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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’ Category

Wesley Lake, looking toward the OG North End: a space where light, breezes and ocean views currently prevail. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.

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

This is the second of our three-part post about the Mayor’s Negotiating Team which currently has been in secret sessions with the Camp Meeting Association’s “developer”  which, according to Michael Badger, President of the CMA, is the  “Ocean Grove North End Development LLC (OGNED)”

We don’t know where WAVE went.

In this three-part series of posts, Blogfinger is reviewing how the process has evolved, so now we present a time-line to document what has happened over the last 10 years, beginning in 2008, with approval by resolution of the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP)  by the Neptune Township Committee.

2011:  In June of 2011, three years after the 2008 NERP (“public plan”) was adopted, WAVE and the OGCMA prepare a “private” general development plan to replace the original NERP.

This private  plan is submitted to the Township. It is titled “North End–a Destination Resort,” and it is not a redevelopment plan. 

The Neptune Township Committee fails to share this proposal with the public. They also do not reveal the fact that getting involved with this “private” plan would require pulling the plug on the entire 2008 NERP and then starting over. The Township makes no changes to the NERP.

2012: The OGCMA announces that they are ready to break ground at the North End in early 2013, but for what plan?  And they have no permits–particularly from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Then comes Sandy on October 29, of 2012.

2013:   The OGCMA announces after Sandy that “the developers are going back to the drawing board.”  What they fail to announce is that new elevations would be required.

2015:  The public becomes aware of a  “new private plan” when Committeeman Randy Bishop abruptly pops up at a Committee meeting and reports, “After exhausting negotiations, where everyone involved had to give something up, we have agreed to a new plan for the North End.”

But this is nonsense. He is referring basically to the private plan that was prepared four years earlier  (see 2011 above,) and the Township Committee already knew all about it.

And, by the way, what are the new  elevations?   No detailed specifications are made available. And no changes can be made to the original 2008 NERP without going back to square one.

The Ocean Grove Home Owners Association takes credit for negotiating the new private plan with the OGCMA, and maybe they did; the Township Comedy certainly did not. The only comment from the baffled Neptune Township Committee about the Bishop plan is, “This is a mistake.”

Actually, the plan is not the mistake—making it public is.

The new plan is not approved by the Township.  It just floats out of the meeting room and fizzles up into the atmosphere.

2018.   As we reported in Part I, the CMA sends out a press release in April 2018  (link below) claiming another new plan and announcing a new “developer” called OGNED. See our initial comments about that at the link (OGNED) below and then look at Part I where we also linked to it:

OGNED

In Part III, the last part of this series about the Mayor’s Negotiating Team, we will bring you up to date on this subject.

 

NOTE:  According to the Township Clerk, “The Redevelopment Committee” consists of Dr. Michael Brantley, Mayor Nicholas Williams, Land Use Administrator, Township Engineer, Business Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Township Planner and Redevelopment Attorney.

He also informed us that “the Redevelopment Attorney is Maraziti Falcon, LLP  at 150 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Short Hills, NJ.”

 

KEVIN SPACEY   “That Old Black Magic.”       From the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

 

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Ocean Grove is a “dog town.”  Where’s our dog park or beach?   Go to Asbury.  Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Cindy Stiles, the proprietor of Pet Boutique on Main Avenue in OG, has collected 1,000 signatures on petitions and she has gone before the Camp Meeting Association at least twice to ask them to permit a “private” dog park facility on their land near the tennis courts, but each time she has been turned down.

Ocean Grove could be called “Dog Town” because it’s loaded with dogs—residents and visitors.  But evidently there aren’t too many dog lovers on the CMA Board.

Today, at the Annual CMA Labor Day Report, Cindy went to the microphone to try again.  And try she did:  Cindy even told them that “God spelled backwards is dog.”  She seemed a bit desperate when she said that “some dog owners would like to pray with their pets in a dog park.”  Her main argument was that many visitors to town are dismayed when they learn that there are no dog runs for their pets.

