Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Home Owners Association’ Category

Ocean Grove: Can we keep it? By Paul Goldfinger ©

Ocean Grove: Can we keep it?     Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©


Saturday, March 26, 2016.    Ocean Grove, NJ.:

34 comments below.


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger     Jack Bredin, Researcher.


At this morning’s HOA meeting, the membership voted, by an estimated 3:1 margin, to defeat Jack Bredin’s motion, which would have supported a plan to promote single family home zoning throughout Ocean Grove.  We have spelled out the technical details of this subject in our many recent posts.

This vote means that the OGHOA, Board and membership, will be supportive as Neptune Township  continues to approve condominium buildings without parking and to maintain its ongoing policy to defy State Land Use Law .

The OGHOA has become an impotent organization without any coherent values to protect the Grove from greedy developers and unprincipled elected officials.

At Blogfinger we tried to warn everyone. It’s not that we care about what that crew at the HOA Board thinks, but we do care about what Grovers think , so the vote today was disappointing.

We will continue to report the news and our opinions, but we are done trying to encourage our HOA neighbors into opposing those who would exploit our town.

We are not giving up on Ocean Grove, but we will divert our attention from the HOA, an organization which has straight-lined as far as we are concerned.


(PS:    There are 34 comments by Grovers. Click on “comments” below)




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A new generation of Homeowners trustees are needed. Paul Golfinger photograph. ©

“OGHOA continues its tradition of community involvement by closely monitoring development in Ocean Grove to ensure that it is consistent with the priorities of Ocean Grove homeowners and is in keeping with the historic character of Ocean Grove.”


This town needs an organization of resident-activists that will forcibly fight to prevent over-development, over-congestion, and over-emphasis on businesses/tourism.  Certain factions in the Grove are exploiting the town for money while trampling on the lifestyles of residents.

A group is needed who will demand that the Township stick to the Master Plan, follow State laws such as RSIS parking standards, and represent the residents of Ocean Grove in taking on Neptune Township where the Committee’s interests do not coincide with ours.

Favoritism and double standards at the Mother Ship must be exposed, and zoning abuses shut down. Historical preservation needs to be emphasized by the Township as stated in the Master Plan. And, unlike the OGHOA, this group must vigorously oppose the North End Redevelopment Plan.

In fact, the Home Groaners fall short in every category mentioned above.

MARVIN GAYE:   “What’s Going On?

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Blogfinger Editorial Board:

According to our source for HOA meeting gobbledygook, Bonny Graham at the Coaster, the Groaners are taking credit for being “overwhelmingly in favor of issuing parking permits.”

But the fact is , as indicated in our post link below, they put the idea forward one year ago and then gave up without a fight when the township breathed some hot air on them and said, “No.”  They folded  like a cheap umbrella.

We all know what happened next: The Groaners Parkng Committee ceased to function as they jumped into the Wesley muck with both feet supporting  the Township Parking Task Force in placing 18 new diagonals spaces on Central Avenue. And now, as of yesterday, more diagonal spaces were placed on Main Avenue in a residential area extending from Firemen’s Park west to the gates.  What happened to that group which “overwhelmingly” voted in favor of parking permits?

But now the Groaners feel pressure from all the Blogfinger posts about permits and they can smell a bandwagon they can jump on.  Their parking leader, Joyce Klein, told the incredulous audience on Saturday that “this will only happen if the OGHOA members attend the Township Committee meetings, speak up, and advocate for the issuance of parking  permits.”

So her idea of leadership is to drop the ball in the members’ laps and go hide under the bed.

Here is a link to our recent post about the HOA’s effort to get parking permits—–one year ago.  You will find nothing about “overwhelming support” for permits.  That must be fake news. But if it’s real, then why didn’t they fight for what everyone wants?

BF article about the HOA and parking permits

And in April 2017, at the HOA meeting, when the report from the parking committee was presented, this is what the HOA minutes said, “Parking report:  Joyce Klein reported that the Neptune Council will have a second  and final reading of the ordinance allowing for the potential addition of about 18 angle parking spots.” 

In other words, there was no mention of their “overwhelming support” of permit parking.

The other topic of interest is the fate of the new HPC guidelines which we had been told threaten historic preservation in the Grove, according to the HPC leadership.  But at this Groaners’ meeting we learned that the situation is worse.  Osepchuk said, “The revised guidelines were dramatically changed” from the current set of regulations, as they allow for satellite dishes and solar panels.  She said that “homeowners spoke up, and the Township committee tabled the guidelines.”

