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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove issues’ Category

Red flag in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Paul Goldfinger photograph. August 31, 2018.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

Thank goodness for the Qoaster.  They go to a meeting and copy everything that is said.  They are repeaters, not reporters.*  But to their credit, they provide the public with detailed notes.  At the meeting, there were elected officials at State, County and Township levels.  And, what might we expect from such an array of public servants?  The answer is hot-air and nonsense. Let’s use those Quoaster Quotes to demonstrate why the Ocean Grove infrastructure that is essential for a community to thrive is rotting as we speak.

Freeholder Lillian Burry who has been on the job for 13 years was present for the free breakfast.     She said, “A town like Ocean Grove is very important to Monmouth County—the community is conscious of its roots. You know where you’ve been.”  Does she get paid for this?   She also “cited the ongoing Ocean Grove parking situation as one that needs to have some solutions with out-of-the-box thinking.”  Why didn’t we think of that?

Our old friend Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, ordinarily a fine fellow and an excellent official, tripped over his historical reference when he praised the late Kathy Arlt for “bringing the issue of derelict housing to the forefront in Ocean Grove.”  However, with all due respect to her, the person who gave birth to this issue in the Grove  was a Blogfinger editor, Charles Layton.  His superb writing on the subject produced results before anyone else, including the HOA, got involved.

Eventually, after leaving Blogfinger,  he took on the new project, for them,  at the HOA, and Ms. Arlt took over only after Charles moved away.  Charles is now living in Philadelphia and he needs to get some credit.

Neptune  Mayor Nicholas Williams “spoke of redevelopment and that Neptune has put together a team ‘second to none’ to accomplish this goal.”

Way to go Mayor.  Your dream team has spent 10 years with the North End redevelopment and has come up empty.

And how about those secret negotiations that you have been involved with regarding the NERP?  Funny but you didn’t mention those suspicious non-transparent activities.  Are you representing the public’s interest at those sessions?   You say that you are not getting what you want.  Tell us what you want.  Don’t you want to defend the charge of “perception of impropriety?”

None of this was challenged by the Groaners who, it seems, were more interested in breakfast.

And, when Williams was asked about parking, he said, “The issue has been put on hold temporarily.”

And even more interesting is when Williams was asked about parking meters in town.  He said that “the Township was stuck in the middle.”  He is referring to the fact that the CMA owns the land in the Grove thus, according to him, nullifying the ability of the Township to do something substantial for the residents. Really Mayor?–you are “stuck” and unable to help your constituents and pursue a solution?

So when Neptune and the CMA were fighting for FEMA money after Sandy, they had no trouble saying that the CMA-owned Boardwalk was a public thoroughfare, but when it comes to helping residents with parking issues, they turn their back on the  Groverian public.

But the Mayor does help the public in Neptune proper, and don’t we all pay the same tax rates?   Does the Mayor say “no” to the Neptuners?   Are we the public or are we not, and weren’t you elected to work for the public?   What a feeble excuse—-“stuck” because of the Camp Meeting Association.

And, along the same lines, no special police were hired for security on the Boardwalk this summer because the CMA couldn’t afford it, and the Township said that it couldn’t help because “the CMA owns the boardwalk.”  So when the public needs something in the Grove, like police protection, the Township can walk away because the CMA owns the land, but when the Township wants money, they don’t ask the CMA for it—they take it from the public.

The critical mystery questions of how the Township, the CMA and the public interact in areas such as taxes and the public good must be unraveled in the courts—Where are the Groaners and their legal fund?  These issues have been ignored for too long while special interests such as the CMA, the Township Committee and boards, and developers make their own rules.

Williams praised the new Senior Center Director who will bring in “new ideas.”  Where will that old hand–Bishop–find new ideas?  Where were those ideas when he was the Mayor?

Finally, in a rare moment of OGHOA sanity, the Vice President Richard Williams said “he believes Ocean Grove is viewed as merely a ‘cash cow’ for Neptune by elected officials. The 25% raise in property taxes this year was noted.”

So was the air hotter than the coffee at this ridiculous Groaner meeting?   Who stood up and raised hell on behalf of the citizens?  No one did. This Groaner breakfast served no useful purpose.