However, regardless of how many persuasive arguments Cindy could muster, Dale Whilden, CMA President, could not be moved saying that the Board had a variety of reasons for rejecting the idea including concerns about animal “spats”, diseases, poop, security issues and more.

But the idea was checkmated when Dr. Whilden disclosed that the CMA had its eyes on that property for a possible parking lot or a place to store off-season life-guard chairs and/or more beach lockers.

And  the final coup de grace was when he said that the CMA needed to focus its attention on its “vision and mission”and that they had a “long list” of new ideas to get to, and a dog park was not on that list.  Priorities trump pets.    He did mention that the OG beach was open for dogs during the off-season, and many Grovers with dogs take advantage of that courtesy.

But Cindy was still not backing down, until  someone shouted,  “Let’s move on,” followed by a smattering of applause.

So Cindy had to step away—-clearly she was barking up the wrong tree.

HARRY NILSSON:

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Re:  Dispute regarding ground rents for condo owners.   The item below this sentence appeared recently  in the Wassup? section of Blogfinger.net:

Condominium associations lose their suit regarding ground rents.  The two condo units are on Ocean Pathway.  The ruling allows the Camp Meeting to change ground rent charges according to the sale price of the unit.

Here are links to two of our three Blogfinger February, 2017 posts  about this subject. This court ruling can have major implications regarding the condo market in OG.  The lawyer for the condo owners has recommended an appeal.

Blogfinger article Feb. 17, 2017 on ground rents

History of ground rents in OG

 

To the Editor:

I am Gorton Wood and  I live at 40 Ocean Pathway;  I am one of the litigants in the ground rent lawsuit.

In 2007 when I purchased my 1,090 square foot condo (two bedrooms and one bath,) I was given a ground rent spreadsheet schedule by OGCMA. It was titled “New Condo/Townhouse Ground Rent.” It covered a period of 12 years. The first three years I paid 1% of the sale price of my condo or $475.00 per year. The second three years it went to 1.5% of my sales price or $712.50 per year. The third three years it went to 2% of my sales price or $950.00 per year. The final three years it grew to 2.5% of my sales price or 1,187.50 per year. Then beginning year 13 and going on forever [hold your hat], it was going to be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which could be 3%, 4%, 5% annually, who knows. I could end up having to pay an annual ground rent of $3,000 or more annually.

On two occasions I went to the OGCMA and demanded to have someone explain  who cooked this up (Jack Green—I learned from another source) and  when did they cook this up?  No one would speak to me. Then in 2014 I wrote out my ground rent check and sent a message to the OGCMA saying that when they gave me a meeting I would bring my check. They never responded. In 2015 I did they same thing and again they refused to grant me a meeting. Then I received a letter from their law firm in Freehold saying if I did not pay immediately, they would prosecute me.

I am willing to go to any length, even alone, to have this situation corrected. I don’t believe any of the owners, myself included, expect to not pay ground rent, but for God’s sake make it fair. I actually wrote the OGCMA and their law firm a letter saying I was confident I could get every owner at 40 Ocean Pathway and 30 Ocean Pathway to agree to $200.00 a year. They wrote back basically telling me to take a hike.

GORTON WOOD

Ocean Grove, NJ, April 10, 2017

The writer is a resident of a condominium at #40 Ocean Pathway.

 

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The Ross Bathing Houses, 1878. North End, Ocean Grove Beach. From the Atlas of the Jersey Coast. Previously posted on Blogfinger.

The Ross Bathing Houses, 1878. North End, Ocean Grove Beach. From the Atlas of the Jersey Coast. Previously posted on Blogfinger.

 

To the Editor:

I was reading your post and thought I would give you a little history on the original use of ground rent. On a map of either 1871 or early 1872, it stated that the plan of leasing, instead of selling the lots, had been adopted to prevent any person from using his lot for purposes that would be an annoyance to other lot holders.