Is this good news, or is the HPC just waiting powerlessly for the next shoe to drop?    It appears that the Groaners have once again failed to resolve a problem.

For those of you HOA members who support your leadership, ask yourself what your organization has actually accomplished in the areas of: Wesley Lake pollution,  rapacious developers, parking problems, high property taxes,  home owners with tax assessment issues, violations of State Land Use Laws, threats to Lake Avenue, threats to the integrity of Wesley Lake, climbing ground rents for some Grovers, uninhibitated condo conversions without parking, etc.


ROY ORBISON says “ding a linga linga  linga linga linga, “–mamamamamamama—-a tribute to gobbledygook wherever it’s found.  Sing along.


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What we have here is a fine kettle of fish*"

What we have here is a fine kettle of fish*”

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

What are we to do with the totally ineffective Home Groaners? They have a meeting, drag a crowd of Grovers away from their warm beds, and find out that the Groaners accomplished next to nothing.

The first order of business was the Parking Committee report. It seems that the Township accepted none of their recommendations. In particular there will be no parking permits for residents, no parking meters on Ocean Avenue, and no park-and-ride trolley.   Conclusion: A big zero for the Groaners.


Second order of business: Converting the Laingdon Hotel into a rehab facility? Well, the Groaner’s president, a lawyer, announced that she knows nothing about zoning law and that her board was considering spending $5,000.00 for another lawyer to represent the group at the Zoning Board meeting.  She even admitted that she knows nothing about brain surgery either, so the Groaners should be disqualified from discussing zoning or performing lobotomies in the future.

Luckily, the Sprout application was withdrawn and saved the group $5,000.00   The Groaners must have a lot of dough, because they recently wasted $7,000.00 for a lawyer to look at a false alarm—ground rents. (i.e. no weapons of tax destruction were found.)

Oh, and why was the Sprout application withdrawn? The Groaners have no idea. Conclusion: Everyone should have stayed home in bed.


The third order of business: The meeting agenda promised that the HPC would come to discuss the “HPC War” because the Township wants to dilute the HPC historic guidelines, and this is a subject that could impact Ocean Grove’s future.

But golly, the HPC representatives instead reviewed what everyone already knows about  (HPC history 101 minus the Greek Temple ) and ignored what everyone wanted to hear about—i.e. the “HPC War.”

Therefore we regrettably must report that the HPC laid an egg at the meeting and continues to deny the public information about this critical situation.

The Blogfinger correspondent concludes that “The Home Groaners Association knows nothing and does nothing.”

And that, ladies and germs, in the words of Laurel and Hardy*, “Is a fine kettle of fish.”

For our musical enjoyment we offer a suggested theme song for the HGA when the current board resigns and is  replaced by a group of Grovers who will actually accomplish something for the town.



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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.


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.





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# 58-60 Main Ave. June 19, 2016. Blogfinger photo.

# 58-60 Main Ave. June 19, 2016. Blogfinger photo.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   and Jack Bredin, Blogfinger Reporter/Researcher

When Blogfinger took an interest in the North End, the zoning changes had already taken place, leaving us with the task of researching, exposing and defining the situation and sharing our  information with the Ocean Grove public.

When Mary’s Place on Main Avenue was conceived, a highly dubious zoning decision was made in 2014 by a single Neptune Township official that allowed two lots to be merged and a “community residence and shelter” placed instead of two single family homes. No variances were required. We came upon that situation after the fact.

Kevin Chambers sought a legal remedy for the zoning decision at #50 Main Avenue, and we have reported on his efforts.   We learned about that late as well, but now we are following that situation, unlike the OGHOA which pays no attention to such issues, and they ought to do so.

It turns out that public officials in Neptune Township, the CMA, and developers have gotten used to doing what they please regarding land use, regardless of local zoning laws and regardless of State laws such as RSIS parking rules for new construction,  and without taking an interest in public opinion on such matters.

But the saga of # 58-60 Main Avenue is a bit different. Here we have the opportunity to study the process as it is occurring.   Two days ago we posted a letter from an anonymous Ocean Grover that alerted us  to what is going on at # 58-60 Main Avenue regarding planned changes to the property.    If it weren’t for that person, we would not have found out about the situation. Definitely the OGHOA wouldn’t have told us, because they don’t do their duty as watchdogs.  No one is watching such events on behalf of the public——except Blogfinger and a few individuals.

