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Battle Brewing Over Proposed Wedding Venue In N.J. Town

BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Developers on the Jersey Shore hope to build a new wedding venue in one town, but its mayor doesn't think it's a good match.

On Thursday, CBS2's Alice Gainer found out why he's vowing to fight the plan.

Barnegat Bay Marina in Brick Township, newly renovated after it was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, is the proposed location for an elevated four-story restaurant and banquet hall at the foot of the Mantoloking Bridge.

"You have parking on one level, then you have the reception area ... where the cocktail hour is, then the actual reception hall, and then there is a rooftop ceremony room," attorney John Jackson said. "It takes into account the character of the area; it takes advantage of the beautiful views."

Wedding venue Brick Township
(Photo: CBS2)

Jackson represents property owner Vilamoura LLC. On Wednesday night, there was a meeting with the Brick Board of Adjustment for site plan approval. Jackson said they're seeking a height variance since the building is so tall.

"It's going to be right over there," Mantoloking Mayor Lance White said, looking across Bernegat Bay to Mantoloking.

White said the biggest concern is probably traffic in the summer, when the bridge goes up multiple times a day and cars get backed up.

"That bridge is backed up sometimes up to a quarter mile back behind the bridge," White said.

The proposed venue would have 547 parking spaces.

"Having to get those folks out of that lot onto this little narrow road is daunting. It's frightening," White said.

Other potential issues he said are light and noise, but Jackson said all of that would be up to code.

What do residents think?

"A lot of people would enjoy getting married in a place like that," Brick resident Joe Minniti said.

"On the economic side it's going to provide jobs and it's going create revenue and tax base for the community, but on the other hand the traffic and the pollution is a real big concern because it's so heavy already," Mantoloking resident Bob Egan said.

The mayor of Mantoloking said he isn't saying happily "never" after to the wedding venue.

"We love people coming. We love people coming to our beaches from all over this area. It's just the function of, we want to be able to sit on our porch and enjoy the evening," White said.

He said the borough just wants to work with Brick to come up with something shore to please everyone.

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