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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove issues’ Category

This is the view of the Park View Inn facing Lake Avenue and Wesley Lake  before it was demolished. Note how narrow that property is. The Warrington is to the right.  The La Pierre condos are on the left.   Blogfinger photo. 2016. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.

After the Park View Inn was demolished in the summer of 2016, Blogfinger wrote some articles regarding the fate of that property. The Planning Board approved a subdivision that would allow the site to be turned into 4 lots for single family homes.  But Blogfinger questioned the legality of that subdivision, because the 2 lots on Lake Avenue would not face any street—Lake Avenue is not a street.

On the other hand, after years of trying to get rid of that derelict property, it was accomplished, and the neighbors were thrilled. They did not question the legality of what occurred next.

Here is a link to our last post on that subject:

Is the Park View Inn subdivision legal?

Now, one of the 4 houses has been built, at #21 Seaview Avenue, and the developer has the other 3 properties, including #18 and #20 Lake Avenue and #23 Seaview Avenue up for sale.   The homes will cost over $ 1 million. They will have 5-6 bedrooms and  3-4 bathrooms.  They are 2 1/2 to 3  stories high and they will have views of Wesley Lake and the Ocean.  The subdivision, which is one block to the beach is called “Seaview by the Lake.”

One house on this subdivision is built (#21 Seaview Ave.) Note how narrow it is with 5 bedrooms. The lot is 25 x 72.  (1,800 ft2.) The Warrington foundation is in the foreground. Paul Goldfinger photo Dec. 2017. ©

The marketing by realtors is of interest, because it is revealing the attitude of this developer toward Ocean Grove.  And will this sort of promotion become the norm?   We have been worried that the community of Ocean Grove will be left behind to collect sand in its shorts as the developers promote the town of OG as basically a gateway to Asbury and other areas, as they turn out very expensive homes as is the norm now in Asbury Park.

The Internet promotion of these 4 homes refers to “landmarks” that are accessible, and this list includes only one in OG—the beach. The rest of the list includes sites in Asbury Park, Belmar, Pt. Pleasant Beach, Long Branch, and Spring Lake beach. There is no mention of Ocean Grove’s historic nature or its fabulous places to visit—not even the Great Auditorium is featured.  And there is no mention of the community of Ocean Grove, its life styles, its diversity, or its friendly and neighborly porch culture.

In addition, there is no talk about parking. As with other projects in town, the Township allows defiance of State mandated regulations, so these 4 houses provide no off-street parking—just further congestion at that North End part of town.  And who knows what will happen at the Warrington site?

THE HEAD AND THE HEART:  “Rivers and Roads.”

“A year from now we’ll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they’re going to better places
But our friends will be gone away”

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Main Avenue. Starting from far left:  Pet Boutique, April Cornell, DJ’s Market, and  DJ’s Delights  (a restaurant.)  Blogfinger photo. Dec 4, 2017

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

A few weeks ago we heard that the Pet Boutique on Main Avenue would close, but that is all the facts which were then available. But now, some reliable sources have provided more information about three adjacent stores which will close.

The  common thread for all these stores has to do with the landlord who owns #60 Main Avenue, the location of all three businesses: Pet Boutique, April Cornell, and DJ’s Market (groceries.)

Evidently the rents are being raised   “significantly.” In addition, some months ago, there was flooding in the building damaging the ceilings of these shops, resulting in temporary interior  framing being installed to prevent collapse.  And the owner is evidently expecting the tenants to help pay for repairs.

The owner of #60 Main is Sackman Enterprises, aka Linus Holding Co. This is an established real estate company based in NYC and surrounding states including 6 properties in Asbury Park

One year ago we wrote about the owner’s plans for this building. The links are below:

Main Avenue project June 2016

 

58-60 Main Avenue plans 2016 BF post

 

In the case of the Pet Boutique,”there are some other elements including the desire of the shop owner to retire. That store  will close on Dec. 31 and it will be missed by the pet owners in town.