Today we went to the Municipal Building and spoke to Kristie Armour, the Administrative officer for the Planning/Zoning Board of adjustment.

We learned that yesterday, June 20, 2016, a lawyer named Andrew J. Karas, from Fox Rothschild LLP, Attorneys at Law in Roseland, submitted a large box to the Neptune Township Planning Board regarding #58-60 Main Avenue.   That box contained an application for a site plan for that property.

Blogfinger will not have access to the application until Ms. Armour’s office processes it, but we have filed a request for access to government records  (aka OPRA request—Open Public Records Act,)  and we should have more information for our readers next week.

It seems that our information from our informant was mostly accurate. The building is two stories, with stores below and apartments above. It is in a mixed use zone called HD-B-1 which does permit a maximum of 3 stories, and the developer evidently wants to add a third story for condominiums, and we suspect that he will want condos on the second floor as well.

But there are some issues having to do with density and parking (or lack thereof). Ms. Armour tells us that her office will determine which board will handle this application, and it may be the Zoning Board of Adjustment rather than the Planning Board.   And there will be other issues as well such as why a high profile real estate firm would take on this project without knowing for sure that  the condo customers will have guaranteed parking on Main Avenue.  And have they determined that the  OGHOA parking plan provides  cover for such ambitions ?

Does that sound crazy?  Well, take a look at the OGHOA Parking Plan. It says that permit parking should be provided “for tax paying residents.”   Really?   Do you think that they want each condo owner to have a permit?  Will they support a reserved space on Main Avenue for each of those new  condos at # 58-60?  We’ll find out sooner or later.

Stay tuned to Blogfinger. We want the public to know how their Neptune Township government actually functions  and we will have more to say about that and about our OG Homeowners Association which has failed to monitor and protect our town from projects that will damage our lifestyles and property values in the Grove.

GEORGE HARRISON  “All Those Years Ago.”

“I’m talking all about how to give
They don’t act with much honesty
But you point the way to the truth when you say
All you need is love.”

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Lake Avenue as it meanders past Founders' Park. Can you imagine parking there or, even, widening into a road? Paul Goldfinger. Ocean Grove 2014. ©

Lake Avenue as it meanders past Founders’ Park. Can you imagine parking just east of there on Lake Avenue, or even widening that walkway past the park into a road to receive traffic? Paul Goldfinger. Ocean Grove 2014. ©

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

We have learned that Neptune Township is applying for Federal and State funds to preserve historic sites in Neptune Twp.

It’s hypocrisy with a capital H. Ironies of ironies! This is the same Township that has violated State regulations to allow non-historic condominium buildings to be built instead of Victorian single family houses. They have allowed such structures to go in without parking, causing worsening congestion—distinctly an un-historic character trait.

They are the same elected officials who would allow a commercial zone at the North End instead of single family development that would be truly historic in keeping with our 19th century heritage.

And the Home Groaners will be champions of this application—the same people who are behind every one of the Township’s un-historic moves in recent years as they favor developers who have no interest in historical preservation.   Do you think Stokes ever saw a condo go up in his Ocean Grove?

That same Home Groaners group would have you believe that condominiums have not been a problem and will not become one in the future. But consider this: In recent years in Ocean Grove, 26 individual lots have been converted to condominium buildings, without providing a single off street parking space;  for a total of 308 residential units.

If the HOA/Township/WAVE consortium gets its way at the North End, we will probably see up to 160 new condo units, not counting any that might go up at the White Whale property.

And while we are speculating about the future, keep your eyes wide open for certain possible developments at the North End which you haven’t heard about….yet.

 This Google map is from the Neptune Township web site. Somebody has renamed the east end of Lake Avenue (see text below.) Beach Avenue lines up with the G of Google and magically continues east to the Boardwalk where Lake Ave. used to be. Note the traffic directions shown for Spray and Seaview. The North End Redevelopment zone is in the upper right corner. Note that the boardwalk is not and has never been a street-----but watch out. This Google map is from the Neptune Township web site. Somebody has renamed the east end of Lake Avenue (see text below.) Beach Avenue lines up with the G of Google and magically continues east to the Boardwalk where Lake Ave. used to be. Note the traffic directions shown for Spray and Seaview. The North End Redevelopment zone is in the upper right corner. Note that the boardwalk is not and has never been a street-----but watch out. Google map from the Township web site. Note that the eastern most part of Lake Avenue is now called Beach Avenue.