As far as the use of ground rent in the early days of Ocean Grove, during the Stokes era and beyond, the use of ground rent was for public services for the lot holders. In a book published in 1919, entitled “The Story of Ocean Grove 1869-1919” written by Morris S. Daniels… it states:

“If it is conceded, for the sake of argument, that the ground rental corresponds to a tax, it may also be said that it is expended by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association for the benefit of the leaseholders.

It is doubtful “if in all the land there is another place where the people receive so much attention at so little cost.” The Ocean Grove Association “lights the public streets and avenues the year round;” it polices the grounds, summer and winter; removes the garbage from the doors of the producers. It takes sanitary supervision of the entire place. It keeps the the streets in order, maintains the board walk and many of the sidewalks. It provides public pavilions and seats for the free use and accommodation of the masses. It sprinkles many of the streets during the dry and dusty days of summer. It provides parks, fountains, lakes, and flowers, and does a thousand other nameless things for which the leaseholders have contracted to pay a small ground rental, which thus far has never exceeded $10.50 per lot, which is the maximum ground rental which can be charged under the leases already made. The ground rentals amount to about $18,000; but much more than this sum is required for the purposes mentioned and is made up by the Association.”

Here are a few other interesting facts concerning ground rent beginnings. In the first 4 years of Ocean Grove’s existence the OGCMA didn’t require any ground rent from their lease holders. After this period they only required $2.50 from their lot holders. In 1880, they upped the ground rent to $5.00. In 1883, owing to the expense incurred in erecting a fire house on Olin Street, the ground rental was increased to $7.50. It was thought that the lot holders should share in the expense, since it was to their benefit.

In the early OGCMA annual reports the Camp Meeting Association was much more transparent and open about their ground rent and its uses. They would give an accounting of what they received and gave exact breakdowns of what it was used for. They were also more reluctant to raise it, even though for years the funds received through ground rents were insufficient to cover the expenses of the public services. They seemed to have more of a conscience about the burden that was placed upon the lot holder.

I have a great appreciation for the CMA and enjoy participating in their many programs. I also have a concern for their future and that more will be stripped away from them in coming years if they continue on the path they have been following… for “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Proverbs 16:18-19

 

Justin Truth is a blogger who writes about Ocean Grove history.  His blog has a few entries and they are quite interesting, especially the one about President Grant visiting the town and also a  piece from an Irish publication in 1874 about a “Sunday at an American Camp Meeting.”

http://thebookofhistoricalsecrets.blogspot.com/

Ocean Grove, New Jersey, February 22, 2017.

 

Editor’s Note: 

Blogfinger would like to thank Justin Truth for sharing his information with our readers.  We asked him for some information about himself. After all, he showed some courage and answered our call for information sharing in Ocean Grove.  This is his response:

“Thank you, Paul, for taking notice and interest in my recent comment concerning the ground rent issue. I choose not to reveal my identity at this time, as to avoid being caught up into a fire storm of controversy. I am a lifelong resident of Ocean Grove, having been involved in all of the OGCMA programs growing up, as well as in the present time. I have roots which go very deep in Ocean Grove, as well as in the surrounding area.

I’m just an ordinary guy, who is interested in Ocean Grove history and began researching for accurate information. It is my desire for others to become more interested in our history and this is why I began my blog.

It is my hope for people to begin to research themselves, considering all the information we have at our fingertips today. I would rather give people the tools they need to find the actual historic records, than to have them look to me as the authority on the subject. I like for the historic records to speak for themselves. I have included a link to the map I referenced in my comment.”

 

Regarding the second sentence in Justin’s letter to the editor, the link below is for the 1870 map  that he sent which proves that lots were leased  from the very beginning and were not sold.  You can enlarge the map and read the relevant section on the left side.

www.loc.gov/item/2012593523/

As for the fact that the citizens of OG early on were enjoying nearly-free services from the Camp Meeting Association, the CMA preferred to offer certain services such as police and the local court. The CMA wanted total control in the Grove including their wish to establish and enforce blue laws.  Their motive was to perpetuate their “Christian sea-side community”

During those years, the citizens paid taxes to Neptune Township, and those taxes probably would have provided for those services had the CMA not insisted on doing it themselves.