DJ,s will close its grocery store, but the adjacent DJ,s restaurant on the corner  (pizza, sandwiches, etc.) will stay open.

April Cornell, probably the most famous and unique shop in town, is reluctantly planning to leave the Grove and move to larger quarters in Spring Lake. Evidently they were unable to find a suitable replacement location in town.

The manager of April Cornell asked that we make it clear that the business is not closing—-just changing its location, and that won’t happen until April, 2018.

The new white building at #50-54 Main Avenue may not have any store vacancies.   We do know that a high-end pizza business will open there next year, but right now there is a perfume store and a Christmas shop.  And the Comfort Zone has temporary quarters in that  building pending renovation of their space eastward down the block.

The Emporium’s Beach shop is currently closed pending renovations.

There is a for sale sign outside “Favorite Things,” but they are open for business.

We have reported in the past on the theme of the Main Avenue shops:  Are they to be for tourists or for residents?  Some businesses serve both constituencies.  We have already lost a doctor, a pharmacy, a barber shop, a dry cleaners/tailors, a fine grocery store, a news stand, a flower shop, a toy store, a newspaper printing shop, a butcher shop, a popular restaurant (Moonstruck), and a video store.

We have had increased parking and tourist congestion downtown as well as in other parts of the Grove, and that speaks to the fundamental question of what kind of town will we have here?  What is the town’s future and what will happen to its historic theme?

Who will win:  residents who make this their home or the commercial interests?

Here is a link discussing the business community on Main Avenue:

 

BERNADETTE PETERS AND MANDY PATINKIN   from Sunday in the Park with George  by Stephen Sondheim:

“Stop worrying if your vision
Is new
Let others make that decision-
They usually do
You keep moving on…”

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l1015080

Ocean Grove beach: the number one asset affecting home prices, but will future home sales rise as they should?   Recent Asbury valuations have risen nearly 3 times as high as OG. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

On August 16, 2017, Rev. John DiGiamberardino (OGCMA) issued a statement about permit parking.  And in that statement, besides threatening to sue the Township over parking permits, he said,   “I believe the plan also will negatively affect property values.”

That provoked a local realtor, “Susan,” to say,    “As a full-time realtor for more than two decades, I can tell you that resident permit parking will help, not hurt, home sales and thus,values. It is precisely the gamble of whether or not a person will be able to find a place to park that dissuades people from buying in Ocean Grove.

“On weekends, they know it’s a losing proposition. It’s the #1 deterrent for OG sales and rentals, in my experience. People don’t want to deal with it, they just buy elsewhere.”

Now, the CMA remains in firm opposition to the permit plan, and I am interested in pursuing the topic of what factors influence the selling prices of our homes in the Grove.

Of course, we know the usual suspects that are mentioned including location, comps, the economy,  interest rates, and others.  But since we are in the Grove, we also know that our town is unique and has beautiful historic architecture. We know that our porch culture,  neighborliness , quality of life and diversity—including the fact that we have a vibrant gay community here—- are all positives in the marketplace.  The proximity to an erupting  Asbury Park is a mixed bag for OG buyers.

But let’s consider the negatives that potentially drag down our home values, and this is not necessarily a judgement of those factors, but simply an analysis of what might pull our home valuations in the wrong direction—this is fact-based economics:

a.    We have a dominant religious presence in the Grove, and that will turn off some buyers, and those buyers are increasingly secular.   And if potential buyers dig deep, they will see that the CMA can sometimes be quite arrogant—as in the recent threats to sue and the recent unpredictable acceleration of some lease fees.

Then add on the CMA fight against permit parking, a policy  which buyers would  likely support, and their concerns might multiply.

b.   Potential buyers are turned off by the chaotic parking  and congestion situation.   How many buyers will love the idea that our town has monster events that bring thousands of tourists to town?  Year round congestion in the Grove is becoming progressively worse to the detriment of residents and their quality of life.

