WILDWOOD — The commissioners want a number of shops along the boardwalk to improve their look.
Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said the city is considering creating a facade program in order to get rid of some of the clutter on a number of boardwalk stores.
City administrator Chris Wood said the city does not currently have an ordinance that addresses storefronts on the boardwalk and was looking at neighboring North Wildwood’s laws for guidance.
“To me it becomes trashy looking,” Troiano said at a recent commissioner’s meeting. “You can’t even tell one store façade from another store.”
Commissioner Anthony Leonetti also agreed with starting a façade program.
“This is not to pick on T-shirt shops, but you don’t need 50 T-shirts hanging outside,” he said.
“In Ocean City and even Atlantic City there is an incredible difference when you walk down the boardwalk because you don’t have stores hanging tons of things up,” he added. But Byron warned that the look is part of the boardwalk’s character.
“We’re not Ocean City. We’re not Atlantic City. We’re not Cape May. We’re Wildwood,” he said.
“I don’t want to push it too far,” Byron said.
Troiano agreed, but said at some point many of the businesses simply look sloppy and should be improved.
“You get the same calls I do, with people complaining that the boardwalk looks sloppy,” he said. “We’re not here to restrict business but façade improvement can actually improve things.”
Leonetti said that a “sloppy storefront” is also a fire hazard.
“There is so much stuff that firefighters can’t actually see an address when you’re looking on the boardwalk,” he said. “We’re lucky that we have guys that know their way around the boardwalk, but when you’re calling in to report something and you don’t know the area you have no idea what store number it is.”
Troiano said that the he and the other commissioners would want to sit down and talk with boardwalk merchants before anything was finalized.
“Just like when we worked on moving the T-shirts with profanity out of the view of the boardwalk, we talked with everyone and came to a resolution,” he said. “This issue we’ll handle just like that.”
Lauren Suit can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can comment on this story online at shorenewstoday.com.