Google map from the Township web site. Note that the easternmost part of Lake Avenue is now called Beach Avenue.  The north-south part of Beach Avenue lines up with the G of Google. Currently Beach Avenue stops between Spray and Lake. It does  not turn the corner onto Lake Ave.

That NERP project will require considerable infrastructure surprises to permit ingress and egress at that very busy commercial district. The HOA/Township/WAVE consortium does its planning in secret, and non-transparency is always bad for the public good.

We predict that Lake Avenue, a walkway historically with no cars all the way to the ocean, will be widened at its east end, somewhere past Founders Park, into a two way road for traffic, that will empty into a two way extension of Beach Avenue and a two way section of road where the Boardwalk is now in order to reach the White Whale. Look for Spray Avenue to become a busy stretch for two way traffic. If you live around there, better pay attention!

Beach Avenue comes from the right and then proceeds east onto what used to be called Lake Avenue. Note the bidirectional arrows on the macadam. Blogfinger photo. 4/18/16.

Beach Avenue comes from the right and stops, but in the future we believe it will turn right here and proceed east onto what used to be called Lake Avenue. Note the bidirectional arrows on the macadam.  ? For runners or cars?   Blogfinger photo. 4/18/16.

And get this:     The HOA suggests metered parking/cars at one of Ocean Grove’s most beautiful, car free, and scenic locations—–along Wesley Lake by Founders’ Park.

This suggestion should make every resident furious and might even require cutting off a portion of the park. Don’t let this parking trial balloon fool you. This would-be parking subterfuge sounds like an excuse to widen Lake Avenue for traffic  right near our most famous and historic park.

We also predict that the hotel will never be built—to be replaced by condos, and that the underground garage might become an above ground garage.

The OG Home Groaners Ass. cannot be trusted to do what’s best for historic Ocean Grove. Citizens must form a watchdog committee now, or you will all wake up one Sunday morning to find that nothing is the same:


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Jack Bredin offers his opinion at an OGHOA meeting in June, 2010.© Blogfinger photo.

Jack Bredin offers his opinion at an OGHOA meeting in June, 2010.© Blogfinger photo.

To the Editor:

As a new Ocean Grove Home Owners Association (OGHOA) member who attended my first meeting on Saturday, March 26, I decided to check its website today for the meeting minutes. They were posted and I was surprised to read that neither President Ann Horan nor Vice President Barbara Burns had been there (I’d arrived a few minutes late and hadn’t heard all the names of the people running the meeting). According to the minutes, the President and Vice President were “away on vacation,” so “Secretary Richard Williams opened the meeting…”.

While I was at the website, I decided to read the OGHOA bylaws. I found a couple of things that made me wonder why the March 26 meeting was held at all.

Under Article 3, “Meetings,” the bylaws state:

  1. General membership meetings shall be held on the 4th Saturday of every month except when the 4th Saturday is on a holiday weekend, at which time an alternate date will be scheduled.

March 26 was the day before Easter Sunday, so the fourth Saturday of March 2016 clearly fell on a “holiday weekend.” According to the OGHOA’s own bylaws, a general membership meeting should not have been held that day.


I also read under Article 5, “Duties”:

  1. The President shall preside at all meetings.
  1. The Vice-President shall assume all duties of the President in his or her absence and shall assist in every way.

Probably because it was a holiday weekend, neither the President nor the Vice President was there to preside at the meeting. If the President “shall” preside at “all” meetings, and the Vice President “shall assume all duties of the President in his or her absence,” what happens if neither of them is present? Does anyone else have the authority to preside over a general membership meeting of the OGHOA? The bylaws suggest that only the President and Vice President have this authority.

It appears that the March 26 general membership meeting should have been rescheduled, both because the date fell on a holiday weekend and because neither the President nor the Vice President was there to preside.

At the February meeting, Jack Bredin put forth an important motion, proposing that the OGHOA take the position that the State’s Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) be enforced throughout Ocean Grove, with an exemption for single-family homes only.