I know two couples, each living here for many years,  who sold their homes because they had become exasperated by the constant battle to find parking and constant bumping into tourists—something that is becoming year round.

c.  We have shopping in town, but most of it is for tourists. Home buyers  like the idea of a town with shopping, but it would be quality of life shopping, not T shirts and gifts.

d. Quality of schools is a huge factor for some home buyers. The Neptune test scores would be a turnoff.

e.  Access to parking.  Home buyers will reject a house without a garage or even a driveway.  But maybe they would be tempted if the current trend towards increasing parking distress were turned around. But developers, business people, Neptune Township and the CMA have shown no interest in finding solutions to the issues raised by homeowners. And I’m not convinced that the Committee is sincere about permit parking.

f.  Supply and demand.  It is our understanding that the high taxes here are discouraging young families, senior citizens and middle class buyers. Those high taxes for Grovers are out of proportion to the services which we receive.

And if the negativity and indifference  towards residents  continues on the part of Neptune Township, it will discourage investors in buying homes here.

And that negativity includes disinterest in our history and our quality of life. We wonder if the Township is intentially trying to weaken the Historic Preservation Commission and even wanting to rid the “historic district”  of its historic designations.

There is no organization in town that represents residents. Unless you pay money and join  you cannot vote at the HOA, and renters are excluded.   The HOA is an ineffective institution here in terms of quality of life for all residents.

If the town wants home values to go up, it should become a historic, culturally rich, genuine community where residents are the top priority and where an activist group stands up for the people.

g.   Other negative factors include dumping dirty water into our lakes, crime/drugs around the corner,  developers who want to increase congestion without providing parking,  a Township Committee which promotes a “cash cow” culture towards the Grove including ignoring our master plan and favoring zoning changes that will pull the town away from being a single family residential community.

For those of you homeowners who are indifferent to social, political, environmental, and cultural issues in town, maybe you would reconsider if you were to think about your home valuations.  And you could begin by supporting the permit parking plan.

 

KIP MOORE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The NTPD traffic patrol vehicle paused by this car, checked out the parking, and drove off without issuing a ticket. Blogfinger photo. 9/25/17. ©

We have complained before  about inconsistent law enforcement in the Grove, for example regarding parking, posting notices, and checking for yard sale licenses.  The broken windows theory of law enforcement emphasizes the need to enforce small infractions in order to prevent larger ones.  But  inconsistent enforcement breeds uncertainty, indifference, and resentment among the populace  (who have torches and pitchforks.)

For example, people have to wonder if they should take the time and money to go to town hall for their yard sale permit. Or whether to worry if they park, as in this example, with their car butt overhanging the yellow line—definitely a violation.   Such inconsistency results in cynicism about law enforcement.

These examples may seem relatively unimportant, and they are, and  if someone posts a flier  on a telephone poll , I don’t care.  In fact I liked that old fashioned way of communicating here in town.   But if the ordinance is ignored for some, but not others  (as with the tacky pinkification of our telephone polls for an entire month,) then the system of equal justice under the law has broken down.   And, by the way, the phrase “equal justice under the law” is etched into the stone above the front doors of the Supreme Court.

If we can’t have equal justice in enforcing small ordinances, then those laws should be removed.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

ELVIS COSTELLO     “Let’s Misbehave”

“We’re all alone, no chaperone
Can get our number
The world’s in slumber–let’s misbehave!”

 

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A perfect potential Ocean Groovy Airbnb rental–all the charm of our special town. Blogfinger photo. ©  (This is not actually an Airbnb rental; just an illustration)

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In a recent “just wondering” segment, we began to consider the facts surrounding the new rental phenomenon where people in town can turn their homes into impromptu hotels, making fast money by renting living spaces for short visits—even just one night, but usually defined as less than 30 days.

Or course, there have been rentals, especially summertime, in Ocean Grove, going back to the town’s founding when there was a huge religious tourism industry along with many rooming houses and hotels.

