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Archive for the ‘North End Redevelopment’ Category

This is the boardwalk in August, 2015 in front of the White Whale.   No one knew that the piles and sand underneath would be unable to support the new boardwalk.  Blogfinger photo.  ©

This is the boardwalk in August, 2015 in front of the White Whale. No one knew that the piles and sand underneath would be unable to support the new boardwalk. Blogfinger photo. ©

The original cost of the North End boardwalk reconstruction was to be $622,739.00 to Bird Construction.  On March 14, the Township committee adopted a resolution  (change order #1)  which authorized an additional $72,942.58. Note that this project was supposed to be completed in March.

The problem is that flood waters from Sandy ran under the White Whale and washed out the sand and damaged the concrete piers which were supposed to support the new North End boardwalk under the asphalt at that northern location.

So now new piles are needed, and a new increase in cost ($55,000 for change order#2) brings the total cost up to $811,534.20.  Some of that funding is being provided by the CMA.  The latter change will be voted on at the April 11 Committee meeting

We thank Citizen Reporter R. S. for contributing to this report.

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

 

DORIS DAY and DANNY THOMAS:

 

 

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Welcome to the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment zone. Blogfinger photo.

Welcome to the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment zone. Blogfinger photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.net.     Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger.

Since 2007, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and the North End financial backers–WAVE— have been promising to move ahead with the North End Redevelopment Plan. That official NERP was passed by the Neptune Township Committee in 2008.

In order to get the process really moving, beyond the conceptual phase which has been dormant  for years, at least 3 affirmative votes by members of the new 2016 Neptune Township Committee would be required to approve a Redevelopers  Agreement  (contract) with WAVE regarding that 2008 NERP.   After that, a resolution approving the contract would be signed by the Mayor and the Township Clerk. Public hearings should be held to announce the new agreement.

If WAVE wants to change the plan from the 2008 concept to something else, then the entire process has to start again from scratch.

At the February 8th meeting of the Township Committee, the Committee’s attorney, Gene Anthony, announced that he had recently received a message from WAVE that WAVE and the OGCMA were completing their private agreement and that, secondly,  WAVE has a new investment “partner.”   When everything is finalized, they will combine their financials and make a presentation. They will have to disclose everyone involved who has over a 10% interest in the plan.

We don’t know if any of the present members of the  Township Committee have attended any of those private meetings along with the Township Attorney.   We don’t know if any of the 2016 Committee know  much about the NERP and its questionable features.

The agreement announced by Mr. Anthony should be completed by mid-February, so then we’ll see if Sisyphus can push this boulder up the hill.

SINEAD LOHAN

 

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Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times Advertisement Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyShare This Page Email Share NY Times

Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In a front page article in the NY Times*, it is reported that the Justice Department is looking into secret investors who are behind high end real estate deals. They are especially interested in professionals such as real estate agents, bankers, and lawyers who are involved in developing such entities.

Oftentimes shell companies are formed such as LLC’s**  (Limited Liability Corporations)  that shield the identities of investors. Frequently foreign buyers are involved using cash payments as they seek real estate deals to hide or launder their money.

Currently the investigators are focusing on New York City and Miami.

There is an LLC that is involved in the North End Redevelopment Plan. It is called WAVE, and we posted an article about it in April, 2015.

https://blogfinger.net/2015/04/16/peeling-back-the-layers-of-nerp-and-wave/

Since 2007. the identities of the WAVE investors have been hidden, even though they have been doing business with Neptune Township, the governing entity that is in charge of the North End Area in Need of Redevelopment.

You would think that any group doing business with the Township would be required to disclose the identities of its investors, and if it refuses, the Township should open bidding for others to be redevelopers of the NERP. But the Township continues to be involved with WAVE.

This is not to say that there is any evidence that WAVE’s principles are doing anything illegal,  but any entity doing business with the Township should be totally above board  and transparent, or it should be excused from participating in this project. This is about appearances, and the Township ought to make sure that its business associates are squeaky clean.  As far as we can tell, the Committee does not know whom it is dealing with.

**”Simply put, an LLC is the least complex business structure. Unlike an S corp or C corp, an LLC’s structure is flexible. It also gives you the perk of pass-through taxes, limited liability (obviously), and legal protection for your personal assets. Plus the added benefit of looking more legit than the other guys.”  Internet definition.