However,  the CMA did offer many nearly-free services enjoyed by Grovers which are listed in the Justin Truth letter, and many continue to this date.   And Neptune likely offered services such as schools, utilities, sewage, and water during the years when the CMA ran the town but was part of Neptune Township.  So the taxes did pay for Neptune services.

There were some protests and suits in the past over these Neptune tax issues, but the CMA always prevailed—until the NJ Supreme Court ruling in 1979.

Here is an item from the Blogfinger OG History Timeline.   “1898: Ocean Grove’s “lessees,” who pay property taxes to Neptune Township, want the CMA to pay the taxes to Neptune. A suit is brought by the homeowners, but in 1900 the NJ Supreme Court sides with the CMA.”——PG

Below is a link to the Blogfinger Timeline:

OG Historic Timeline on Blogfinger

 

CAST OF DAMES AT SEA  (Bernadette Peters’ career was launched in this role, 1969:)

 

 

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

On October 4, 2016, we posted a letter from “Pastor John” DiGiamberardino, COO of the OGCMA.  In it he reassured “friends and neighbors” that there would be no increase in residential ground rents.  Below is the link to that Blogfinger post.

https://blogfinger.net/2016/10/04/camp-meeting-association-issues-a-policy-statement-regarding-ground-rents/

But the Pastor’s letter was not considered clear enough, so the OGHOA decided that they needed “clarification” regarding the CMA’s policies, so they sent an email querying the Pastor further about the ground rent intent.

“Pastor John” responded to them and said,  “In short, nothing is going to change” with respect to lease fees.

“Addressing the question of ‘terms and conditions’ of a ground lease,” Pastor John stated that “this primarily relates to non-payment of ground rent”.

In an email today from the OGHOA “Board of Directors”   (aka Board of Trustees; aka Board of Dubious Intentions)  to the membership, the Directors said that they would “take the OGCMA at its word” regarding the ground rent issue. A little condescending perhaps?

Some residents remain distrustful  of the CMA and they are encouraging everyone to pay their land rents on time each year.

THE BEATLES:

 

 

 

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Shining a light on Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. ©

Shining a light on Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo.  By Moe Demby©

In 2007, during the Pavilion controversy, there was concern in town that Ocean Grove would be seen as an intolerant community.  This concern stemmed largely from media coverage which would often confuse the town of Ocean Grove with the Camp Meeting Association. The inaccurate reporting just made a bad situation worse.

In recent years, the question of discrimination has occasionally arisen, usually brought up by individuals who focus their attention on the  CMA. The town of Ocean Grove has not been targeted in that way.

However, in today’s Coaster,  two Ocean Grove citizens sent a Letter to the Editor which you can read below. What do you, our readers,  think of that letter?

Letter to the Coaster.  October 6, 2016:

As concerned residents of  Ocean Grove we attended the QSpot town hall meeting pertaining to their possible eviction at the Jersey Shore Arts Center. For the last 20 years we have watched the town grow into a diverse community. We now have many full and part time homeowners of different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds, and financial status. So many new residents have brought us into the twenty-first century.

We also have a large LGBT community who have contributed immensely to the growth of this town.   They have been discriminated against from the streets to the pulpit, and yet they still contribute in a positive manner.

Hopefully the prejudice of 2006 and 2007 does not rear its ugly head again. It is essential QSpot’s lease be renewed for Ocean Grove to progress as a diverse community.

JAN MOORE

EMILY SONNESSA

Ocean Grove, NJ. Oct.  6, 2016.

Theme from  “Transparent”:

 

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Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Zone. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Zone. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, reporter and researcher @ Blogfinger.

