop capital improvement plans that prioritize need based on the safety of residents.

The DCA has so far approved $6.2 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, including the award of Phase 2 grants to 20 local governments. Applications for grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

Applications for grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to