Attorney: Seaside Park’s Funtown Pier may not be rebuilt following council ruling

A recent vote by the Seaside Park Borough Council to limit the height of rides may prevent Funtown Pier from being rebuilt.

Stephan Leone, the attorney for the owner of Funtown Pier, says it doesn't make sense for his client to spend up to $20 million to rebuild the pier if he can't have big-ticket thrill rides.

The owner has been in a legal battle to rebuild the pier ever since it was damaged by Superstorm Sandy and then a large boardwalk fire.

"It's a matter of economic reality," Leone says. "You get more adults that come, higher prices. They're more extensive rides."

Seaside Park's Borough Council voted Thursday to double the maximum height of rides to 100 feet on half the property. Funtown Pier owner Major Boardwalk Trust was seeking to build rides as high as 300 feet tall.

"Right now it's not possible to reconstruct the pier with those limitations," Leone says.

Major Boardwalk Trust used to lease space from neighboring Seaside Heights for some higher attractions, because they are allowed there. But this is no longer an option because the property is not being rebuilt in Seaside Heights.

Seaside Park borough officials say that they opted with a 100 feet maximum because it was consistent with other amusement locations. Some residents also complained that taller rides were too noisy.

Leone says that the owner hasn't officially ruled out rebuilding the pier and may seek a variance for higher rides. But for now he will continue to charge visitors to use his private beach.

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