Hundreds of Toms River residents looking to rebuild after Sandy may soon have more protection from rising flood waters.

Homes in Toms River destroyed by Sandy (Debbi Winogracki, Toms River Township)

In the Township, governing body introduced an ordinance amending Township code regarding the construction of decks in areas affected by the storm.

The amended ordinance will provide additional flexibility in deck design.


The ordinance has two established purposes:

·         To create a minimum setback distance of structures to the water's edge of any stream, lake, lagoon or other body of water

·         To institute a minimum setback distance of unroofed decks, porches, stoops, balconies, landings and stairs from the water's edge from any body of water.

The ordinance, as proposed,provides that "No structure shall be constructed closer than 20 feet to the water's edge of any stream, lake, lagoon or body of water. This provision shall not apply to structures less than four feet in height or unroofed decks, porches, landings, stoops, balconies and terraces less than 4 feet in height as measured to the top of the railing or unroofed decks, porches, landings, balconies and terraces."

It further states that, "Unroofed decks, porches, stoops, balconies, landings and stairs, regardless of height, may extend into rear yard areas provided they are at least 10 feet from the water's edge or property line, whichever is greater."

Toms River is home to the second largest number of lagoons in the State.

"The benefit of this is that if you want to build a new deck you can, and you don't have to go to a Land Use Board or anything like that," said Councilman Brian Kubiel, who represents Ward 2, an area battered by Superstorm Sandy.

This is yet another action the Township Council is taking to make it easier for residents to rebuild their homes. Last month, officials passed a resolution allowing Sandy-related construction on Sundays. Earlier this year, the Council voted to hire a disaster recovery ombudsman aimed at helping residents navigate the rebuilding process.

"We remain committed to doing everything we can to make the rebuilding process easier for our residents, and this is another step in that direction," said Councilman Al Manforti, representing ward 4, including neighborhoods like downtown Toms River.

The ordinance will be considered for final passage at a public meeting to be held in the L. Manuel Hirshblond Room in Town Hall on October 8th, at 6 p.m.