The infrastructure to help the residents of Ocean Grove is practically nonexistent.   We have a collection of self interested factions in town such as the Chamber of Commerce, OGU, HPC, HOA, developers, Neptune politicians, non-elected officials, realtors, and the CMA . They all will continue pursuing their own goals, and the future of the town will remain unclear. It will continue to be a popular place but the vision of something much better seems to be losing ground after a period of hope for the future.

 

*Wise saying by Jack Bredin who knows the difference between a real newspaper and a $.50 per copy copy machine.

 

DOROTHY DANDRIDGE:

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Stop the abuse of Ocean Grove by the Neptuners. We need our own representative on the Township Committee. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.   Or, secede!

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.

On August 5  (see link) we posted an article regarding whether Neptune Township should follow Asbury’s lead and consider a ward system so that Ocean Grove could have its own ward representative on the Township Committee.  No one from Ocean Grove  commented to say that they agreed with that proposition.

? ward election system in Neptune

But in Asbury, 409 signatures were obtained on a petition to have the question placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.   The petition effort was implemented by the “Committee for a More Equitable Asbury Park.”

According to the Coaster, the idea would divide AP into three wards  “with seats for a candidate from each ward, the mayor’s seat, and one candidate at large, keeping the number of elected officials at five  (the same number as Neptune.)

How come we don’t have a “Committee for a More Equitable Neptune Township?”   Why don’t the Groaners  stand up for the OG citizens?

VALERIE MASTERSON from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado   “So Please You Sir, We Much Regret”  from the film Quartet.

To the Neptune Mayor:

“So please you, Sir, we much regret
If we have failed in etiquette
Towards a man of rank so high —
We shall know better by and by”

 

 

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Can Ocean Grove retain its own unique historical perspective?  This musician is warming up for the OG Summer Band weekly concert on the boardwalk. 2009 Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.net

In a recent Blogfinger opinion piece, we said, “Will we be left in the dustbin of history as a place with stifling crowding, insoluble  parking concerns, a has-been Victorian success story,  condos all over town,  a pseudo-Asbury  at the North End, self-interested ‘community’ organizations, wealthy  2nd homers instead of year-round residents, and a town devoid of community—– known for no art, culture, schools, or values of its own?”

“All that will be left to focus on will be the Camp Meeting Association with its specific mission and lifestyle—worthy as part of the community, but less impressive all by itself.”

And will Ocean Grove become a place with no life to it in the winter and few downtown shops that cater to the residents?

Is it possible that the original 1970’s vision of a historic town, as expressed in the Master Plan, will eventually evaporate leaving just another shore town with rising real estate prices, elitist demographics,  outrageous taxes, and fancy seasonal shops in our downtown?

An article in yesterday’s New York Times addresses some of these changes which are turning down-home, family oriented communities such as Avalon, at the South Jersey Shore, into something else, mostly for the wealthy.   Families with modest incomes, some of which have been there for generations are being forced out, and with them go memories, traditions, and a nostalgic atmosphere that that will be lost as the town’s character changes.  The author says that some towns at the north Jersey Shore, such as Mantoloking, are also changing.

You can read that article, linked below.   But each Shore town is different.  In OG we have some unusual variations on the theme, such as the role of the CMA  and the aggressiveness of developers pushing condo conversions,  as well as some home buyers who are promoting tourist rentals.

For Mantoloking there is the awesome devastation wrought by Sandy.  So the Jersey Shore is changing everywhere, but each town has its own unique challenges.

The second-home phenomenon is very real in Ocean Grove and is a strong driving force towards change.  Neptune Township cares little about historic OG.   Their actions make it clear what their goals for the town are, and we have written about those issues including illegal zoning and parking decisions, the pollution of Wesley Lake, and taxes which are too high  (the “cash cow” effect–you can almost hear the sucking sound of our money heading west.)

 

3 new homes are going in on Lawrence Avenue. (88, 90 and 92). Will they look Victorian? ©  4/23/18. Blogfinger photo.

Here are some “objectives and goals” taken from the Master Plan of the OG Historic District,–a “plan” which is largely ignored by the movers and shakers in the Grove who care little about historic preservation and the vision of those who were thrilled when OG was given recognition by the National and State Registers of Historic Places.

a.  “To integrate historic preservation into the Township’s history, its historical figures and its historic sites and district.”  And “encouraging new construction that is compatible in scale and design to the physical character of the surrounding neighborhood.”

b. “To seek to insure compatibility between new development and nearby historic sites and districts, in terms of both use and appearance.”  Really?”