NY Times link:*

www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/us/us-will-track-secret-buyers-of-luxury-real-estate.html?_r=0

CAROL HANEY   from the Pajama Game.

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A fine kettle of fish. Phrase made famous by Laurel and Hardy to describe a big mess.---PG

A fine kettle of fish. Phrase made famous by Laurel and Hardy to describe a big mess.—PG

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor at Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, researcher.

At the October 26, 2015 Neptune Township Committee meeting, the following conversation took place:

OGHOA member: Did you hear from WAVE?

Gene Anthony (Township attorney:) No, but there are not any other developers knocking on the door.

Jack Bredin: Did you advertise a request for proposals?

Randy Bishop: It isn’t necessary because this is private property.

Jack Bredin: Did you ever hear of the Riviera Plan?*

Bishop: Yes.

This conversation indicates that the Township has abandoned the 2008 public North End Redevelopment Plan and has, instead, substituted a general development plan which is something that private land developers do, but ordinarily, to do that, they must conform to the Township zoning which, in Ocean Grove,  is single family homes.

As you may recall, when the Committee allowed the North End to become an Area in Need of Redevelopment, it was approving a change in zoning to allow 165 residential units instead of single family homes.

In doing so, the Township Committee became in charge of the process and was supposed to advertise for redevelopers, however, somehow that step was skipped, and WAVE and the CMA were anointed as redevelopers, and now the Township wants to keep the Redevelopment zoning for 165 units while allowing the process to proceed as if this were a private development project. Mixing those two is illegal.

This quote is from the  NJ Municipal Land Use Law regarding Areas in Need of Redevelopment:  “The municipality shall be responsible for implementing redevelopment plans and carrying out redevelopment projects pursuant to section 8 of P.L. 1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8).”

WAVE will try to hide behind this subterfuge as they complete a new North End Plan which is something that a private developer could do, but not a redeveloper. Randy Bishop presented a new plan from the redeveloper WAVE at an April, 2015  Committee meeting, but that fishy plan has not yet been adopted by the Township. So far, no Redevelopers Agreement has been signed either, despite promises to do so.

The original 2008 NERP, under control of the Township, still remains in force. We expect that WAVE, acting through the Township Committee, will try to pass a new plan or use the old plan as the centerpiece of a private general development project.

What we are witnessing is a crooked manipulation of zoning in order to permit the abandonment of the restrictive redevelopment process while keeping the special zoning component and thumbing their noses at the people of Ocean Grove.

Randy Bishop says that the process is now “private,” so it seems unlikely that WAVE will divulge their members’ names as promised.

How to block this illegal situation? When the original or a new plan is submitted by WAVE without a “request for proposals” by the Township, a citizens group could file a suit in Superior Court against the Township.

Ideally, that would be the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association’s responsibility, but as you know, those Home Groaners are ineffective, feckless, clueless, enablers of this fine kettle of fish.

*The Riviera project was an extensive North End plan created by a serious and well known developer from Allenhurst who submitted his design for approval. He was rejected and he has angrily  complained that the process was unfair and illegal and that he was treated badly by the Ocean Grove principals involved with the North End Redevelopment Plan. We have his comments expressed in an email exchange.  Bishop said (above)  that he knew of the plan.

http://ssjdevelopment.com/plan9.htm

The Township Committee and its cheerleaders including the OGHOA never respond to our articles about wrongdoing; they simply whistle a happy tune,  but they have to know that someone besides Blogfinger might expose them in the future.

DINAH SHORE  from the King and I.

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The boundary line between OG and Asbury is in front of that bench. Blogfinger photo. 8/25/15

The boundary line between OG and Asbury is between those two benches (see below). Blogfinger photo. 8/25/15 ©

This is where the new boardwalk will be 35 feet wide in front of the White Whale. 8/25/15. Blogfinger.net photos.

This is where the new boardwalk will be 35 feet wide in front of the White Whale. 8/25/15. Blogfinger.net photos.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

August 25, 2015.     GOOD NEWS posted today by J.P. Gradone, COO of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association:

“I am pleased to announce that FEMA and NJDEP have approved our expansion of the North End boardwalk from 20’ wide to 30’ wide, and the expansion of the area in front of the Homestead building from 20’ to 35’. 

“As of last night, Neptune Township awarded the bid to Epic Management, Inc., which is the same company that installed the Middle Boardwalk last spring.  We plan to begin construction in early Fall with completion before the holidays.”

