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Jack Bredin (L), Kevin Chambers (R) and Paul Goldfinger (photographer) represented Ocean Grove at the SIAB in December 2015.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher for Blogfinger.net  (Ocean Grove, NJ)

The Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB)  is a regulatory board, part of the N.J. Department of Community Affairs.  The 12 appointed members meet quarterly to implement their task of regulating residential development in New Jersey.  They concern themselves with matters such as streets/parking, storm-water management, water supply, and sanitary sewers.  It provides engineering standards to ensure public health and safety.

Exceptions can be made to these standards   (“A municipality or a developer may individually or jointly request a waiver from a provision of the RSIS from the Site Improvement Advisory Board by showing that adherence to a particular provision presents a danger to public health and safety.“)*

The 12 members are all professionals representing various groups including planners, engineers, Builders Association, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Div. of Codes and Standards, and others.  This group is clearly devoted to protecting the citizens of New Jersey.

Remember when Neptune wanted to get an exception to the RSIS  (Residential Site Improvement Standards) regarding parking in Ocean Grove which would allow the floodgates to open for condoization all over town, gridlock, and a worsening parking situation?  So, when Blogfinger and some other Ocean Grove citizens showed up at that 12/15 meeting, the Neptuners took a look around and asked for their request to be cancelled.  It has not re-appeared on the agenda since then.

But we expect that exceptions will be requested again by Neptune with respect to the North End Redevelopment Plan.

So today, October  18, 2018, Jack and I went to a meeting of the SIAB in Trenton.  We were treated cordially by the Chairman Joseph  Doyle,Jr and by John Lago, administrator.  We were attracted to this meeting because of agenda items:  committee reports on storm-water and streets/parking, parking decks and large surface lots. And we were pleased to see that the Board  recognized us and were interested in why we were there.

We listened carefully to their discussions which were quite technical and not specifically about us, but it was important that the SIAB knows that Ocean Grove citizens have issues.

During the public portion, Jack stood up and read a statement which he wrote about Wesley Lake pollution and about the name change of that body of water. Jack reported that Neptune  had instituted an “illegal” name change on the tax map. He asked for “guidance” from the board about this matter.  We did not raise parking issues this time.

Chairman Doyle said the Wesley Lake matter was ” a very complicated issue,” but that his board could not “address it.”   He and other board members did however respond to Jack’s statement that the name change violated the requirements of the DEP’s Green Acre program of which Wesley Lake is part.

Mr. Doyle recommended that the matter be taken up with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection  (DEP) because this may be a violation of State and Federal laws.  At a personal level, the Chairman said that he has a home in Bradley Beach and was familiar with Ocean Grove and its lakes.

It is our belief that our ongoing relationship with the SIAB will help us monitor the efforts of Neptune Township to bypass regulations in Ocean Grove which also include zoning and land use improprieties. It will help to remind the SIAB that we are still around and active.

Note:  If you Google the SIAB, the last Blogfinger post on this subject comes up high on the list.  Also, a search of the BF search box on top will reveal some other posts about SIAB.

Blogfinger goes to Trenton in 2015

 

Wells, Jaworski and Liebman  law firm*

 

BOB DYLAN:

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Kennedy Buckley in 2013. Last night he challenged the Township Committee regarding the North End plan which threatens the future of Ocean Grove. Way to go Kenny ! Blogfinger photo. ©

December 22, 2017:

In a surprise reversal, the Homeowners Association indicated last night that it may finally take the side of OG residents and ask the Township to nullify the Re-development Plan at the North End.

At the Neptune Township Committee meeting, OGHOA spokesman/trustee Kennedy Buckley demanded that the Township Attorney answer his question which was, “Can the Committee withdraw the North End redevelopment designation now?”

Gene Anthony, the attorney, said, “Yes.”

This surprise revelation indicates that the HOA might be amenable to accepting Blogfinger’s challenge regarding their history of siding with the Township on this issue.