But now, all over the world, homeowners are accepting tenants who connect with others on the Internet—Airbnb has an app.

According to one Grover*, this has become a problem because these Airbnbers ride into town and expect hotel amenities.  They don’t know our rules and customs and they bring parties with them.

But, regarding the rules of the road, Neptune Township has control, and I have spoken to Code Enforcement this morning.

The fact is that Airbnb rentals in Ocean Grove are  no different than any other short term rentals in town.

You may not rent a room.  You may rent an apartment or a house, but with each rental, a CI  (Certificate of Inspection) is required.  If you are doing rapid turnovers, such as one night at at a time, you must renew the CI with each rental.

—-*Airbnb on Blogfinger August 10 post

JOE WILLIAMS imagining a rental in quaint OG:

 

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These Grovers are winners. OG taxpayers should fight to be winners also. Paul Goldfinger ©  OG lifeguards who won their tournament. c.2014.  Click image to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At the present time, there are no details that would describe exactly what such a permit plan might look like in this town, so what we are actually polling about has to do with a concept not a specific parking plan.

Debating specific features of a plan now is a waste of time and a distraction. The Township is trying to cut this off by saying that specifics and a referendum are needed but they don’t really want anything to happen.   They don’t want us to understand the real substance of the situation.

A vote “yes” sends a message to Neptune Township that we, the tax paying homeowners in Ocean Grove, deserve your attention and special consideration when it comes to limited public resources such as parking on the streets of Ocean Grove.

We have a Township government which collects a substantial amount of tax money from each homeowner every quarter. A significant number of parking spaces in town are occupied by non-residents on average. It becomes even more crowded by outsiders when the circus is in town. But those visitors pay nothing. So the homeowners must be given special recognition in terms of Township policies.

The Neptune government has made it clear that they have no interest in looking out for the homeowners/residents of this town. They don’t care about the Master Plan, the lifestyles of residents, the history of this “historic district,” the parking anguish of residents, or pretty much about anything that we care about.

For purposes of discussion we should remember that renters are residents, but homeowners pay the taxes. Ideally, actual residents, including renters and homeowners, should benefit from a new system because they are more important than tourists. But if push comes to shove, taxpayers should be top dogs. But renters have no chance at any benefits if they vote “no.”

The Committee plays up to other parts of town, such as Midtown—to the people whose votes will re-elect them time and time again. The only segment of OG citizenry which the Township favors is the Camp Meeting Association, and most of their trustees do not live in the Grove, and how much of their property is tax exempt?    And they don’t even pay taxes on the land which they say they own.  We do!

When we consider the behavior of Neptune Township governance, forget what they say at public meetings. Instead study what they do. For them actions (ie inactions) do speak louder than words.

So this parking permit question really represents the idea that our elected officials should give the taxpayers an edge when it comes to policy. Until now , they have done whatever they please, including ignoring the parking issue and ignoring OG taxpayers/residents.

It is not unreasonable for homeowners to want a new precedent where the Township does give an edge to tax payers. There is nothing untoward about their making life easier for taxpayers/residents in this town, because we put up money to keep the Township going.  No tourist gives NT   money.

It’s time for the Neptune government to respond to this principal, and the demand for permit parking is the tangible symbol of a change which is long overdue.

So this Blogfinger poll represents a message to our non-representative elected officials who will begin to hear about this principle through our vote. That is why all homeowners and residents should vote “yes.”

This is really about telling them that attention must be paid to us. If you choose “no” then you tell them that their dismissive behavior towards us is OK.

As a bonus, hopefully we will see them recognize their obligation to us and come up with a plan that will show some favoritism to tax payers. And the only way that we can be identified by those indifferent  officials who sit up on that dais is by the issuance of permits.

Let’s not argue now about how many permits, who gets them, etc. Let’s get an advantage in the marketplace of ideas in our town.