BLOGFINGER COMMENTARY:

FINE PRINT:

  1. There are three North End boardwalk plans: the one sent to FEMA, the one described in the 2008 NERP, and the one voted on last night, but there are differences between the NERP and last night’s plan in terms of width, elevations and easements.
  1. The Mayor (Mary Beth Jahn) and the Township Engineer (Leanne Hoffman) did not attend last night’s Committee meeting to explain why the approved plan is different from the official Committee plan (i.e. the North End Redevelopment Plan of 2008.) They should be identical.
  1. No one at the meeting last night including Blogfinger has ever seen the actual boardwalk plan which was submitted to FEMA by the CMA. The engineer who designed the FEMA boardwalk plan, Peter Avakian, was not present. He is the same engineer who designed the 2008 NERP, and his company designed the plan which was voted on last night.   He should have been at the meeting to answer technical questions. No one at the meeting showed diagrams of the plan to those in attendance or explained the technical details or handed out copies.    FEMA requires that any plan which they approve is followed assiduously by the Redeveloper. By the way, there is no official Redeveloper yet and no Redevelopers Agreement yet. Boardwalk work can begin under the supervision of the Committee.
  1. At last night’s meeting, Committeeman Randy Bishop said “The new boardwalk will have a bulkhead that will protect it from future storms.” But he gave no details.

TECHNICAL POINTS:

  1. The old boardwalk which is 30 feet wide north of the Pavilion will be patched, not replaced.
  1.  The section of the new “North End Boardwalk” that will be within the “Area in need of Redevelopment” and is now under the authority of the Township will begin at Sea View Avenue and go north to the Asbury Park boundary line which is about 45 feet north of the White Whale.
Boundary between OG and AP. Look carefully at the arrow. Blogfinger photo © 8/25/15.

Boundary line between OG and AP. Look carefully at the arrow where it says OG. Blogfinger photo © 8/25/15.  No one knows what the rest of the boardwalk (i.e. Asbury property) will look like as it extends to the Casino.

  1. Originally, the North End boardwalk was 60 feet wide in this section when the commercial area was built in 1910. The NERP calls for a 60 foot boardwalk, but we are going to get 30 feet now on the OG side, except as noted by Mr. Gradone.
  1. Easements will have to be revealed because there will be pipes under the boardwalk for electric, water, gas,etc to reach the White Whale or its replacement, and access easements on top must be revealed for future garbage pickup, deliveries, trucks, etc. Elevations are important to be disclosed because there are new 100 year federal flood recommendations after Sandy. The new boardwalk must align with all adjacent elements.
  1. Note that Wesley Lake goes under that north end boardwalk, so we suggest that the Wesley Lake Commission be part of these discussions.

SPECULATION: (Blogfinger is making some educated guesses:)

  1. No underground garage will be built. Instead they will build an above-ground garage–at least two stories high.
  1. These new boardwalk specs might not work when the final North End plans appear, and the $600,000 FEMA North End boardwalk might have to be torn up.
  1. Perhaps the single family homes will get lost in the condo shuffle.
  1. The CMA will be removed as a redeveloper, leaving WAVE as the only one. WAVE will hire a developer to do the actual construction. When the identities of all WAVE investors who own over 10% are revealed, some CMA trustees will be on the list.

Credit: Jack Bredin of Ocean Grove, researcher.

THE FLAMINGOS:       We only have eyes on who?

“I don’t know if we’re in a garden or on a crowded avenue.”

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The NERP is nostalgic for the old North End (1916 in this photo)/  There were large structures, concession stands down the middle, people congestion--and beyond is the Casino with its own chaos.     From Ocean Grove in Vintage Postcards by Bell and Flynn.

The NERP waxes nostalgic for the old North End (1916 in this photo) and uses that era as justification for the commercialization of the North End today.    There were large structures, concession stands down the middle, crowds and congestion–and beyond, further north,  is the Asbury Park Casino with its own chaos. Luckily people then came by train.     From Ocean Grove in Vintage Postcards by Bell and Flynn

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

Many Grovers have privately thanked Blogfinger for providing information about the NERP that has been kept under wraps by our elected officials.   The citizens are very concerned.  The Township Committee does not bring up this subject at their public sessions. It would be much better if the Township Committee would have a town hall meeting, committed to transparency,  to update OG citizens about the North End plan and to answer all  questions.