On July 27, 2016,  we posted a summary regarding the North End Redevelopment Plan.  You should read it before you proceed with this article. Link below:

https://blogfinger.net/2016/07/27/just-wondering-doubting-thomas-wants-to-know-if-there-are-any-tid-bits-regarding-the-north-end-project-nerp/

Committeeman Brantley showing the North End project to a "developer." on July 27, 2016. Blogfinger photo ©

Committeeman Brantley showing the North End project to a “developer.” on July 27, 2016. Blogfinger photo ©

One issue that was raised on July 27 was:   “Why was Committeeman Michael Brantley inspecting the North End property on July 27, 2016, at 11 am? He wasn’t going swimming. He was dressed in a business suit and was with two other ‘suits.’   Shouldn’t he explain himself since the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) is a public project? Doesn’t this look peculiar?”

At the August 22, 2016 Neptune Township Committee meeting, Brantley volunteered that he indeed wasn’t swimming when he visited the North End on July 27 wearing business attire.  He explained that he was there showing the re-development property to a developer who evidently was not WAVE, the developer who has been sitting on this project for 8 years.

This information tells us that the Township is tired of waiting for that derelict property to be turned into something functional,  historical and beautiful. We know that despite the long engagement, the Township is not married to WAVE, because those parties never signed a redevelopers agreement.

Some of us hoped that if the WAVE plan fell through, that the Township and the CMA, especially with new Committeemen on board, would do the right thing and revert to original zoning for 25 single family homes.  But evidently  that is not in the cards since Brantley, the Committeeman who made the motion to adopt the NERP in 2008, is still looking for a big commercial project, and why not, since it means more money for the Township, the developers, the CMA and perhaps others who are in play to get rich on such a plan.  The heck with the Master Plan and the wishes of most citizens in the Grove.  Check the Blogfinger poll below from January, 2016. Click on “view results:”

Also, in our July 27 piece:  The Township Attorney Gene Anthony said that he had nothing to report publicly at the Committee meeting about the North End negotiations because he hadn’t heard from WAVE or their attorney.

Well, it seems that the Township has been taken for a ride by WAVE because at the August 22 Committee meeting, the Township attorney once again reported  that WAVE  (represented by William Gannon III)  failed to contact him with certain financial information.

The entire process continues to be cloaked in secrecy—it’s a fog that doesn’t lift, but since it is a public project, transparency  should be required.  But not in Neptune Township where they ignore NJ RSIS laws, where they hold secret, behind-closed-doors meetings regarding the North End, where they don’t reveal the identities of those who would develop the North End—ie WAVE,  and where they don’t represent the views of those who elected them .

And, Committeeman Brantley, who was the developer that you were showing around?  Why have you failed to reveal publicly that you are conducting such a search, and are all the Neptune Township Committee members aware of your efforts?    And has the Committee formally put out a required public request for developers to look at the project?  And, Dr. Brantley, which other developers are you speaking or negotiating with?  And, finally,  Dr. Brantley, how about explaining to the public why you believe the NERP to be the best course of action for the people of Ocean Grove?

Back in 2007, WAVE was handed the redevelopers mantle without such a public search process.  We know that some developers did look at the project, but WAVE was predestined  to be the crown prince no matter what.   Consider this email to Blogfinger  from a developer who tried to be hired for the job:

Entire content of an email from a redeveloper regarding a North End proposal. We are not revealing that company's identity. Blogfinger.net ©

Entire content of an email from the president of a major developer regarding a North End proposal.  Blogfinger.net ©

The Neptune Township Committee is behind the NERP (North End Redevelopment Plan).  In 2007 they provided legal cover for the CMA/WAVE planners to get the zoning that would be essential to substitute 160 condos for the 25 Victorian single family homes that was the original zoning.

Our new Committeemen (2016) have now inherited  the zoning charade and all that goes with it including the secrecy and the questionable motives of all concerned including the OGCMA.  If the NERP gets into legal trouble, the entire Committee will be exposed including you freshmen.  Is this what you entered public office to do?

