Court Ruling Gives New Life to Controversial Ocean City Condo-Hotel Project

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiIn a setback for opponents of the project, a state Superior Court judge overturned Ocean City’s denial of a proposed oceanfront condo-hotel that has languished on the drawing board for more than 10 years.Judge Julio L. Mendez ruled that the city’s planning board exceeded its authority and acted in an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” manner when it denied site plan approval in 2016 for the Soleil Resort project.Mendez ordered the board to approve the site plan application. He found that the project fully complied with the zoning requirements of a city redevelopment zone where it would be built.“In the court’s opinion, the Board erroneously denied the site plan that met all the requirements of the Redevelopment Area Plan as enacted by the municipal governing body,” Mendez wrote in his 13-page ruling dated Aug. 9.John Loeper, the planning board chairman, declined to comment Friday on the ruling other than to say that there are still “some things up in the air” before the city can follow up on the judge’s order.One of Soleil’s developers said the project is expected to come back before the planning board in October for approval. He also said there has been no indication that the board plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.“They’re forced to approve it,” Joe Ernst, one of the principals of the project, said of the planning board. “They’re working on all of the paperwork now for getting it on the agenda in October.”His company, Ernst Brothers Designers and Builders, of Spring House, Pa., has teamed up with Select Properties Inc., of Colmar, Pa., to develop the Soleil project on what is now a parking lot at the corner of Ocean Avenue and 11th Street.The developers have proposed a 111-unit oceanfront complex that would function as a hotel. While the six-story building would remain a hotel resort, the individual units would be sold as condominiums.Condo owners in Soleil would fall under a 120-day stay limit throughout the year to ensure that their units would be available to hotel guests most of the time. That means the owners would be limited to 30 days in each season, preventing them from monopolizing their units during the peak summer tourist period.In an interview Friday, Ernst said the developers are in the process of applying to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for a coastal construction permit needed for the project. They are shooting for 2018 to start construction.“If all the stars align, spring 2018,” Ernst said.Ernst acknowledged it has been a long, arduous process for the developers since they first proposed the project in 2005. Since then, it has gone through a number of changes to reflect the wishes of the planning board as well as the conditions in the Ocean City real estate market.Ernst said the market is ripe now for a project that would give condo owners all the benefits of a resort-style hotel, including room service, maid service, a fitness center, a swimming pool and a host of other amenities.“The market couldn’t be any better in Ocean City right now,” he said.Ernst called Soleil a “top-notch building” that would stimulate the local economy. The project is proposed for a city redevelopment zone that envisions a first-class, resort-style hotel operating year-round. The developers have repeatedly said the project would comply with those requirements.However, the planning board members were skeptical of those claims when they voted 7-1 in April 2016 to reject the project. They concluded that the project fell short of the standards for the type of resort hotel that the city wants in the redevelopment zone.Some board members stated they did not believe that Soleil met the “spirit” of the city’s zoning law for the redevelopment area. They argued that the project was a hotel in “name only.”The developers responded with a lawsuit last year to challenge the board’s decision, culminating in Mendez’s ruling in their favor.The project also drew objections from some local business owners and members of the community. They contended that Soleil was a poorly disguised condominium complex, not the condo-hotel that the developers had insisted they wanted to build.In particular, the project aroused fierce public opposition from residents in the adjacent Flanders Hotel, which operates as a condo-hotel. Soleil was regarded as a potential formidable competitor for the Flanders, one of the city’s most historic and iconic businesses.During three stormy public hearings that led up to the planning board’s rejection of the project, opponents claimed that the Soleil was too big for the surrounding neighborhood and would create gridlock on local streets already congested during the peak summer tourist season.In response to concerns from the public and the planning board, the developers revised the project in early 2016. Changes to Soleil included more directional signs, a new circulation pattern to handle traffic, parking revisions, a more functional hotel lobby, more storage and housekeeping space and public bathrooms for a rooftop pool.The developers also eliminated a proposed porte-cochere from the building’s 11th Street frontage. In addition, they had planned to erect a new marquee for the parking garage and more wayfinding signs to help with traffic flow.The developers changed the project to a condo-hotel complex after the planning board in 2015 rejected plans for a straight condominium. The board stressed that it wanted a resort-style hotel as the centerpiece of the redevelopment zone.Select Properties and Ernst Brothers have not disclosed the project’s development cost. The companies have indicated they intend to build Soleil in three stages, starting with a condo tower on Ocean Avenue, followed by a parking garage and ending with another condo tower on 11th Street. An architectural rendering depicts the proposed Soleil Resort, a 111-unit complex that would function as a condo-hotel.last_img read more