So how do Mary’s Place and the Greek Temple get built in the heart of our ocean front historic area?

c. “To  encourage residents to preserve the historic character, livability and property values of historic structures in neighborhoods….”

This subject is not exactly new.  Take a look at this 2012 Blogfinger post:

Blogfinger poll on historic heritage in OG

 

SARAH VAUGHAN  sings a Cole Porter Broadway  song:

 

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Internet photo

We have written about this Airbnb subject before, but this “long time resident” contacted Blogfinger on April 7 because he is “totally disgusted by the abuse of certain homeowners who are turning their homes into one night or two night stand hotels” which he calls “hometels.”

He sent a letter of complaint about this to the Neptune Township Code Enforcement Department and cc’d Blogfinger.   Here is an edited version:

1. “These overnight hometels are in arms distance of my home and growing at an alarming rate.”

2. “They are destroying Ocean Grove as a community and a place to raise children.”

3. “They are creating a nightmare with parking, and come summer, it will once again become unbearable to live in this mayhem.”

4.  Mr. Totally Disgusted asks the Township to fine and raise the taxes of those landlords who are engaged in “rental abuse” and causing a “downward spiral” in town.

He ends his letter with “Let’s keep this town residential and not a one-night-stand-stopoff.”

Here is a link to Airbnb rentals in Ocean Grove.  One example offers a one bedroom apartment, 2.5 blocks to beach, from $200/night

www.airbnb.com/s/Ocean-Grove–NJ/homes?type=apartment&listing_types%5B%5D=1&s_tag=1IQMRFvI&allow_override%5B%5D=&refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes

Here is a Blogfinger post regarding airbnb:

Airbnb Blogfinger post summer 2017

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:   Is this a growing problem?   Do these rentals really impact our quality of life in the Grove?  Does the Township actually enforce a new Certificate of Inspection  (CI)  with each rental?  Does the township need to legislate this or just follow their existing rules?  —-PG

 

ELVIS:

 

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grass, weed, pot, hash, tea, ganja, cannabis and other synonyms. It all spells getting high.  APP photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Legalization of marijuana for recreational use is favored by the Asbury Park Council.  They see major dollar signs as well as social progress.

The Governor wants this, and A. Park wants a piece of the action.   But it may take over a year for the legislation to be hammered out in Trenton and then locally.

It is not our intent on Blogfinger to report on this subject except as it pertains to Ocean Grove.  As we have noted before, OG and A. Park are culturally quite different, but, in some ways, they do complement each other.

However, we suspect that this particular issue will be viewed negatively in the Grove as it pertains  to our quiet, family oriented historic town which might find itself as an entry point into a pot paradise to the north.

Also, the allure of A. Park will magnify the current problem which we already inherit from them regarding the park-and-walk habits of A. parkers who love the free ride on OG’s already gridlocked narrow streets.

According to the Asbury Park Press,   “Asbury Park is often viewed as a bastion of social progressivism, with an all-Democrat City Council, a strong arts and entertainment scene as well as large minority and LGBT populations. 

“Its support for marijuana legalization and sales isn’t new. Two years ago the city backed a resolution that supported legalization of marijuana in the state.”

Asbury Park Press piece dated  April 4, 2018:

“Asbury Park is one of only two cities in New Jersey where officials have talked openly about the opportunities associated with opening a legal weed dispensary. That enthusiasm — coupled with the city’s location and reputation — could turn the City by the Sea into one of the state’s epicenters for legal weed, New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association President Hugh O’Beirne said.

“The city has a “natural advantage” with its location, a relatively northern Jersey Shore destination with a much easier ride for travelers from North Jersey and New York, O’Beirne said. The town of less than two square miles has a population of 16,000 people.

“Further, it’s already a “cultural destination” that is drawing marijuana users – just without a legal place for them to purchase weed. In its 2017 Cannabis Attitudes Survey, New Frontier Data reported that 22 percent of respondents nationwide said they’d be more interested in visiting a state with legal weed.”