We ask that the Neptune Committee give up on WAVE and cancel the phony re-development zoning, returning the Grove to single family housing at the North End.

Editor’s Note:    If you enter “North End Redevelopment” into our search box at the top of this homepage, on the right, you can catch up on our many articles about this subject.

 

 

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Which way are we heading in Ocean Grove. Dec. 2003. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Which way are we heading in Ocean Grove? Dec. 2003. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to see better.

To the Editor:

The Township Committee established a, Parking Task Force in response to the O.G. Home Owner/ Condo Owner Assoc. suggestions on how to cure our parking problems.  The voting members of the task force will be the Stake Holders.

However, there are two sides to this Stake Holder coin, with each side of the coin having different aspirations of what the Task Force will recommend to the Committee.
On the head side of this coin is the Township and the OGCMA; with both having a financial stake in shoehorning more condo units into our small Historic District without parking,  where parking conditions were already bursting at the seams by the early 1980;s.

The Township, the OGCMA, and the OGHOA  do not want to solve our parking problems;  they just want to treat the symptoms.

On the tail side  of this coin are the rest of us, that just want to preserve Ocean Grove and have a place to park our cars, but we don’t get to vote.

I predict, when the task force flips this coin, it will always come up heads, on the side of making money—–over the historic preservation of our town.

A few months ago, at the public portion of a Committee Meeting, an attorney advised the Committee that “A historic district is a detriment to development.”

I can see where we are heading with all of this.

Jack Bredin

K.D. LANG with a Patsy Cline song:

 

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Is this true? Think about it. Blogfinger photo 2014. ©

Ocean Grove, NJ.  Is this slogan true in OG?  Think about it. Blogfinger photo 2014. ©  Click to enlarge

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

The issue boils down to a more specific question:   Is the Ocean Grove of 2016 a community of like-minded groups and individuals that would work together to block condo and commercial development at the North End?

A Grover who lived here in 1986 tells us that the many voices who pushed back against the South End project contributed in a significant way to the failure of that plan.  But he doubts that we have similar conditions now.

 

Concept drawing 1986 of South End condo project, 7 stories.

Concept drawing 1986 of South End condo project, 7 stories.

THE SOUTH END IN 1986:

As you know from our prior pieces on this subject, in 1986 the Camp Meeting Association made a deal to sell their open beachfront property at the South End to a developer who would construct a 7 story, 53 unit condominium building at that location. The voices of those who had opinions about the issue were heard in the videos which we posted (see link.)

https://blogfinger.net/2016/05/13/ocean-grove-rejects-condominium-in-1986-where-the-citizens-won-a-battle-at-the-south-end-grovers-must-see-this/

What is clear from the videos and some personal conversations, is that a groundswell of opposition was heard in 1986 which contributed to  the defeat of the project. and we are now left with the beautiful open natural area which can be seen today near Fletcher Lake and the beach.

We also know that the State was claiming riparian rights, and the developers were finding that to be a formidable roadblock, but listen (below)  to some of those Grovarian voices that were willing to speak up against the South End condominium Plan.      Then ask yourselves whether there is any comparable push back today, 2016, from Ocean Grovers who want to  block the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP.)

We have  also included below some local 1986 voices that supported the project. They may have opposed the citizens, but at least they were willing to speak publicly. Today, the developers are anonymous and never say a word to the public:

1986 quotes:

———-CMA President Truitt admitted publicly that this South End plan was because the CMA needed money to pay for the beachfront expenses..  He said, “We are trying to merchandise the property.”  The CMA recruited the Schneider group to find a way to make money through development. Truitt said that “residents are concerned with preserving the historical beauty of the Grove which may be threatened by condominiums.”  But he liked the plan  design.

—–Ocean Grove Homeowners Association was represented by President Bill Benford. He said that the project is “totally unacceptable.” He voiced his concerns about density, bulkheads, storms, shadows and environmental issues. He said, “This structure is totally out of character for the rest of Ocean Grove.” Today the HOA stands in opposition to the citizens.

