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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Home Owners Association’ Category

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.”

Really?

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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OGCMA PRESS RELEASE:

Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OCGMA) Grants Development Rights To Ocean Grove North End Development LLC (OGNED) to Develop North End Ocean-Front Site

“(Thursday April 26, 2018)  The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) has announced that it has signed an “Options Agreement” with the Ocean Grove North End Development LLC (OGNED) to allow OGNED to develop the land parcel between Wesley Lake and Spray Ave; the boardwalk and Beach Avenue.  This is the site of the former North End Hotel, which burned down in 1974.  The parcel has laid fallow for over 40 years, and has been an eyesore to the residents of Ocean Grove.

“In 2005, OGCMA engaged a developer to create a landmark hotel and residential project to address the underdeveloped beachfront real estate. After discussion with the residents of Ocean Grove and the Township of Neptune, OGCMA significantly redesigned the requirements for the redevelopment.  The originally planned housing density was scaled back.  The redevelopment lowered the number of condominiums by well over 50% and added ten single family homes.  The revised plan contains a 40 room “boutique hotel”. The plan includes a parking garage which will have enough spaces for the residents and hotel guests.

“We are delighted that OGNED has stepped forward with a sensible development plan that will respect the historical and architectural elements of our community,” said Michael Badger, President of OGCMA.

“More detailed planning and construction plans will be subject to township building regulations, when they are brought forward.

“After lengthy negations with OGNED, the Trustees of OGCMA unanimously approved the Options Agreement,” said OGCMA President Michael Badger.  “OGNED will have a 99-year land lease to develop the property, in exchange for which the community will see a beach-front hotel, aesthetically new housing designed to respect Ocean Grove’s Victorian architecture, and some boardwalk retail shops. The maps of Ocean Grove from the 1880’s contained a plan for the North End hotel and it will be excellent to have the founders’ vision fulfilled again,” Badger added. “

Editor’s Note:   This surprise announcement raises all sorts of questions including whether this is still a “redevelopment area” with the zoning that is imposed by such a designation.  Blogfinger will be looking closely at this announcement.

And where is the OGHOA on this topic?  Were they complicit or were they left in the dark?

And finally, where is the Township Committee on this?  If Neptune has been participating in creating this new plan, why haven’t they represented the citizens of the Grove by mentioning this at their public meetings?  Will they make a statement now?  Will they pass a resolution?

Blogfinger spoke to the Mayor two days ago about a variety of public issues, and he said nothing about this.

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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.

DINAH WASHINGTON:

 

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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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# 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 parking, 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:

SPANKY AND OUR GANG:

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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?

— FRAN HOPKINS

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

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

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

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

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, 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.

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger     Jack Bredin, Researcher.

 

KARRIN ALLLYSON

 

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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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