I will tell you about how I feel regarding the number of permits later, after the Township takes a real first step, encouraged by our vote in the poll.  There is room for negotiation if only they will pay meaningful attention to us. The referendum is useless and is just subterfuge for them to move on and leave us no where.

From the soundtrack of the film Chef.  It’s about finding an idea and running with  it.

“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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Ocean Grove beach. Sunday, July 2, 2017, 3:45 pm. Blogfinger photo. ©

TO THE EDITOR:

Individuals in charge of opening the OG  beach (primarily on Sundays) need to be given some type of plan as to what to do or how to approach the Bradley Beach goers who pay for the Bradley Beach side but then walk over and set up on Ocean Grove.    I have witnessed this happen on several occasions.

I was just there yesterday and it was ridiculous, the poor kid who was on duty at the time and making sure he opened up at 12:30  was being attacked for not saying or doing anything to the people sneaking over, meantime all the individuals who paid to get in and were patiently waiting for 12:30  had to stand by and watch others set up and take up space we paid for.

Some of the Ocean Grove payers actually walked over and paid the fee to Bradley beach and stated they wouldn’t come back to Ocean Grove.  Those are customers OG is losing out on. A plan needs to be put in place to avoid this from happening again.

FRUSTRATED AT THE BEACH

July, 2017

JESSICA MOLASKEY:  Guess where she is.

 

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Some Grovers are investing huge sums to create authentic Victorian restorations like this gorgeous newly redone Main Avenue showplace, but that alone does not define us.  Paul Goldfinger photo May 2, 2017.

 

Another ambitious Victorian restoration. Note the original siding being brought back to life at great expense . Blogfinger photo © Ocean Grove at  Main Avenue.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In 2017, Ocean Grove is a small town without a clear sense of identity.  It has a local government that treats us like an appendage to be milked, but otherwise there is no love emanating from Neptune Township. We may be part of Neptune officially, but we are clearly NOT part of Neptune in our hearts.  Most towns have a continuous thread of history that has resulted in a strong sense of identity, but not Ocean Grove.

Citizens say that they “love” the town, but the definition of that love remains undefined.   They just like being here.  Is the Grove  just a collection of old houses interspersed in another cozy shore town?   Or  maybe it is the perception of the town as a place with an unusual and special  culture that attracts people to live here?  Many  like the urban feel, the friendly neighborhoods, the comfortable  sidewalks for walking, the porch culture, and the magic of summer evenings on the boards or fun at the beach.  And for some it is the closest nicest shore town to NYC.

Those who say they “love the town”  often have little knowledge of the town’s history as a religious enclave.  They have no interest in it as a historic place recognized by State and Federal historic registries.  So, to what extent is OG an authentic and serious historic district—a very special place for that reason?

A related question is whether this town was conceived as a tourist attraction?  The answer to that is an emphatic no.  Sure, in the late 1800’s, religious tourists came here in droves, mostly by train, and that identity persists to a much lesser extent today,  but it is no longer central to life in Ocean Grove.

Thirty years ago, the town was not a tourist place to have a burger, buy a T shirt, take a tour, go to a massive craft show on the Pathway, or close down Main Avenue to sell Thai food or sell shlocky art or display old British cars .   Instead the downtown had a serious grocery/butcher shop, several doctor’s offices, a video store,a flower shop, a cafeteria, a newsstand, a drug store, a barber shop,  a fishing club, a town pool, and a few fire houses.  In other words it was a town that was largely for the residents. So many towns at the shore are not for tourists, for example Atlantic Highlands, Avon-by-the Sea,  Spring Lake, Deal, Avalon, and Allenhurst.

But now Ocean Grove has become  a mish-mash—a combination of all of the above; but for those who actually  live here  (year round or part-time), or want to live here, we need to define our situation more clearly: what is the heart and soul of this town?  Or maybe those attributes don’t even exist.

