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Beach Haven is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, that is located on Long Beach Island (LBI) and borders the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,170, reflecting a decline of 108 (-8.5%) from the 1,278 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 197 (-13.4%) from the 1,475 counted in the 1990 Census.
Beach Haven was incorporated as a Borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 11, 1890, from portions of Eagleswood Township, based on the results of a referendum held five days earlier.
It was ranked the ninth-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.
Beach Haven, known as the "Queen City," is a late 19th century beach-front resort originally established in 1873 to house wealthy summer residents from Philadelphia. Although some of the major structures, including several hotels and a boardwalk, were lost to storms in the 1940s including the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944, a large portion of the town retains its Victorian and Edwardian character. The Beach Haven Historic District listed in the New Jersey and the National Register of Historic Places in the early 1980s, encompasses the most intact buildings at the core of the resort.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.320 square miles (6.010 km2), including 0.978 square miles (2.534 km2) of land and 1.342 square miles (3.476 km2) of water (57.84%).
The borough borders the Ocean County municipalities of Little Egg Harbor Township and Long Beach Township.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,170 people, 531 households, and 301.1 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,196.0 per square mile (461.8/km2). There were 2,667 housing units at an average density of 2,726.2 per square mile (1,052.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 92.65% (1,084) White, 0.34% (4) Black or African American, 0.00% (0) Native American, 0.77% (9) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 5.90% (69) from other races, and 0.34% (4) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.91% (116) of the population.
There were 531 households out of which 15.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 13.8% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 19.7% from 25 to 44, 34.5% from 45 to 64, and 25.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51.5 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 93.7 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $71,532 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,910) and the median family income was $89,306 (+/- $12,115). Males had a median income of $54,750 (+/- $63,730) versus $51,875 (+/- $34,023) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $52,498 (+/- $9,292). About 3.8% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 1.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 1,278 people, 586 households, and 346 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,301.8 people per square mile (503.5/km2). There were 2,555 housing units at an average density of 2,602.6 per square mile (1,006.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.83% White, 0.08% African American, 0.55% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.69% of the population.
There were 586 households out of which 18.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.80.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 17.1% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 27.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $48,355, and the median income for a family was $68,036. Males had a median income of $39,444 versus $29,688 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,267. About 1.2% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 1.9% of those age 65 or over.
During the summer months, frequent episodes of high humidity occur. Occasionally, heat index values exceed 95 °F (35 °C). During most summer afternoons, a sea breeze dominates the coastline keeping high temperatures several degrees cooler compared to areas farther inland. During most nights, relatively mild ocean waters keep the coastline several degrees warmer than areas farther inland. On average, July is the annual peak for thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, wind chill values occasionally fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). On average, the snowiest month of the year is February which corresponds with the annual peak for nor'easter activity.
The Surflight Theatre was a 450-seat theater originally established in 1950 that offered theatrical productions for adults and children. It and its sister establishment, the cabaret-style sing-for-your dessert restaurant the Showplace Ice Cream Parlour, closed in 2015 after filing for bankruptcy with $2.6 million in debt.
Beach Haven is home to multiple attractions, including the only amusement park on the island: Fantasy Island, Bay Village Shopping Center, the Long Beach Island Museum and many distinctive shops and restaurants, including Tucker's Restaurant, noted in Philadelphia magazine as the number one restaurant on Long Beach Island. The first incident in the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 took place at the east end of Engleside Avenue. The ensuing series of attacks along the Jersey Shore became the basis for the book Jaws, by Peter Benchley. There is also a water park, Thundering Surf, and numerous miniature golf facilities. Veteran's Bicentennial Park, in the heart of Beach Haven, hosts many summer concerts, flea markets and parades, and an open park area for general recreation. As the island is only a few blocks wide, the beach and the bay are readily accessible from anywhere in Beach Haven. Pavilions could be found at Fifth and Pearl Streets, both of which were washed away by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and subsequently rebuilt in June 2013. Beach badges are required and can be purchased at Borough Hall or the Centre Street badge booth.