I’m not certain when it was decided that a vote on Jack’s motion would be held at the March meeting, but in the month between meetings, did no one on the OGHOA Board realize that holding the meeting on a holiday weekend, and when neither the President nor Vice President could be present, would be in violation of the organization’s bylaws?

To see how often both the President and Vice President miss a membership meeting, I reviewed all the minutes posted at the site (they’re posted back to March 2015); March 26, 2016 was the only time this happened. I also checked the meeting dates and the only one held on a holiday weekend was the meeting on March 26.

Is an OGHOA membership vote legitimate and binding when it takes place at a meeting that itself violated OGHOA bylaws?


Ocean Grove, NJ and Cedar Grove, NJ, April 6, 2016

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The next OGHOA meeting will be held on March 26 at 10:00 am.  in the Community Room.  There will be a discussion of Jack Bredin’s February motion regarding the Neptune Township Application for a special RSIS  parking standard.  His motion, currently tabled, reads:

“The OGHOA is in favor of the Neptune Township Committee refiling an application for a waiver from the State RSIS Parking Standard for detached single family houses only.”

You may recall that the Township applied in 2015 for a special standard which would apply to all of Ocean Grove.   But that would open the door to unlimited condoization in town as well as more multifamily or large buildings that could be built without providing any parking.  That outrageous effort by the Township has been supported by the OGHOA and is a policy which is just the opposite of what most Grovers prefer.

Jack’s motion would recommend a special standard only for new single family houses.  That means approvals could be given for new single family  houses without demanding that they have driveways or garages.

Blogfinger recommends that you go to that meeting and vote for Jack’s motion.   And please support Jack in case there is any more parliamentary chicanery afoot.

Also note that currently there is no active Neptune OG application at the Department of Consumer Affairs because the last one was dismissed without prejudice by the State Site Improvement Advisory Board, and Neptune has not so far re-applied.

The SIAB recently cancelled their March meeting.  We suspect that Neptune will re-apply so that they can continue their anti-OG policies regarding condominiums without worrying about breaking the law.   But even if Neptune does not reapply, this vote will indicate which way the wind is blowing in our town.

The Township Committee now has 2 new members, so we must keep the pressure on the Committee to do their jobs as representatives of the people instead of being shills for developers.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

GRANT PHABAO    “Message to you Rudy”  from the movie Chef.

“Stop your messing around (ah-ah-ah)

Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)

Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)

Creating problems in town (ah-ah-ah)”


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A look to the future. Paul Goldfinger ©

A look to the future. Paul Goldfinger ©

There are a lot of moving parts to Ocean Grove’s parking problems.

I believe the number one problem starts with the Neptune Township Committee.

The process of site-plan approval is guided by both the local zoning ordinance and the State off- street parking requirements.

When local standards are inconsistent with State Standards, then the State Standards supersede the local ones.

The local Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment can grant a variance from the zoning ordinance, but there is no approving authority in the Township that can grant a “waiver” from the off-street parking requirements until the Township applies for and the State grants approval of a “Special Standard.”

However, when the Township is reviewing a site plan application for Ocean Grove, it is the Township’s policy to usurp State Authority and circumvent the State’s off-street parking requirements (that the State has exclusive authority over) and grant an approval with no off-street parking.

As a result of this practice, with few exceptions, all site-plan approvals in Ocean Grove over the past 18 ears, were granted in violation of State law.

Kevin Chambers has been telling us that for years, and it is not just his opinion—-it is a fact!

When developing a standard 50×100 foot lot, the State off-street parking standard, requiring two (2) off-street parking spaces for a detached single family house, is reasonable because the State standard was designed using the 50’x100’ lot format.

Ocean Grove cannot be re-subdivided into 50 x 100 foot lots, and so the strict application of the State off-street parking regulations would cause practical difficulties in developing any 30 x 60 foot lot in the Historic District.

Because the 30 x 60 foot lot size is 2 ½ times smaller than a 50 x 100 foot lot, there is simply not enough room to include off-street parking into a site-plan without destroying Ocean Grove’s historic character.

We are the only town in New Jersey like this, and so we qualify for a State waiver for detached single-family houses with no parking.

Last year the Township filed an application for an exception from the State off-street parking standards.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that Ocean Grove is zoned single-family, and the waiver the Township requested is not only for detached single family houses, it is for all new residential multi-family development, foreseeing variance approvals for condominiums.