There  are  several documents which Ocean Grovers should know about. Some quotes from those  have already been posted, while others have not been revealed on this site…yet.    The quotes  will help you see our concerns which we have been reporting about regularly since April 2015, and intermittently back another five years.   You can read the entire documents if you wish  (see links and sources below).  The italics are ours.

As we have pointed out, the most current relevant document is the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  between WAVE and the OGCMA  which we have recently obtained and reported on  to a limited extent.

We  offer quotes from the Neptune Township Master Plan  (revised in 2011,)  the North End Redevelopment Plan (  NERP 2008,)  the Memorandum of Understanding (MUO–April 2015), and The Lomax Consulting Group Client Project Directory (2011-2015)

 The Neptune Twp Master Plan — 2011 update: 

“According to the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law, a zoning ordinance generally must be “substantially consistent” with the municipality’s master plan.”

“The purpose of the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan   (NERP, 2008)  is to reclaim the North End site as the northern anchor to Ocean Grove, while providing for new opportunities for employment and housing within the Township, as well as enhanced public access to the Wesley Lake waterfront and the oceanfront and beach areas of the Township.”  ( This quote from the Neptune Master Plan  was copied straight out of the North End Redevelopment Plan of 2008, written by T &M Planners and WAVE.)”

“A goal of historic preservation in Ocean Grove  is to preserve the historic character, livability and property values of historic structures and neighborhoods by maintaining and rehabilitating historic housing, preventing the deterioration and demolition of historic structures, and encouraging new construction that is compatible in scale and design to the physical character of the surrounding neighborhood.”

“The decline of the hotels and rooming houses that previously provided summer lodging gave rise to conversion to multi-family residential uses or provided additional rooming and boarding uses for the indigent. These changes had deleterious effects on Ocean Grove.”

“Ordinance changes prohibiting similar conversions to multi-family use have limited additional deterioration and facilitated a renaissance of investment for single family housing*, bed and breakfasts and historic hotels. These types of uses, in conjunction with and as shaped by the unique lay-out and civic design of Ocean Grove are more appropriate to the scale and character of the district and provide an appropriate type of growth and evolution that preserves the character and fabric of Ocean Grove.”

“Through these efforts the Township has demonstrated a strong commitment to the protection of all properties designated as having architectural and historic significance.”

NERP :      In the NERP  (2008 North End Redevelopment Plan) there is a section designed to explain why the single -family home provision of the Master Plan is going to be ignored. Below is the introduction to that effort to ignore the Master Plan:

“While the Township Committee recognizes that there may be inconsistencies* relative to the multifamily expansion as referenced in the Land Use Plan element, these inconsistencies must be balanced against the advancement of the overall goals of the Township’s redevelopment and land use planning policies and the manner in which the North End Redevelopment Plan advances these objectives.

“The Township committee also finds that while the purpose of the Master Plan recommendation limiting the expansion of multifamily housing in Ocean Grove is intended to protect the predominantly single family residential character of Ocean Grove, the North End Redevelopment Plan is surrounded by a mix of both single family and multifamily land uses and was historically used as hotel and boardwalk commercial uses.”

Lomax Consulting Group Draft “Client Project Directory” :  First created June 24, 2011, but updated on November 28, 2011, and May 27, 2015.

This “WAVE at North End Destination Report” was made for WAVE by the Lomax Group, and copies were sent to a list of 14 “development team consultants,” but missing from that copy list were representatives from Neptune Township, even though this project is a public project, and the Township is supposed to be in charge  (representing the citizens of Ocean Grove).     Also missing from the list is the Camp Meeting Association.

This list of consultants was created for William P Gannon, Esq. representing WAVE.  The other investment principals of WAVE are not revealed, but this report suggests that WAVE is in charge, not the Township and not the CMA.

We will disclose the consultants names in the future, but there is one entry that you should see now:  “Construction Manager/Developer:  Fields Development Group, One Henderson Street, Hoboken, NJ 070030.  This revelation suggests that this company will be the one to actually redevelop the North End.

Memorandum of Understanding (April 28, 2015.) :  Prepared  by Jennifer S Krimko, Esq of Ansell Grimm and Aaron, PC of Ocean New Jersey. This “MOU” is between WAVE and the Camp Meeting Association.  Neptune Township is not part of this understanding even though the Committee is supposed to be in charge of this redevelopment project. The CMA and WAVE are the only ones to sign this MUO, and they did so on April 28, 2015.

