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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove issues’ Category

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   Re-post from  April 2018.

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?”

“And will 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 or 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 District?

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   (and the comments which are very interesting and unique:)

Blogfinger poll on historic heritaget in OG

 

SARAH VAUGHAN  sings a Cole Porter Broadway  song:

 

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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.

 

Ocean Grove July 4 parade, 2015. A truly unique community event. Paul Goldfinger photograph

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger–updated and re-posted from 2017.

 

In 2019, on its 150th birthday, 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.   Many just like being here at the beach.  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  lesser extent today,  but the CMA community is no longer as central to life in Ocean Grove as it once was.  OG evolved into a residential community with cottages and boarding houses.   The Victorian buildings were  less valued than they are today and many had gone into decline.   Its census population was more than it is today.

Forty years ago, the downtown 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 doctors’ offices, a video store,a flower shop, a cleaners, a cafeteria, a newsstand, a newspaper, a drug store, a barber shop,  a fishing club, a seashell shop, and a town pool.   In other words it was a town that was largely for the residents. So many towns at the shore are not  primarily for tourists, for example Atlantic Highlands, Avon-by-the Sea, Long Beach Island, 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. Maybe it will never be that sort of town.

Elected officials do not really represent the Grove’s citizens. So democracy doesn’t exist as defined by representative government. 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 its community of residents and try to make their lives better, but our situation now is the opposite.  Witness the efforts to bring large numbers of tourists to town to the consternation of those who live here, and the failure to solve problems like zoning abuses, over-building, and the invasion of the parking snatchers.

The Camp Meeting Association ran the town for 111 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 Ocean Grove 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, went forward 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, a common identity, and direction for the town as a whole.

So the town of Ocean Grove, lacking leadership and a sense of town-wide 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.

We have had a major Walt Whitman Poetry Festival and a Blogfinger Film Festival (for collegiate film students.)  And we had arts in the parks,  People’s Garden Tours, classical street musicians, and other community cultural events, but most of them died on the vine.

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. For example Belmar has only one mega-event each year.  Its mayor says that his main concern are the town’s residents.  The beach scene is a given in all Shore towns.

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 it is, and that’s a good thing.

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

THE CRESTS:

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Ocean Grove United demonstrating in the Grove. Mary Walton photograph. 2012

Editorial by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net

This past Mischief Night, some individuals “vandalized cars with swastikas and racial slurs in Ocean Grove.” (APP 11/7/18)  The Neptune Police Department said that they were not viewing the incident as a bias crime or anything “politically motivated.”

Deputy Mayor Carol Rizzo   (a Grover) said  (APP), “The community should view this as simply ‘something that happened during Mischief Night. I don’t think we should give it anymore credence than that. ‘”

The descriptions of the event in the news did not include any anti-Semitic language, and swastikas are not necessarily anti-Semitic symbols.  Some kids, like punk rockers, may draw a swastika without thinking of Jews.    The “N word” was also found, according to the APP.

A representative, Joshua Cohen, of the NJ Regional Office of ADL said, “The swastika has become a ubiquitous symbol in graffiti, but it does not always carry “anti-Semitic intent.”

He also said, “A random swastika appearing in a neutral location is an entirely different proposition than compared to one on a synagogue.”

“Incidents involving the image found with no accompanying anti-Semitic imagery or writing on, say, a dumpster at a 7-Eleven or an overpass on the Garden State Parkway, fall into a category that the ADL has stopped including in its annual audit of anti-Jewish hate crimes. There is no indication that such cases specifically target Jews.”

Cohen concluded by saying, “Regardless of the specific intent, it would be a mistake to minimize the swastika. It shocks the conscience, and we all know what it is. It’s a hate symbol.”

The NTPD was going to investigate the possibility of a “hate crime,” but they have so far come up with nothing.

OGU is joining forces with the OGHOA to fan the flames of controversy when other such incidents did not occur before or since that night.

But, the OGU/HOA combined complainers consortium (CCC) have invited the Anti-Defamation League  (ADL), an international organization that fights anti-Semitism world-wide,  to come here in January to “speak on this issue.”

Is this what the members of the Home Groaners want their organization to get involved with?  And why is the HOA having any sort of joint activity with the highly partisan group ironically called Ocean Grove United.

It is almost laughable for the OGU and its ally the Home Groaners to jump on this bandwagon. Jews have been subject to all sorts of murder and mayhem since the times of the Romans, so the Jewish people have largely developed a thick skin over minor incidents such as what the OGU and HOA are jumping up and down over in Ocean Grove.

The ADL says, “Anti-Semitism is the belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish.”

Is that what’s going on in the Grove?  Doesn’t the ADL have some terrorism, synagogue shootings, or murders of civilians to spend their time with?

The truth is that anti-Semitism does not “have a home” in the Grove, and many Jewish people live here without such concerns.

Most popular sentiment in the Grove is to assume the Halloween vandalism to be the work of ignorant out-of-towners, probably kids looking for trouble.  Most think that the incident should have been dropped as an indicator of bias in this town, and as a news story, it lasted about 24 hours, with no noise coming out of the Grove.

OGU, a group that seems to be in a deep sleep most of the time, reappears, like Brigadoon,  whenever they find an excuse to complain about bias in the Grove.  They say that the ADL meeting in January is “in response to the concerns of Ocean Grove residents.”

Perhaps they should tell us how many OG residents would like to see the big guns  (ADL) brought into the Grove to satisfy those “concerns?”

In our recent piece about the “hate has no home here” signs, we had a flurry of opinions in the Comments, but hardly any concern about the Mischief Night event.

In America we live in a free society, one which is not perfect and where hate is sometimes expressed and where such hate needs to be opposed, but Ocean Grove is not such a place.

Addendum:  This Blogfinger article below says a lot about Ocean Grove United:

OGU slams the Camp Meeting Association 2016

NICOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV:  “The Flight of the Bumblebee”

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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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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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