If approved it would open the floodgates to condo development; that would destroy the Historic District.

The threat to our historic designation comes from an increasing real estate demand for a “condo by the ocean, for vacation.”

Make no mistake about it.   The primary reason for the Township’s application was to permit condo development throughout Ocean Grove, and not just for the big guy, but also for the little guy.

As an example: If you own a two family house like I do, you can form a condominium association and, like magic, your two family house becomes two (2) attached single-family houses (aka condominiums) which are worth a lot more money than your former 2-family house. That also applies to 3,4,5 family and up. The only problem for this agenda is that you now need two (2) off-street parking spaces per unit, and the Township cannot grant you a waiver or a variance.

Although the Township had reasons for a single-family waiver, they had no reason to ask for a multi-family waiver.   And so, at the Township’s request, the Town Planner manufactured the reasons, after doing a parking study of Ocean Grove.

In support of a multi-family waiver the planner determined: We have plenty of available parking spaces, and the residents also have the option of parking in Asbury Park or Bradley Beach and then walking home.

This is nonsense, and if it were such a great benefit to Ocean Grove, then why did the Town Planner call the State Advisory Board last December and request that the application be withdrawn?

The Committee has been silent on why, or who instructed the Planner to withdraw the application, and has given no indication if or when they will reapply.

But they must reapply. They can’t keep breaking the law. And when they do reapply, we should insist that we still need that parking exemption for SINGLE FAMILY HOUSES ONLY, and not for multifamily buildings that are inconsistent with the Master Plan and with Historic Preservation.

I am offering a motion for your consideration that the OGHOA would support the single family application. The HOA should be pro-active and get ahead of the curve.

The motion is: “The OGHOA is in favor of the Neptune Township Committee re-filing an application for a waiver from the State RSIS parking standard for detached single-family houses only.”


Editor’s note:   Jack Bredin’s motion was seconded, but the group voted to table the motion.  —-PG

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Vote for a future condo- free Ocean Grove. Ocean Pathway. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Vote for a future that would stop more multi-family buildings (such as condos) without parking in  Ocean Grove. By Paul Goldfinger © Click to see those beautiful Ocean Pathway single family houses. 2014.

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

As you all know, the Ocean Grove Homeowners Association Board sent a formal letter to the  Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB) in Trenton supporting the Township’s application for a special parking standard (RSIS) exemption.  When the members found out, many complained that this important policy decision was made without the approval of the membership.  It is an abuse of power.   In yesterday’s Coaster, an OGHOA member demanded that a vote be held to find out what policy the membership would support.

On Blogfinger we have made a strong argument that the OGHOA/Township Committee policy supporting the elimination of RSIS standards for all housing in Ocean Grove will result in an open door for more condominiums, apartments and big buildings of all sorts.

We have argued that the OG Master Plan, dating back to the early 1980’s, resulted in resolutions adopted by the Planning Board and the Township Committee that supported  single family zoning throughout the town, and that approach has recently been arbitrarily discarded by the Governing Body in favor of more multifamily buildings  without parking provided, which cause increased congestion and parking problem in town.

Despite requests from some members, the OGHOA board has failed to seek a policy vote regarding these issues. Instead they continue patronizing and disrespecting the membership by representing their opinions as being those of the group.

On Feb 25, they will have a “discussion” on this topic, but it will be a propaganda jam session with the HOA leaders defending their pro-condominium policies including their unauthorized letter to the SIAB. That “discussion” should be held and then that meeting should be turned into a referendum by virtue of a motion to establish a policy chosen by the members. Hopefully the members will choose to protect Ocean Grove’s historic heritage, its lifestyle, and the interests of those of us who actually live here.

That motion should be to support the retention of RSIS standards for most of the town, with the exception of single family houses.

How this Blogfinger position would work is explained in our post below.   (scroll down to the girl on the cannon or use link  http://blogfinger.net/2016/01/21/ocean-grove-homeowners-board-defies-facts-loyalty-and-the-best-interests-of-our-town-in-standing-shoulder-to-shoulder-with-the-neptune-committee-in-praising-the-rsis-application-for-a-special-area-pa/

We don’t know if the Township will re-apply for the exemption, but whether they do or not, the OGHOA should have a policy that the membership supports.

