In December, the HPC, represented by Deb Osepchuk and others got up at a Township Committee meeting and reacted negatively to the idea that their Guidelines would be changed by the Township. She made a formal statement, part of which was presented before the Committee and part of which was sent to Blogfinger. Below is a quote from her, and below that is a link to our article about the issue and a link to our January post about duplicity on the part of the HPC.
A quote from the official HPC statement: “The objectives of Ocean Grove District Architectural Guidelines are to preserve the historic architectural integrity, craftsmanship, and heritage of the nationally Designated Historic District and encourage architectural solutions which will ‘Recapture the Spirit of Ocean Grove.’
“The document dated Oct. 2016 does not accomplish this, its stated purpose. Instead it works at destroying the historic district.”
So, after sounding an alarm that was disturbing to many Grovers, the HPC went to ground and vanished from public view as per this issue. Why won’t the HPC continue the conversation and tell us (or tell anybody publicly) what is going on with the concerns that they enunciated over 3 months ago?
How about some transparency since historic preservation affects all of us? If any of you know the details, please comment below.
Can the people trust the HPC after this silent treatment? After all, are they not ultimately working for the people rather than for the shadow government in Neptune?
Will we let our history go slip sliding away? Here’s Paul Simon live:
Editor’s Note. Since posting this article, we have found a statement in the Committee’s minutes of March 13:
“The Mayor then stated that as Neptune Township continues to strengthen our neighborhoods and seek investment into our community, it’s important that we maintain the integrity of the history that exists within our borders, and our neighborhood’s historic beauty- without stifling progress.
Committeewoman Rizzo and I, along with our Administrator, Engineer and Land Use Director, met with a historic preservation architect to discuss the development of a new Historic Preservation Standards document. The meeting went extremely well and the architect will provide a proposal for professional services. Our Engineer and Land Use Director met with a historic preservation attorney, recommended by the architect. That meeting went well and the attorney will provide a proposal for professional services.
“Our plan is to have both the architect and attorney collaborate with Township officials and others to develop user friendly Historic Preservation Standards that will maintain the integrity of the historic district while streamlining the application and review process.
Once the draft of the Standards is complete a public forum will be held for review of the draft document prior to formal introduction. Our timeline for this process is to have the draft document completed by September; a public forum to be held in October; introduction and adoption of the Standards in November.”
The bold face portion above is ours.
We wonder if the HPC will be part of the conversation noted above. What is really behind this effort to change the Guidelines? What is the truth? Is this really a power grab by developers and politicians who are not shy about compromising our historic district?—-PG @Blogfinger