This quote is from the Blogfinger post on December 19, 2017:   “The OGHOA should immediately cancel its support for the NERP and get behind the citizens in totally opposing such projects.  If the township refuses to take us down a sensible road, then we will know where their loyalties lie, and the same applies to the Groaners.”

In a prior survey of public opinion on Blogfinger, January , 2016, we asked the question:  “It time for the Township Committee to scuttle the illegal North End Redevelopment Plan?”

250 votes came in, and 80% said “YES.”

So congratulations to the Home Groaners for finally standing shoulder to shoulder with the residents of the Grove who want the North End zoning to revert back to single family homes only.

 

 

 

 

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Carol Dunleavy announces her grand opening. She says that her office is “non-neon!”

MEL TILLIS:

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Blogfinger supports resident permit parking, but it has to be done right. © BF flier. July 2017.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

February 2017 HOA minutes:   “Parking Committee:   Joyce reported that at the regular meeting of  the Neptune Township Committee scheduled for Monday, February 27,  a resolution to adopt the Township  Committee’s  parking recommendations would be proposed. The recommendations include:  1. Angle parking on one side of Main Street and one side of Central Avenue and 2. Enforcement of the existing commercial parking regulations.”

No mention of permit parking.

April HOA minutes: “Parking report:  Joyce Klein reported that the Neptune Council will have a second  and final reading of the ordinance allowing for the potential addition of about 18 angle parking spots.”

No mention of permit parking.

May HOA minutes:    “Parking:    Richard Williams reported that the striping on Central Avenue is being done; striping at the west end of Main Avenue is yet to be done.”

No mention of permit parking

June HOA minutes : “Joyce Klein provided  an update on parking.  Angle parking has been put in place on Central and Main Avenues, resulting in a net gain of 18 parking spots.  The OGHOA parking committee will resume its efforts to bring about substantive changes to improve the parking situation in Ocean Grove.”

No mention of permit parking

July: no minutes  See link below.

July 8. Blogfinger poll asked if Grovers would support permit parking. 330 votes were cast.    58% said yes, but we suspected that the no votes were inflated.  And it’s hard to vote when the plan details have not been revealed by the Home Groaners. So some skeptics voted no, but if a good plan were conceived, we believe that they will vote “yes.”

July 11: Blogfinger article:   permit parking post by BF 7/11

July 21:  Blogfinger post on this subject:    BF July article about parking fake news

August 12, 2017        Email from Joyce Klein of the HOA:      “I know many have been attending the Township Committee meetings to speak out about the need for permit parking.  We have been effective in keeping the topic front and center and I am hopeful that we will see some action* on parking in the near future.”

(Editor’s note:  “some action* on parking.”  Talk about evasive use of language and fake news. The lack of transparency is evident. The Groaners need to be replaced!)

The HOA brought up the subject of permit parking last  year  (2016),  but when the Committee ignored them, they folded like a cheap camera and jumped on board for the 18 diagonal parking space solution.  There was no further mention of permit parking until recently when they say that they have been “keeping the topic front and center.” More fake news.

At the last Committee meeting the OG Home Groaners Ass. persuaded some Grovers to speak out during the public session, but the HGA never explained to the public what their permit parking plan will be.  Now again, they want the public to make noise at the Committee meeting coming up tomorrow, July 14.

But why should anyone be enthused about the Groaners’ current efforts when they have never made public their secret plan for permit parking?   We know it exists, because we saw it, and the reason they don’t reveal it is because they don’t want any push-back from the citizens.  The OG Home Groaners are like a secret society with its own agendas and they will even try to change history and spread fake news as  you can see above.

Meanwhile, Blogfinger posted 10 articles in the last two months, mostly to push for permit parking.  Just type in “permit parking” in the search block above.   2 of them are linked above.

Here’s an idea:  A Grover told me about the resident permit parking plan in Hoboken which works:

Most streets in Hoboken are designated on one side (the north or west side) as “Resident Permit Parking Only” with a green sign/white letters, and the other side (south or east side) as “Permit Parking Only” with a white sign and green letters. The remaining streets are typically in commercial areas and designated as metered (time limit) parking.

Hows that for looking after number one?