Elected officials do not really represent the Grove’s citizens.  The Neptunite governing operation is like a secret foreign occupying power that has undercover agents and contacts who live among us, but has underlying agendas based upon self interest.

A local government is supposed to represent the people and try to make their lives better, but our situation  now is the opposite.

The Camp Meeting Association ran the town for over 140 years.  During that time, until 1980, they had reason to believe that the unique religious culture which prevailed till then, as odd as it was in America, would last  forever.  They certainly did not envision the town becoming a historic site.  They had no problem letting many of the early houses deteriorate. And it is unclear if stores during those years sold T shirts, surf boards, jewelry or pizza.

But when OG was handed over to Neptune Township in 1980, and with the CMA giving up governance and most blue laws,  it was like a child who lost his parents and was given to someone for foster care—for money.

The town, which was becoming quite diverse by 1980, was without a clear sense of who or what it was, and today, what is its character and purpose?

The result is a place with a variety of power centers, all self interested,  and largely propelled by an active real-estate market;  and all without the will to find a framework, common identity, and direction for the town as a whole  So the town of Ocean Grove, lacking leadership and a sense of community,  is adrift and thus what goes on here is helter-skelter and out of focus.  That is why no progress is made in solidifying the town as a real place with its own sense of being.  If it weren’t for the homeowners who have brought to life historic homes that had been on life-support, this would be a pretty disheveled and much less desirable place.

The vision of an authentic historic town, defined by its historic designations, is currently fraudulent because most citizens don’t give a rat’s tail about its history. Even the “Historic Preservation Commission” has gone dark and has seemingly slipped into the shadows, never to be trusted again.  It is rare to find a historical event here such as re-enactments, poetry readings, vintage music concerts, classical street musicians, jazz, and educational programs about the town’s history for those who actually live here.  Instead we shut down Main Avenue for car shows and we crowd the town with huge numbers of strangers (ie tourists)  to have giant retail events of no value to the town itself while the residents struggle to find a parking place and to share our streets with the free parkers heading to Asbury.

The Ocean Grove Homeowners Association has no idea what it should be doing, and its leadership has no idea what its mandate is. It is not only essentially worthless in terms of bringing this town together and forward, but it has actually become a force working against the people—a subversive presence.

Jack Bredin is correct that the only workable solution is to become our own town again  (it actually happened for one year in 1925, but the church vs state  dilemma caused it to collapse on itself.) Perhaps it is possible once again, but not in a place where the citizens are apathetic and don’t seem to care about a vision for the town.

So  Ocean Grove, despite some wonderful attributes, is poorly defined, and the citizens are seemingly satisfied to ride the waves, sleep on the beach and enjoy being here, much like so many other Jersey Shore towns, although many of those towns actually have their acts together and know who they are or what they want to be.

Bradley Beach , our neighbor to the south, which lacks the history that we have, knows what it is.   Go there to experience a true Jersey Shore town.  Forget the architecture, just view it as a fine place to enjoy the shore.   Take a deep breath and smell the ocean.  Go on Main Street on a summer night and have some Thai food or terrific Italian delicacies.  Sit outside at a real  coffee shop and watch the young people walking by or heading towards the boardwalk.  Bradley Beach has a heart and soul which goes all the way back to its founding. It knows what is, and that’s a good thing.

And here’s a song for the kids in town, especially teen agers who breathe life into our town no longer  known as “Ocean Grave:”

THE CRESTS:

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“Low Tide at Wesley Lake”  Blogfinger photo.©

Water  near the retaining wall by Founders’ Park in OG. Blogfinger  (Stephen Goldfinger)  photo. 12/7/16 © Click it and then take a deep breath. Is it any wonder that not a single bird was in sight?

Wesley Lake, west end. March 28, 2017. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge. Photograph from the muckrakers at Blogfinger–Paul Goldfinger.© March, 2017.

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

Blogfinger has posted a variety of articles about Wesley Lake pollution. Today we feature yet another piece on that subject which contains some new elements which we have not addressed before.