In January 2007, Wesley Lake Village Enterprises  (“WAVE”) and OGCMA executed a Developer’s Agreement which set forth the terms by which WAVE and the OGCMA would serve as co-redevelopers of the Subject Property.

So, the NERP, which is presented as coming from the Neptune Township Committee, actually originates with WAVE in 2007 , before the Neptune Committee and the Neptune Planning Board ever got to consider the Plan.

“OGCMA will no longer serve as the co-redeveloper of the subject property, and WAVE shall acquire OGCMA’s co-redeveloper status by assuming OGCMA’s co-redeveloper roll.”    Isn’t it interesting that the two parties to the MUO have made amendments and are announcing this redeveloper change, without the formal participation of the Committee or the Committee’s representatives?

“OGCMA will permit WAVE to conduct and complete a Phase 1 (and, as applicable, a Phase II ) environmental review of the Subject Property, with such review to be completed by WAVE within thirty (30) days from the execution of the MOU. ”

“All engineering and architectural subdivision, site and elevation plans for the proposed Plan “C” development shall be prepared by WAVE at its expense, and shall be approved by the OGCMA in advance of submission to any governmental board or agency.”

“This Memorandum of Understanding shall remain in effect until the date when the amended Developer’s Agreement is executed by the parties. ”

If anyone wants to have a copy of any of these documents, you can get them from the Township Clerk by filling out an OPRA form.  It’s easy to do.  You can also find the NJ Redevelopment Land Use Law and the NERP via Google. Some of these can also be found on the Neptune Township web site.

Editor’s Notes:  

Although the Neptune Township Committee is supposed to be managing this public project ( according to NJ Land Use Law), it seems clear that the real party in charge is WAVE.

The Township Committee has the power to end this entire process now because of the suspicious nature of the situation.  The zoning changes and special designation is old news already and seems to be set in stone, but there are current issues that expose the project to charges that the law has been violated, including the new revelation in the MUO that WAVE made plans in 2007 for the North End Redevelopment before the  Towship Committee approved the plan in 2008.      WAVE cannot prepare a plan for a public project and then appoint itself a co-redeveloper, 5 months before the Township committee determined the land to be “an area in need of redevelopment.”    In addition, since WAVE and the CMA decided that they could develop the North End with private funding, they should not have received the special designation of an area in need of redevelopment

And, regarding  that WAVE/CMA  re-development plan of 2007, that is the one that wound up in the NERP.   The planner of the NERP was merely following orders as was the Township Committee.     So who exactly was the  mayor of Neptune in 2008 when the NERP was turned into law?  Was it Randy Bishop or was it William Gannon III?

Then there is the problem with the Pavilion Building’s  (#4 Boardwalk) receiving a subdivision designation on the tax map when no such subdivision ever legally occurred.  That beach is public property, and only the DEP can determine its use, and, in addition, there can be no subdivision when the land does not front on an actual street. The Boardwalk is not a street.

The part of the NERP quoted above tries  to  justify bypassing the single-family* home goal of the Master Plan by calling the NERP a “unique circumstance” by virtue of the history of the North End. However that large commercialized and congested  North End of the early 20th century didn’t  kick in until 1911 when the hotel was built.  Before that, it was a swimming, fishing,  and recreational space for tourists and residents.

The historic OG that most of us recognize was happening from 1869-1900. The NERP historic argument says that the North End Hotel, movie theatre and other commercial amenities from the early part of the 20th century represents authentic OG history.  That is a distortion designed to latch onto a “historic” basis for dumping the existing zoning.

But now, we are in the 21st century, and who gets to say that duplicating the history of a commercial zone from over a hundred years ago, characterized by major congestion and loss of openness,  should be considered desirable for the future of this town in the 21st century?  Back then, everybody took the train to OG.    The Township and the OGHOA approved this historic nonsense/rationale in 2008, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t complain about it in 2015.

As for the NERP being “set in stone,” that may be so, unless some investigative body decides to look over the entire history of the North End Redevelopment Plan.  It could happen.

Below are links to the complete  Neptune Twp. Master Plan and the NERP of 2008 .   In addition, if you want to review all the pioneering articles in Blogfinger over the last five years, just look at the top of our home page to find the search box.  Then type in “North End Plan” or any other key words that interest you.