Tied up in Notts

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UK roundup: DWP, pot-follows-member, TPR

first_imgThe UK government has finalised its plan for setting up an automatic transfer system for defined contribution (DC) pension pots built up during auto-enrolment. The so-called ‘pot-follows-member’ system will be implemented by October 2016 after legislation permitting its set-up passed last year.A paper from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it had opted for a ‘Federated Model’, with DC pots worth less than £10,000 automatically following a saver from one scheme to another as they change employer.The paper also said the system would only apply to savers within default investment funds, as any active engagement from a member would make them ineligible for automatic transfers. The Federated Model will consist of a network of registers holding information on all DC pots available for a transfer, the government said, which reduced concerns over a single point of system failure and issues arising by forcing pension schemes to communicate with one another.It will be implemented in two stages beginning next year, with solely auto-enrolment savings in default arrangements and members ‘opting-in’ to the new automated system – while its structure and integrity is tested.A second phase will then switch to an opt-out system, meaning all pots will be automatically transferred in the absence of member engagement.The DWP said it would consider expanding the policy to savings outside of default investment funds and larger pots but not until technological advancements had been made.Pensions minister Steve Webb said there could be 50m dormant pension pots without government intervention in the market.“I want to introduce pot follows member as soon as possible so we don’t lose the momentum that automatic enrolment has delivered in turning around pension saving,” he said.Elsewhere, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a new package of measures to assist trustees of UK schemes with changes coming into force in April.Later this year, the new pensions freedoms will become available for DC members, allowing them to access their savings without having to purchase an annuity, likely to result in uncertainty over retirement products and transfer requests from defined benefit (DB) members.The regulator is to begin consulting on new guidance for DB trustees on managing member transfer requests, with the Brighton-based body accepting feedback until 17 March.It has also created an ‘essential guide’ for DC schemes about the new rules regarding pensions freedoms, new governance requirements for insurance-based schemes and a 75 basis point charge cap for auto-enrolment default investment funds – also coming into force in April.There are additional communication materials for scheme managers and trustees to educate members over the risk of pension and investment scams.Stephen Soper, TPR’s interim chief executive, said: “The pensions system is undergoing one of the biggest shake-ups in generations.“As well as our own material, we’re working with the DWP, Treasury, FCA, Money Advice Service, Pensions Advisory Service and others to make sure a suite of information about the new pensions flexibilities is available, and we will signpost trustees and managers to this as it develops.”last_img read more