And once the members make a decision, then the voting result should be presented to the Township Committee for appropriate action including hopefully returning the whole town to single family home zoning

Finally, we support the idea that a special meeting should be called for the vote sometime in the next 2 weeks. This issue, among others, will determine the future of Ocean Grove.

 KATHY BRIER   with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks . “There’ll Be Some Changes Made”  from Boardwalk Empire


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This is Tilly, the poster boy for fun in Asbury Park. But who will be responsible for funny business on the OG side??

This is Tilly, the poster boy for funny business in Asbury Park. But who will be responsible for funny business on the OG side of the divide ??

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

On October 14, 2012, Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn commented on Blogfinger regarding a question raised by a Grover about the North End Redevelopment Plan. That Grover asked, “Who are the principals in the WAVE developers organization besides Mr. Gannon?”  WAVE is the co-redeveloper for NERP along with the OG Camp Meeting Association.

Mary Beth Jahn responded on Blogfinger  with this answer: “This is not the answer you want, but there is no legal requirement for the principals of the LLC to be disclosed. It is up to the owner and developer to decide whether to disclose this information as an act of good faith toward the community. The principals of the LLC are not listed in the organization papers in Trenton.

“The Township Committee could require this information to be disclosed to us as a condition of the agreement if we feel it is relevant, particularly if we feel it relates to ensuring whether the developer has the financial means to construct and complete the project on time and on budget, but they also have the right to request that the list of principals be kept confidential.”

Ms. Jahn also had plenty more to say about NERP and she promised to stop that project. More about her later, because she currently is the Mayor—the most powerful (theoretically) among the five person Neptune Twp. Committee.

And, you should recall, that Ms. Jahn was named to be one of the two Committee members on the NERP negotiating team, along with Mayor (at that time) Randy Bishop. Technically she still is a member of that team, but she did not attend a recent important meeting involving the Township and WAVE.

So, with that background, let’s consider what happened two days ago at the Committee meeting of June 22, 2015.   An Ocean Grover, Jack Bredin, waited patiently for the three hour discussion about Shark River dredging sludge to conclude.   Then he went to the microphone for his 5 minute opportunity to speak to the Committee. You might recall that the last time he went to the microphone, he was forcibly ejected by the Mayor for exercising his free speech rights.

This time he asked Mayor Jahn, “Are you still a member of the negotiating committee for NERP?”

She said “Yes.”

Then he asked, “Who are the members of WAVE?”

The Mayor did not answer him, but someone from the OGHOA said, (out of order) “We know because we put in an OPRA request.”   But the OGHOA member did not divulge that information, nor did the Mayor.

Then Jack asked, “Do we have an official map of the town?” He asked that because an official map would be essential to make changes to the NERP, and the Township tax map would not do.  A Committee member then turned to Gene Anthony, the Twp. Attorney, and asked him to look into the map question.

In the end, Jack had to sit down without having two of his three questions answered by the Mayor.

The reason that the Mayor should tell the public about the WAVE principles is that NERP is a public project under the watch of the Committee. Shouldn’t the Committee know whom they are doing business with?   Shouldn’t the public know that? Are there any conflicts of interest going on? Did WAVE post the 10% good faith deposit required in deals like this and did WAVE disclose its finances to prove that it could handle the NERP?

And there are more questions about WAVE: We know that WAVE was chosen by the Camp Meeting Association, but did the Township Committee vette WAVE back in 2007 after the Planning Board approved the “Area in need of re-development” designation?  The Committee should have done so.   Has WAVE ever developed anything?

In addition, you should know that the Planning Board approved this special designation on the grounds that the CMA was incapable of improving the property itself.   And then, a mere two years later, the CMA was named as co-redeveloper for NERP. How did they get so capable so fast? And if they are now capable, why doesn’t the Committee rescind the special designation and toss the ball back to the CMA along with all those questionable zoning changes?

So we ask: Is there any funny business going on? Are there shenanigans? Is there sufficient transparency?  Why won’t the Mayor answer questions put to her by a citizen? Will she attend NERP meetings in the future?

Why is there only one Committeeman attending the NERP discussions?   And where is the Redevelopers Agreement that was promised 7 years ago and then recently by Randy Bishop?

Some more loose ends:

There is a rumor that the NERP, which was recently changed to the NEW NERP, might be changed again to a NEW NEW NERP,  eliminating the hotel and putting in more condo’s. We believe these recent changes to be illegal.

