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PXL_20211128_214604191Several shop owners mentioned how pleased they were with the Thanksgiving weekend.

Business was booming islandwide!

The downtown streets are attractively decorated to boost your holiday mood.

Several restaurants remain open (some for long weekends).

And be sure to stroll around after 5pm to see the lights- it’s really beautiful!



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Zoning of the “Court” Properties

WeberCourtThere are 4 alley way streets in Stone Harbor, commonly referred to as “the Courts”.

Bower Court, Weber Court, and Stone Court are located between 108th and 111th Streets; and Linden Lane is situated between 84th and 85th Streets.

Charming bungalows line the streets, all built on parcels only slightly larger than the structures.

WAY back in the day, my father’s family rented the summer cottage at C-19 Weber Court:  (click here for the past blog post).  


When the proposed zoning changes were discussed in July, I wrote the following letter to the Mayor and Borough Council:

Hello all.  Thank you for considering my thoughts regarding the proposed ordinance change for Court properties.

My husband and I purchased a cottage on Weber Court in 1997.  We were excited for our 536 square foot “project” and followed the guidelines as we completely renovated over the next few years.
We understood that the 2nd level space had to remain attic storage for fire safety reasons, and worked within the existing walls to update. 
The consistency and limitations of the zoning have been essential to maintain the look and value of the quaint cottages (as observed during my 40 years as a full time real estate agent on the island).
After 5 years of ownership, we sold our Weber Court cottage and purchased our current location nearby.
A comment I heard from someone who supports the zoning change: “Court owners should have the right to expand”.  
If  that’s the case, what is the purpose of zoning?  As property owners, we are all guided by limitations for square footage, height, or number of dwelling units in a particular location.
Property values are directly related to the zoning.  A Court owner pays less than someone purchasing an undersized lot on a numbered street.  And in turn, someone purchasing an undersized lot pays less than a buyer of a full size lot.  
Although I understand that the proposed changes are restrictive and will only apply to a limited number of Court property owners, I disagree with the premise of the change – especially because there will always be those owners who try to push the boundaries!
Thank you for your time.
Ann Delaney
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Thanksgiving Weekend- island style

After you finish up your turkey dinner…it’s time for Christmas ;)

There’s a full schedule of events in Avalon and Stone Harbor for the holiday weekend:

Avalon Chamber of Commerce:

Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce:

The highlight of the weekend is the parade on Saturday night (starting at 6:30pm on 108th and Third Avenue, heading north to 96th Street).

Stop by our Avalon office on Friday 11/26- we will be handing out t-shirts from the 2021 TK Charities events!


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Over the river, through the woods…and to the beach!

Last week, we traveled to the mountains of North Carolina, and then over to the beach in South Carolina to hang out with our grandsons and their parents ❤️





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Happy Halloween!

Do you see the pumpkin face??


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The Travel Version of Comfort Food

As we slowly merge back on to the travel lane, I find that many of us are looking for the “comfort food” equivalent for our vacations.

A familiar setting with positive past experiences feels less stressful.

This common outlook certainly explains the boom with our 2022 summer rentals!

Hanging out at the beach with family/friends is easy and relatively low key.

In January, my sisters and I will fly to Naples, Florida to celebrate milestone birthdays.  We will return to the neighborhood where we rented homes in the past, spend our days at the same nearby beach, and visit all of our favorite restaurants.   Nothing fancy or super adventurous…which sounds perfect to me right now!




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Fall at the beach

Monarch butterflies…Goldenrod blooming in the dunes…marsh grass turning yellow…all very shore specific signs of fall!



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Flood Insurance and Elevation

This information is relevant with anticipated changes to the federal flood insurance program.  Homes currently “grandfathered” because they met the elevation code when built in the 80s and 90s, may now be rated differently.

 Post from February 2020:

The regulations regarding elevation play a major role with an owner’s plan to either renovate or build new.

A Flood Elevation Certificate is needed to determine the official elevation of both the land and the first floor living area.  For example, “curb” elevations on the island range from 5 feet above sea level to just over 12 feet.   The island may seem flat, but the subtle inclines exist!

Obviously a home with a lower curb elevation will need to be higher off the ground to meet code.

Now back to the charming beach cottages.  A lender will require flood insurance which is calcuated on the elevation.  If the home meets code, the annual premium will be approximately $900.  If the structure sits too low, the premium could be as high as $5500.

When a major renovation is planned, the municipality will require the structure to be brought up to code.

At this point, a property owner can compare the cost of lifting/renovating their home, or building new.

If the lot is undersized and/or the structure is larger than would be permitted today, lifting may be the best option to retain livable square footage.

If you have any questions regarding local real estate, I am here to help!  609-967-7950




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Comments and Conversations

With the quiet months of fall, I’m more likely to overhear conversations between neighbors, and people chatting as they walk by the office.

A few recent exchanges that stand out:

“I’ve heard that the wind just blows like crazy all winter.”  TRUE

“We are here full time…well of course, not in the winter.”    HUH ??

“Our porch furniture and grill should be fine out on the deck.”  SEE WIND COMMENT

“It’s too early to winterize the outside shower.  We will be back down next month.” IT GETS COLD IN NOVEMBER

Even with the picture perfect weather, it’s time to plan for the cold months ahead!

My annual post:

A check list for shore owners:


1) Disconnect the garden hose and turn off/drain any faucets that aren’t frost proof (most faucets on decks are NOT frost proof). Turn off and drain the outside shower (often overlooked and those pipes are the first to freeze and break).

2) Close the foundation vents and secure the crawl space door (the newer Smart vents will close automatically).

3) Secure/store trash cans, deck furniture, kayaks, grills, flags, etc.

4) Unless you completely winterize the house (drain the water), turn on the heat to 55- 60 degrees.  The upper floors can be set slightly lower, but not below 50 degrees.  A whole house water shut off valve is an extra level of protection against frozen pipes in the event of a power failure.

5) Open the cabinet doors below all sinks to allow heated air to circulate around the pipes.

6) Lock all windows (especially casement style that open with a crank handle) and sliding glass doors. Strong winds can vibrate a door or window open!

7) Unplug small appliances.

8) Check the kitchen sink for any random food items left in the garbage disposal – run with ice cubes or a piece of lemon.

9) Empty and turn off the ice maker if you won’t be using the house for an extended period of time.

10) Open the lid on the washer and prop open the door to the dishwasher to avoid musty odors.

And ideally, hire a winter watch service for peace of mind.  I am happy to recommend someone if needed.




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October Views

Beautiful morning with slightly higher than normal tides.

The tips of the march grass have an orange tint.  Herons are hanging out on the empty docks (and have taken over the now vacant osprey nests!)

While this is somewhat ordinary, I also appreciate the uniqueness of our life.

So grateful!


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