Thiem floors Nadal, Zverev knocks out Wawrinka as youngsters gun into semis

first_img Loading… Nadal (L) was going for his 20th Grand Slam title “I was lucky in the right situation – the net cord was really on my side,” Thiem said. “But it’s necessary because he is one of the greatest of all time. You need some luck to beat him.” Several young players have been knocking on the door of the Big Three of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, and either Thiem or Zverev will get a chance to kick it open in Sunday’s final. – ‘Almost too focused’ – Germany’s Zverev rallied from a set down to halt three-time Major-winner Wawrinka 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and reach his first Grand Slam semi-final. “I was doing things in a way too professional way. I was not talking to anybody. I wasn’t going out with friends. I wasn’t having dinner. I was just really almost too focused.” “I changed that a little bit this week… maybe this is how it should happen,” he added. Wimbledon champion Simona Halep has also benefited from a more relaxed approach as she swept aside Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals without dropping a set. The Romanian fourth seed, who is spending time away from tennis between matches, said she was finally feeling comfortable on the biggest stage. “I just feel more confident and I feel like I’m able to do it,” said Halep, who is going after her third Major title. “It’s just a feeling that you don’t see this trophy as impossible anymore.” Simona Halep beat Anett Kontaveit to reach the semi-finalsBig things have been tipped for Zverev since he burst into the top 10 in 2017, but he said that until now he has been pushing himself too hard at the Majors.center_img Dominic Thiem shocked top seed Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev ousted former champion Stan Wawrinka as tennis’s young pretenders stole a march on the old guard to reach the Australian Open semi-finals on Wednesday. Austria’s Dominic Thiem earned his first Grand Slam victory over Rafael Nadal Austria’s Thiem, 26, beat Nadal 7-6 (7⁄3), 7-6 (7⁄4), 4-6, 7-6 (8⁄6) – his first win in six attempts at Grand Slams, including two French Open finals – to end the 33-year-old’s bid to equal Roger Federer’s record 20 Major titles. Earlier Zverev, 22, beat 2014 champion Wawrinka, 34, to go into a semi-final with Thiem, meaning that one of them will reach Sunday’s final against Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic, who have won 12 of the last 14 Australian Open titles. Thiem had Nadal’s measure in the first two sets and he recovered from dropping the third to win the fourth-set tie-breaker, getting off the floor after falling to win one point and enjoying some luck from the net cord to set up the third and decisive match point. Promoted ContentWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoNo Good Disney Role Models For Boys?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksOnly The Chosen Ones Can Appear On-Screen Even After Their DeathPretty Awesome Shows That Just Got CanceledDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?A Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreThe Best Cars Of All Time Spain’s Garbine Muguruza is going for her third Grand Slam title Read Also: Aussie Open: Zverev sweeps past Wawrinka to make first Grand Slam semi Halep’s semi-final is against fellow two-time Slam-winner Garbine Muguruza, who continued her impressive return to form by beating Russian 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3. “I’m excited to play my first semi-final here,” said the unseeded former world number one, who won the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon. “I’ve known her (Halep) for quite a long time so it’s going to be a tough match,” she added. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Kurtenbach: What we learned in the Warriors’ loss to the Lakers

first_imgAnd while the game didn’t count in the … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceThe rivalry is back.No, not Warriors-Lakers — that’s never been much of a rivalry.I’m talking about Lebron James vs. The Warriors. After four years, you better bet that’s a rivalry.On Wednesday, in Las Vegas, James’ Lakers (it’s still strange to see him in an admittedly great Lakers jersey) and the Warriors squared off in the teams’ penultimate preseason affairs.last_img read more

Watch: Ex-Warrior JaVale McGee in hilarious battle with insect

first_imgGo ahead and laugh at JaVale McGee. Call him what you must. He really doesn’t care. All he knows is he somehow managed to get away from “the biggest flying insect I’ve ever seen!”The one-time Warrior and current Lakers center isn’t too proud to admit he was so scared by a bug he encountered in his driveway that he sprinted away while consumed with fear.And he shamelessly provided the video proof for us on his Instagram account.last_img