Click to access 01-13-12_Comprehensive%20Master%20Plan_Neptune%20Township_Amended%20January%202012.pdf

Click to access Redevelopment%20Plan_03-06-08_NorthEnd.pdf

CREDIT:  Jack Bredin  (pronounced Bray-din)  of Ocean Grove, researcher for Blogfinger.

LIZA MINELLI:

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Mayor Mary Beth Jahn. File photo.

Mayor Mary Beth Jahn. File photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

On June 5, 2012, Mary Beth Jahn won a bitter primary election for Committeeman, largely due to votes by Ocean Grove Democrats.  Blogfinger covered her victory and posted a photo of Grovers celebrating.  She was popular in the Grove, largely because she was the only Committeeman who would participate in Blogfinger dialogues.

On June 23, 2012, an article appeared in Blogfinger about the North End project.  Here is a quote from that post:

“Although Neptune Township previously approved a plan that would allow for between 70 and 80 new condos along Wesley Lake near the boardwalk, Jahn told the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association on Saturday that the plan might now be scaled back dramatically.

“Many of the members seemed elated when Jahn spoke of ‘the condos [the developers] think they’re going to build,’ and then added, ‘I think they are going to build 12 single-family homes.’

“Ever since the Township Committee formally approved a redevelopment plan in 2008, many Ocean Grovers have regretted and feared its implementation, an opinion Jahn has shared. At the time, she called the plan ‘a travesty’ and a detriment to the quality of life of OG residents. Now that she is all but assured of reelection in November, Jahn is predicting that the plan could be changed during negotiations between the developers and the Township Committee. Jahn and Mayor Randy Bishop are the Township Committee’s designated negotiators in those talks.”

On October 12, 2012, we posted a long and detailed piece about the North End.   In that post we said,  “It appears to us that three of the five current Committee members should be willing now to further reduce the size of this project. Those three would be Bishop, Jahn and Eric Houghtaling. As a majority, they have the power.”

On October 24, 2012 prior to her reelection as a Committeewoman, Mary Beth Jahn said this on Blogfinger,   “As I’m one of the negotiators for the Township for this project, I’m legally restricted from saying anything other than what I have previously stated publicly: I oppose the redevelopment plan that was approved for a hotel and condos. I believe this project should be held to the existing zoning requirements of 12 single-family homes. I was the only Township Committee member to vote “no” on the redevelopment plan and I continue to hold that position. (If anyone needs copies of my public comments from the dais during this vote to fact-check me, file an OPRA request with Rick Cuttrell and ask for the audiotape.)

“I don’t mind being the only person to vote “no,” because everyone pretty much knows I’m a huge pain in the patootie about things I don’t believe to be in the best interest of residents (also said from the dais and audio taped). This should be the first of some very spirited discussions.

“And that is all I am legally able to say . . .”

In November 2012, she wins a three year term and she gets the most votes in Ocean Grove of the 4 Committee candidates.

On November 8, 2012, Jahn told Blogfinger that she is “very grateful” to those Ocean Grove citizens who “really made it possible for me to win the primary and thus to make it to the general election.” She said that Ocean Grove has a “special place” in her heart.

That was the last we heard from her about supporting a take-down of the NERP on the grounds that it would be a “travesty”—something bad for our town.

Now she is the Mayor and she still is a member of the negotiating sub-committee of the Township which is supposed to be working on the long-promised re-developers agreement between the Township and the re-developers

But she didn’t even attend a recent important meeting about the North End, she refused to answer questions about the subject when asked by a Grover at two Committee meetings, and she continues to be mute on the subject.

Something happened to change her mind and to silence her on this issue. She owes the people of Ocean Grove an explanation.

THE ANDREWS SISTERS:

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An A.Park meter.  Photo by the Asbury Park Sun.

An A.Park parking meter. Photo by the Asbury Park Sun.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger

A representative of Desman Associates, parking experts from New York City, told a meeting of A. Park citizens that the good news is that they have a parking problem, and the bad news is that they have a parking problem.    This refers to Asbury’s success in attracting new businesses such as the Festhalle and Biergarten which seats 269 in the beer hall and 450 on their rooftop deck.