More Duck News: Is the Mayor ducking her responsibility to protect Ocean Grove from questionable development at the North End? After all, the Mayor is supposed to be looking out for the folks.  What happened to her opposition to the NERP  expressed strongly in 2012?  And, as a wise old duck once said, “If it quacks like  a duck, it is a duck!”

Does the Committee want to do the right thing? If so, they should go back and correct all the mistakes that have been made in the process of creating the NERP.

Why has the OG Home Groaners Association failed to share information that they have about WAVE with the public?  Why are they covering up important information?  Why didn’t they share that information with Jack Bredin at the meeting ?

The OGHOA web site reports on their North End Committee’s work.  The most recent minutes say, regarding their  committee chairwoman:” For the CMA to be released as developer, and for WAVE to become the primary developer (with Neptune Township as the new co-developer), WAVE must release both its financial statement and identify its principals. At the most recent May 21st township meeting she asked if WAVE had provided that necessary information and she was told they had not, and no one had knowledge of when such information would be provided.”

These OGHOA minutes do not mention the WAVE information claimed above.

Do you believe that the Township  Committee does not know who WAVE is? They act like they don’t, but is it possible, after all these years, that they still don’t know?  And, if they do know, then why don’t they share the information with the public?

ZERO MOSTEL:  From “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

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Condolandia  at the OG North End  (As seen from Surf Ave.)  Blogfinger photo. March, 2015.

Condolandia at the OG North End (As seen from Surf Ave.) Blogfinger photo. March, 2015.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

For years the North End of Ocean Grove remained undeveloped by the OG Camp Meeting Association, the owners of the property. The land there was zoned for single family homes, and that seemed to be appropriate considering the Master Plan’s sympathetic attitude regarding the historic district.

In 2007, the Neptune Township Planning Board agreed that the Township should establish a “zone in need of redevelopment” at the North End, but they did not argue for a change in zoning.  The Township then ordered a redevelopment plan to be drawn up.

It was the Township Committee which decided that the existing zoning should be changed to accommodate the new North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) which would permit multiple uses for those 5+ acres including condominiums, single family homes, a hotel, commercial components and an underground parking garage.

Overriding the existing single family zoning was allowed under state law* when a “zone in need of redevelopment” has been declared. The goal of such zones is to bring back portions of New Jersey cities and towns which were considered to be so blighted that only government could restore those areas for the good of the city/town.

What did the Neptune Township Planning Board find that would justify the new designation? If you read the NERP plan, you will see a tortuous explanation to justify the new zone as something good for the town, with advantages outweighing disadvantages.

Whatever the rationalizations were, they led to a plan (NERP) that was turned into Neptune law in 2008 and which was supported by the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association, the Historic Preservation Commission and the Camp Meeting Association.

Once that happened, it was supposed to set in motion a sequence of events beginning with the formal choice of a redeveloper by the governing body (Neptune Committee.) That redeveloper was to sign a contract which detailed his obligations. We don’t know if such a contract actually exists.

We know that the redevelopers were chosen, not by the Township, but by the CMA who owns the property. The redevelopers who were named in 2008 consisted of the CMA itself and a group called “WAVE.” The Gannon company has been revealed as part of WAVE, but no other names have been disclosed.

We plan to post a series of articles on how this plan evolved, and the next one will be a review of what happened when the Township approved the redevelopers at a Committee meeting in June, 2008.

Our purpose is to inform the citizens of Ocean Grove as to what happened to bring us to 2015 and to figure out exactly where we stand now.

And then maybe some way can be found to block the commercialization of the North End.

We will also take a look at the Master Plan to see how it compares to the NERP.

By way of introduction, here is a quote from the Neptune Township Master Plan of 2011 regarding Ocean Grove–the “historic district:”

Goal: “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.”

*   HillWallak.com notes on NJ redevelopment law:     “As part of the plan, the municipality has the power to enact a redevelopment ordinance which can override the existing zoning for the area.”

KATHY BRIER.   This song is dedicated to the OG Home Groaners Association that wanted the NERP in 2008, and now they say otherwise. What a shame they didn’t have the courage to oppose this plan when they had a chance to mobilize the citizens of OG and stand strong.

From Boardwalk Empire, HBO hit series.  Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks won a Grammy for the soundtrack.


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