Since 2010, Beach Haven has been governed by a five-member Borough Council within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of government. Members are elected on an at-large basis in non-partisan elections, with either two or three seats up for vote in even-numbered years as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At a reorganization meeting held each January, one member is chosen as mayor and another as council president, each serving one-year terms in that position. Beach Haven had previously been governed under the Walsh Act, by a three-member Board of Commissioners, one of whom was selected to serve as Mayor, under a system in place from 1946 to 2010.
As of 2017, members of the Beach Haven Borough Council are Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis (term on council ends December 31, 2010; term as mayor ends 2018), Council President S. James White (term on council and as council president ends 2018), Donald C. Kakstis (2018), Thomas J. Lynch (2020) and Charles E. Maschal Jr. (2020).
In the November 2014 general election incumbent James White, who had not placed his name on the ballot for re-election, won the second open council seat behind a write-in campaign that brought him 167 votes, ahead of Don Katskis, who had received a total of 165 votes.
Beach Haven is located in the 2nd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 9th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Beach Haven had been part of the 3rd Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 9th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Christopher J. Connors (R, Lacey Township) and in the General Assembly by DiAnne Gove (R, Long Beach Township) and Brian E. Rumpf (R, Little Egg Harbor Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms of office, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization held in the beginning of January, the board chooses a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2015, Ocean County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and department directorship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett, Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2015, Pine Beach; Finance, Parks and Recreation), Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little (R, 2015, Surf City; Human Services), John P. Kelly (R, 2016, Eagleswood Township; Law and Public Safety), James F. Lacey (R, 2016, Brick Township; Transportation) and Joseph H. Vicari (R, 2017, Toms River; Senior Services and County Operations). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Scott M. Colabella (R, 2015, Barnegat Light), Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R, 2016; Toms River) and Surrogate Jeffrey Moran (R, 2018, Beachwood).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 992 registered voters in Beach Haven, of which 175 (17.6%) were registered as Democrats, 346 (34.9%) were registered as Republicans and 471 (47.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 84.8% (vs. 63.2% in Ocean County) were registered to vote, including 98.3% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 82.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 61.6% of the vote (339 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 37.5% (206 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (5 votes), among the 556 ballots cast by the borough's 1,014 registered voters (6 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 54.8%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 57.8% of the vote (435 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 41.0% (308 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (7 votes), among the 752 ballots cast by the borough's 1,124 registered voters, for a turnout of 66.9%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 63.1% of the vote (505 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 36.4% (291 votes) and other candidates with 0.2% (2 votes), among the 800 ballots cast by the borough's 1,175 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.1.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 77.9% of the vote (366 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 20.9% (98 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (6 votes), among the 483 ballots cast by the borough's 967 registered voters (13 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 49.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.8% of the vote (333 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 29.3% (163 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 7.5% (42 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (5 votes), among the 557 ballots cast by the borough's 1,033 registered voters, yielding a 53.9% turnout.
The Beach Haven School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade at Beach Haven Elementary School. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 105 students and 11.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.2:1.
Students in public school for seventh through twelfth grades attend the Southern Regional School District, which serves the five municipalities in the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District, along with students from Barnegat Light, Stafford Township and Ocean Township who attend as part of sending/receiving relationships. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Southern Regional Middle School (grades 7 and 8; 937 students) and Southern Regional High School (grades 9 – 12; 2,064 students). Both schools are in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 20.93 miles (33.68 km) of roadways, of which 17.56 miles (28.26 km) were maintained by the municipality and 3.37 miles (5.42 km) by Ocean County.
Ocean Ride provides bus service on the OC9 LBI South route between Holgate and Manahawkin / Stafford Township.
The LBI Shuttle operates along Long Beach Boulevard, providing free service every 5 to 20 minutes from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. It serves the Long Beach Island municipalities / communities of Barnegat Light, Loveladies, Harvey Cedars, North Beach, Surf City, Ship Bottom, Long Beach Township, Beach Haven and Holgate.
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