Asbury Park has metered parking, parking garages and lots around town.   They also issued about 1200 parking permits to residents and businesses last year. Those permits made residents happy, especially since they only cost $30.00 per year, and so many were sold that there were more permits than available permit spaces.

The consultants were assessing a variety of parking related issues such as the shortage of spaces for people who want to go to restaurants, beaches, boardwalk, and businesses, especially in season and on weekends.

One of their solutions was to raise the price of a permit to $1,200.00 per year. Yikes!  Since each meter earns $135.00 per month, the City needs to discourage permits and raise permit prices to improve the financial math and make more public spaces available.  The City has not finalized its response to the study.

But at least Asbury Park is responding to the concerns of their citizens, and their public officials are willing to spend money on research and then to wrestle with the problem.

We all know about OG’s parking problems, but you can imagine the parking situation if that colossal mistake called the NERP is actually implemented. One thing is sure, there will be no construction, not even a shovel in the ground, until at least all the construction, engineering and environmental permits are obtained.

Hopefully our parking situation will be assessed by a comprehensive parking study done in advance of the NERP start by outside experts who know State law and who will consider the OG Master Plan and the wishes of the town’s residents.   After all we don’t want to be sorry too late.

KAREN ELLISON  with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks from Boardwalk Empire: “Who’s Sorry Now?”

 

 

 

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YAK!  Our neighbor to the north.  2015. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

YAK. A. Park.  2015. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

According to the Township Committee, the Township Attorney, the CMA, the Township Clerk and the OGHOA North End Committee, things are “heating up” with respect to the North End Redevelopment Plan. In a series of articles on the subject, Blogfinger has described some of the details and has found some “red flags” regarding the propriety of the process. It would be helpful to take the pulse of the public regarding how OG citizens perceive what we have learned so far.  

Papa Bue’s Jazz Band:

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Blogfinger  photo.

Blogfinger photo.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @ Blogfinger

The Coaster has once again uncritically reported on North End “news.”   This time the “news” is emanating from the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association at the OG Home Groaners meeting on May 24, 2015.

In the May 28 edition, the Coaster states that JP Gradone, CMA spokesman, said, “Neptune Township and Wesley Lake Village Enterprises (WAVE) are the developers.” This confusing statement requires clarification, but the Coaster just repeats what it hears and asks no questions. That is how it is.

In addition, the OGHGA allows its podium for the repetition of nonsense with no indication that it asked any questions about the current revelation and how it would impact the citizens of Ocean Grove.

The confusing announcement noted above requires clarification:

A.  There are only two agreements which are currently in force regarding the North End Redevelopment and they are both from 2008.

1.   On March 24, 2008, the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) which contains zoning changes to permit condos, underground parking, etc. was officially approved by the Township Committee.

2. On June 9, 2008, a Resolution was passed by the Township Committee that named the OGCMA and WAVE as co-redevelopers.

Nothing has happened to change either of these two agreements which currently remain in effect.

B.   The announcement by Gradone on May 24 regarding a change in “developers” is just talk until we see official Neptune Township paper work . Only the Township  Committee may  approve a new Resolution or a new Redevelopment plan.

It is unclear as to why Gradone, a CMA spokesman, is announcing an action by the Township Committee.  Nowhere do we find a resolution by the Township to become a “developer” at the North End nor do we know why such an idea would be considered.

C.   On April 27, 2015, Committeeman Randy Bishop (repeating a plan by WAVE) announced that a new redevelopment plan had been created which would reduce the density by 50%. But all he had was a conceptual drawing from WAVE.

To change the NERP would require the Township Committee’s rescinding the 2008 version and then signing off on a new version, but that has not happened.

This is what the NJ Local Redevelopment and Housing Law says about changing a plan:   “All agreements, leases, deeds and other instruments from or between a municipality and to or with a redeveloper shall contain a covenant running with the land requiring that the owner shall construct only the uses established in the current redevelopment plan…..”

It’s time for the Neptune Township Committee to speak to the people of Ocean Grove and tell the clear truth about where we stand now regarding the North End Redevelopment project and to explain why corners appear to have been cut during this process and why transparency has been lacking.

And it is time for the Ocean Grove Home Owners Assoc.  to get tough and work to defeat the North End Redevelopment Plan and stop being patsies for the Neptune Township Committee. The North End Redevelopment plan is not good for the town and will lead it down the road to becoming Asbury Park South.

COLE PORTER   “Anything Goes.”

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