—–Norm Buchman, President of the OG Historical Society and a member of the CMA Board: “Many of our members object to this project. It’s too large..” He added, “I don’t like the project.”


 

—–Ocean Grovers come out in force.   On January 28, 1987, over 200 OG residents met with the Board of Adjustment regarding their opposition to the project expressing concerns about the height, fire safety, congestion, blocking views and breezes, flooding, parking,  foundation design and Victorian features. The next meeting was scheduled for February, but we don’t have those records.

—– A group of citizens got together and pooled funds to pay a lawyer who showed up and pushed back on behalf of the Grove.

—–Ed Handler, Grover worried that the plan “lacked the ambience of Victorianism.”

—–Business community. Owner of Nagle’s and resident, John Gross,  was totally opposed and said so publicly. He spoke about the loss of air, light and open space. He said that there would result “a loss of quality of life.”  Also said, “In the long run it would change the town and discourage visitors. OG would not be as attractive a community to live in.”

—–HPC  (BAR) turned down the preliminary design. Then, no final site plan was ever submitted.

—–DEP claimed a “State riparian interest” because tidal water was involved.  Fletcher Lake  (aka Goose Pond) had, at one time, opened to the sea.  The  lawyer (Schneider”)  said that this posed a major obstacle” and that he might have to sue the State.

—–An outside environmental group American Littoral Society fights/lobbies to protect shorelines. They were watching to see if the developers in OG were to get a NJ “coastal permit” for projects over 25 units. Their spokesman said, “Our reaction is very negative.”


—–Resident Kevin Chambers said that “the structure is out of place for the community.” He said that they would build “right on top of the dunes.”

—–Resident and historian Ted Bell: “OG is something very unique in the US (a planned community in  the 1870’s) and has changed little over last 100 years.”

—–Resident Jim Garley of Broadway said, “I’m against the CMA for recommending this building.”

—–Resident Victor Burke said “This will definitely change the quality of life. We will have excess housing density and utility overload (more police, trash, electric and water)

—–A Fire Department representative worried about a “disaster” in a building over 4 stories.

—–The Board of Adjustment preliminarily said that the design was “inappropriate to the style and scale of Ocean Grove.”

—–Vito Gadaleta, Neptune Zoning Official:  “Project violates zoning rules for historic and recreation zones—need multiple use variances.”

—–A developer from North Jersey’s Schneider Group admitted that Ocean Grove already has a “very serious problem with congestion” in the summer, but he denied that this project would make things worse.   Yet he was willing to speak publicly about the matter.   He also spoke about his “option agreement” to buy the land from the CMA. He admitted that he needs DEP and Zoning and Board approvals.

—– Architect for the project H. Robert Yaeger spoke out and defended the proposed sprawl along the South End Boardwalk, Fletcher Lake and Broadway.

In the end, the  South End project was never approved.

 

THE NORTH END IN 1986:

CMA President Truitt  also admitted in 1986  that they were planning a large building at the North End with over 200 units (4 times the size of the South End building). Some say that it was to be a nursing facility. He said that there would be a large increase in congestion.

It was never built for reasons which are unknown to us, but the CMA was willing even then to overload the North End,  and so what do you expect now from them?

So, in conclusion, the Ocean Grove of 2016 is nothing like the activist community which existed in 1986.

Too many citizens and organizations in the Grove in 2016 are apathetic as they pursue their own singular agendas, with little interest in the town’s history and future.

The future of this town is endangered, and it looks like we have no cohesive community to stand at the barricades. If the NERP is built, the Grove will become a much different place.  Do you want that?

IRIS DeMENT   “Our Town”

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Thornley Chapel. Ocean Grove. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

Thornley Chapel. Ocean Grove. By Paul Goldfinger. Silver gelatin darkroom print. ©  c. 2005

JANUSZ OLEJNICZAK   From the soundtrack of the movie The Pianist:  Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor.

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