SEA BRIGHT: TENTS AND TRAILERS

Look Back Antiques is seeking permission to do business on the town’s tiny boardwalk on weekends this summer. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright business owners struggling to reopen their stores damaged by Hurricane Sandy will be allowed to operate from mobile trailers under a measure approved by the borough council this week.

And one merchant is angling for permission to sell her wares from a tent on the town’s tiny boardwalk on weekends this summer.

Under an adopted resolution, businesses with adequate room for a commercial trailer on their own property would be allowed to do so for up to one year while their permanent structures are being completed.

Only one trailer per business is allowed, with no sub-leasing permitted, and trailers must be at least 25 feet from public right of way or any adjacent property.

According to Council President Brian Kelly, the resolution is similar to one that allows residents working on rebuilding their homes to live in temporary trailers on their own property until construction is completed.

Though no business had yet filed an application for the program, Kelly says he thinks those that are eligible will likely consider taking part.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for businesses to participate,” he said, referring to the application process. “And we want businesses to be able to have a presence this summer in Sea Bright.”

Also put forth was a request by Look Back Antiques owner Jamie Lee Hentschel to open a temporary 10-foot-by-10-foot tent on the municipal boardwalk, open on weekends through September 1.

“The tent would sell jewelry, sunglasses, and other small accessories,” Hentschel’s mother, Janet Hentschel, told the council, “and would [enable] the store to stay in business while undergoing repairs.”

The request did not immediately generate the kind of controversy the Mad Hatter bar raised when it asked for permission to operate from a 400-person tent on the municipal beach last month, a plan since abandoned. Though the council voiced support for the antiques shop request, some concerns were raised.

“Specific guidelines must be set,” Councilman James LoBiondo said. “And other businesses that want to take part need to have the same rights, and the same amount of room.”

“It also has to be clear that these temporary tents or stores be attached to an existing lease,” Councilman Marc Leckstein said.

The council is expected to vote on the issue at the next scheduled council meeting.