THE FRATERNITY OF MAN   “Don’t Bogart That Joint” from the soundtrack of Easy Rider.

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Marina at Shark River. Internet image.

 

11/3/12. No sign of Neptune workers helping with the OG cleanup. Volunteers are shown.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©

 

Veterans-Park-Neptune1

Neptune Township. Not Ocean Grove. Internet photo

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  Blogfinger.net

Last year Neptune spent over $2 million of Federal funds to complete the rebuilding of  the Shark River Municipal Marina. They also rebuilt the Riverside Park across the street.  In today’s Coaster we learn that $3 million in Neptune improvements were approved by the Committee on March 12 including a skate board park for about $500,000 and the purchase of a 2.65 acre tract for $1.25 million to be turned into a park in the Shark River Hills area.  Bonds are being issued to finance most of these projects along with some grants.   But bonds are not free.   The Township must pay interest which is supported by our taxes in the Grove.  And who will pay for building the park?

After Sandy, Neptune Township devoted a great deal of resources on recovery in that same Shark River area, but they kept their distance when it came to the recovery in Ocean Grove. We have photos of Randy Bishop setting up a headquarters trailer for Sandy relief at the Shark River, but where was the Committee on the OG side?  I was there at the ocean front cleanup zone where there were CMA officials and volunteers;  didn’t see Neptune workers anywhere.

If Neptune Township is avoiding spending in Ocean Grove because the Camp Meeting owns the land, as occurred with the ocean front cleanup after Sandy and with the limited park and sidewalk maintenance in the Grove,  then Ocean Grove should have its own lower tax rate.

So while Neptune is on a spending spree now, what will they do for the taxpayers in the Grove?  Recently they refused to hire experts to design a workable permit parking plan to help residents here.  Now they are “looking into” a shuttle bus plan to provide relief during major events, but they again wouldn’t spend some money to get a consultant involved, and they seem only mildly interested, at best.   They also failed to help the residents acquire a needed dog park or dog beach, and our parks are poorly maintained.

The Township is indifferent to OG.  We do have taxation without representation.  Just look at what they have done in the Grove, besides milking the cash cow, trying to ruin our historic preservation, allowing suspicious zoning activities, providing favoritism to certain citizens, ignoring our Master Plan, permitting our “historic district” to be flooded with tourists and cars, and ignoring State land use laws as they try to help developers.

So what have they done for us?  How about cancelling the North End redevelopment plan, buy the land by obtaining Federal grants  (as they have done elsewhere in town,) and turning those acres into a park.  Tit for tat.  We need some of that tat in the Grove.

BRIAN WILSON  “Heroes and Villains:”

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New Victorian on north side of Ocean Pathway, Manchester site. Jean Bredin photo for Blogfinger.net. 1/31/18. ©

 

Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger.

Amateur historical architects are already raving about this home under construction on Ocean Avenue—a work in progress. Our consultant has a one word review of this project so far, “WOW!”

Johnny on the spot evokes the old days when there were outhouses.  We assume that there will eventually be indoor plumbing.

Besides the welcoming sight of this  single family home going up where condominiums were once proposed—at the Manchester Inn location before it was destroyed by fire, other new Victorians (four of them) are actively under construction at the Whitfield Hotel site  (Bath and Surf Avenues.)   Recently #19 Bath Avenue reached the market at $1.25 million.   #17 was similarly priced.  As far as we can tell, no condos are presently in the works.

Link to the Whitfield construction site:

Whitfield single family houses

The owner of the Warrington who is suing the Township because he wants a hotel  (? or condos) on his Lake Avenue property, the site of a huge fire last March which destroyed that hotel,  might take notice of what happened to the Manchester and the Whitfield, and back off—choosing instead to put up one or two single family homes over there as well.

It would be good if the OGCMA  (who owns all the land in town) would pay attention to the Master Plan and support the Single Family Homes in the Grove Movement–to join with the citizens of Ocean Grove who are solidly behind that concept.

The CMA might begin by pressuring the Warrington owner to change his vision for that site and then top it off by withdrawing their support for the aggressive and destructive  North End Redevelopment Plan.

ROSEMARY CLOONEY:

 

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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?

PEGGY LEE AND GEORGE SHEARING   “If Dreams Come True.”   Live in Miami, from the album Beauty and the Beat

 

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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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