Q:  The Lenape Indians used Wesley Lake as a source of food.  Now the Lake is reserved for recreation and conservation—-or is it?

A:  According to the Neptune township Tax Map (effective Jan. 1, 2015) Wesley Lake is now a municipal facility to be used to treat dirty street-water runoff. The Lake’s name has been changed to ” Wesley Detention/Retention  Basin” under the supervision of the Departments of Public Works.

Q: Who is responsible for this?

A:  It starts with the Neptune Township Committee along with the Mayor and Council of Asbury Park.   The  two governing bodies are in  charge, so  the buck stops with them, or in this case, the pollution starts and stops with them.    Officials from both towns took an oath  that would include managing the welfare of the Lake for recreational use.  It should be noted that most of the dirty street-water runoff comes from AP.

Q: How did this happen?

A:  It happened when the mayors of both Neptune and AP took their charters and hung them on the developers’ walls.

Q:  Who can correct this plethora of problems involving the Lake’s rehabilitation and restoration?

A: The Wesley Lake Commission. Or can they?  Jack attended a meeting of the Commission on May 16, 2017, and suggested that they should not allow street-water runoff to enter the Lake because that is causing the Lake to be polluted. And the streets are not part of the Lake’s natural watershed.

Discussion:

A member of the Wesley Lake Commission representing Neptune’s DPW  (Dept. of Public Works) said, “The streets are in the ‘watershed area,’  and in New Jersey you are permitted by the Dept. of Environmental Protection to allow street water runoff to drain into a lake.”

But the “watershed area” includes all the land that drains into the lake, and by that definition, it does includes street run-off.  But there is a semantic issue here.  He would be correct if the streets were a part of the Lake’s “natural watershed” and not just “in the watershed area.”    The”natural water-shed area”  is desirable, but dirty street water is not part of that.

So his argument boils down to “let’s keep polluting the Lake illegally.”

You might have noticed the Rainwater Garden near the train station in Asbury Park.  That is an example of a desirable “natural” water-shed area where the rain is purified by the soil and plantings and then the clean water drains into the lake.

And if the name change from Wesley Lake to “Wesley Detention/Retention Basin” had been done legally by Resolution of the Neptune Committee with permission from the New Jersey DEP Green Acres Program,  then the streets would become “the watershed” for a detention/retention basin, but there was no such Resolution or Green Acres permission.  Note that a detention/retention basin is an actual structural facility to clean the water draining into the Lake. So far all we have is a name change on the Neptune Tax Map.  We don’t even have a map that shows the Lake’s water-shed. And we don’t know where A. Park stands on this, but we can guess.

So what’s in a name?–in this case, nothing.

Another member of the Commission said, “The condition of Wesley Lake is the same now as it has been for the last 10,000 years, and the condition of the Lake’s mud is a naturally occurring condition found in every lake.”

We think the dead fish never got the professor’s message.  And, we have to remind the professor, that 10,000 years ago they were first brewing beer in Mesopotamia, but there are no records of what Wesley Lake looked like then.  We barely know about it from records of 1869. We do know that it was much different than it is now—then it was a full blown estuary.

And don’t forget, the water may look or test clear sometimes, but what toxins are trapped in the mud? They don’t test the mud, only the water, and how often do they test the water?

We may be at a crossroads, but we still have the choice of which road to take, before it is too late:

1. “The road to recovery:”  Stopping the dirty street water from entering the Lake would be the first step in the Lake’s road to recovery
2. “The road to “Condo-City:”  This road would be a fantasy by certain factions in Ocean Grove who might see the Lake as a dead-end street where the polluted silt (ie mud)  builds up to a point where dredging and disposing of all that polluted mud becomes economically unfeasible.
And that leads to a scripted conclusion that it would be more cost effective to “cap” the mud, fill in the Lake, and build some modern, up-to-date condominiums.  It could happen!

LEANN RIMES:

 

 

 

 

 

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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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