After Effects Video Tutorial: Karaoke Text

first_imgCreate a Karaoke text effect that highlights words in sync with your voice.In this Premiumbeat exclusive video tutorial you’ll learn how to produce a karaoke effect in After Effects. Whether you’re actually doing a karaoke video or are simply mocking one up as a parody, check out the AE tutorial to recreate the look of ‘traditional’ karaoke music displays.The overall technique is pretty straightforward but I’ll explain a few audio tips and tricks that aren’t easy to figure out on your own. The video covers:How audio interacts with video controlled by framesUnderstanding audio layersThe proper way to playback audioWhat fonts are easy to readMastering audio in After Effects is a key skill that motion graphic designers need to have, as sound can be a crucial element in enhancing your digital effects.Don’t want to watch the video? Follow along with the step-by-step tutorial below. Click any image for larger view.  7Set keyframes, Animating a mask reveal from left to right. 3Create some new text to coincide with your first statement. 1Create a new composition and add in a bright blue background. 10Set a mask keyframe to wipe the text off. If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, or if you have any quick tips for using expressions in After Effects, please comment below! 8Duplicate the text layer, take out the strokes and add a yellow fill.center_img 5Stylize the text so that it is white with a black stroke. Set the parameter from metric to optical. 6Draw masks around each text line. 4Set a marker at the end of the first statement. 9 Adjust keyframes so white animates on first, followed by the yellow. 2Apply a ramp and blend with the original.last_img read more

How to Write Better Commercial Treatments

first_imgWriting a solid treatment is the key to landing your next big commercial or music video gig.Cover image via Shutterstock.Treatments are the most concise and organized way to relay your vision as a director to your client. A well thought-out and organized treatment will not only help you land your next commercial job but also instill trust in your client. Effectively organizing and presenting your thoughts and vision will inherently help you to create the best product possible.Below are some of the key components of landing your next commercial or video with an amazing treatment. Be VisualThis isn’t news, but filmmaking is a very visual art. Your treatments should reflect this by being very visual. From the beginning, your clients are looking for a visually appealing experience. This all begins with your treatment.Sometimes we may fall into the trap of getting too wordy with our treatments. Instead of writing boring paragraphs that try to convey your creative vision, show your creative vision. You can do this by using reference frames from films or other commercials that inspired you. This is your opportunity to showcase the unique style and approach that you see for this project.By providing your client with lots of reference images, you help them see your unique vision. As filmmakers, we constantly hear that showing is better than telling. The same principle applies to your treatment. You can make it as visually appealing as possible with good design. Personally, when I create a treatment, I use InDesign, but there are other great programs out there like Keynote or even Google Docs. Image via Shutterstock.Be BoldThe last thing your client wants is a boring video that doesn’t stand out. As a director, you’ll have strong opinions about the creative elements of the project. Be bold with your creative vision and stylistic approach, and be confident in those decisions. Use confident language when you write that showcases how you can bring these visuals to life. Avoid using a passive voice, and use an active voice instead.Be UniqueIt’s always wise to include a director’s statement in your treatment. A director’s statement is basically the cover letter for your treatment. This is the section where you can communicate why you’re the only person with the right credentials for the job. Most likely, you will be competing against other directors to land this commercial. This is your opportunity to relay your experience and what makes you the perfect fit.Crafting perfect treatments is an art form in itself. While it isn’t the most glamorous aspect of the filmmaking process, it’s an essential component to creating professional work.last_img read more

Nevsky Shipyard Clinches Order for Five Ships

first_imgImage Courtesy: Nevsky ShipyardRussia’s shipbuilder Nevsky Shipyard has received a contract to construct a series of five dry-cargo vessels for LLC Paula Rise.Under the agreement reached in late December 2016, Nevsky Shipyard will construct the ships of a RSD59 project, which feature a length of 141 meters and a width of 16.9 meters.The 7,445 dwt vessels are designed for transportation of general and bulk cargo, including grains, packaged lumber, logs, scrap metal in bundles and rolls of large, lengthy and heavy cargo, coal, and certain dangerous goods.The new dry-cargo ships will also feature removable hatch covers while opening and closing of each section will be carried out using a special gantry crane located in the bow bulkhead accommodation superstructure.Nevsky Shipyard specializes in the construction of salvage vessels, tankers, dry-cargo vessels, tug-boats, run-about boats, auxiliary and supply vessels.The shipyard also carries out construction of steel hull and steel structures, as well as modernization and renovation works.last_img read more