BERKELEY – A public hearing over whether South Seaside Park should leave Berkeley Township will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 6 at the Municipal Building, located at 627 Pinewald-Keswick Road.
For years, residents of South Seaside Park have considered leaving Berkeley Township. Recently, there has been a series of meetings at the Planning Board to determine whether this should happen.
South Seaside Park is literally south of the borough of Seaside Park. It’s a strip of homes and businesses between Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park.
Residents there have said that they don’t get as much for their tax dollar as a homeowner in Bayville or Pinewald. Their shore homes are valued at a higher amount, so their taxes tend to be higher. They also argue that culturally, they are much more similar to Seaside Park. If allowed to de-annex, or leave Berkeley, they would likely seek to join Seaside Park. (Seaside Park used to be part of Berkeley until 1898.)
Berkeley officials have argued that the township is incorporated of many different neighborhoods. Senior communities are separate from Bayville, and so is Manitou Park. They’ve also said that there are not as many differences from South Seaside Park as the lagoon front properties in an area like Good Luck Point. They have also stated that the tax dollars go to programs that benefit all residents.
It is unclear if the Planning Board will vote at the end of the meeting on whether to allow South Seaside Park to leave or if the vote will happen at a future meeting.