THE BAND PERRY:  “You Lie”

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"The corner of Surf and Beach Ave. looking a little different these days!!!! Was working over there and thought your readers would be interested….." Photograph by Bob Bowné. Special to Blogfinger. ©

“The corner of Surf and Beach Ave. looking a little different these days!!    Was working over there and thought your readers would be interested…..” Photograph by Bob Bowné. Special to Blogfinger. ©

DR.  HOOK.   Nobody will be sharing the night together again at the Whitfield Hotel in Ocean Grove.

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This is why Grovers need to pay attention to HPC issues. Blogfinger file photo. ©

This is why Grovers need to pay attention to HPC issues. Blogfinger file photo. ©

The  Township Committee is having a first reading of the new HPC guidelines this Monday at 7:00.  The Historical Society sent out an unsigned email stating,
“These new guidelines are very damaging to the historic district and threaten our historic designation. I’m hoping to get a good showing at the meeting to voice our concern.
The draft can be found on the township web site under committee agenda for Dec. 12. Scroll all the way to the bottom .
Thanks for any help you can offer.”

Below is the official announcement by Neptune Township regarding the HPC guidelines ordinance:

ORDINANCE NO. 16-45

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF NEPTUNE BY AMENDING SECTION 508, ENTITLED, “HISTORIC PRESERVATION DESIGN GUIDELINES”

WHEREAS, the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines have needed amendment from time to time based on changed circumstances,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Committee of the Township of Neptune in the County of Monmouth in the State of New Jersey that the Land Development Ordinance, Volume II Section 508, entitled, “Historic Preservation Design Guidelines” is hereby amended as follows:

§508 – Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.

c. The Design Criteria in Guidelines: The aforesaid Guidelines, also known as the “Ocean Grove Historic District Architectural Design Guidelines for Residential Structures” are hereby adopted as an integral part of this Ordinance and incorporated in the Ordinance by reference to the Guidelines available as part of this Ordinance for review in the Clerk’s Office of Neptune Township. Future amendments to the Guidelines, where minor in nature; that is, not amending the entire Guideline document, may be amended by Resolution with all dates of amendments noted in the Guideline document.

All Ordinances or parts of Ordinances that are inconsistent herewith are repealed, but only to the extent of such inconsistency.

The amended Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage and the publication as required by law.

APPROVED ON FIRST READING: APPROVED, PASSED, AND ADOPTED:

___________________________ Richard J. Cuttrell,
Municipal Clerk

___________________________ Kevin B. McMillan,
Mayor

 

Editor’s Note:    

Here is a link to read the guidelines:

www.neptunetownship.org/agendas-minutes/township-committee

Click on Dec 12 in the agenda column and then scroll down to Ordinance 16-45 and then keep scrolling down and you will find the Guidelines dated October, 2016.

But where are the latest changes?  Is there an official document that enumerates the changes?   And who wrote these Guideline changes and why?

Someone sent us a notice from the OGHOA which said, “A key change will limit application of the design guidelines to the street-facing facade only of a building. The result of this change alone is not difficult to imagine. The sides and backs of homes could be faced with different materials, and historically appropriate materials would no longer be a requirement on non-street-facing facades.”  

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

ETTA JAMES

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This photo of the North End is from our Oc tobver 30, 2016 post which said, "Nofrth End Plan celebrates its ninth anniversary of...broken promises. Blogfinger photo ©

This photo of the North End is from our October 30, 2016 post titled, “North End Plan celebrates its ninth anniversary of…broken promises.”   Blogfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In the October 30, 2016  BF article we said,  “Isn’t it time to bring in a new North End plan? This one is a losing proposition and should be replaced by something that will improve the town, not the developers and politicians. Where are the Home Groaners??”

We have made it crystal clear in multiple past articles that the only official North End Redevelopment Plan was passed by the Township Committee in 2008, and since then no changes have been made. Only the Township Committee can make changes and if they wanted to do so they would have to start the whole process over again including public hearings, redeveloper bidding, etc.  And note that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is still part of the plan as the land owner. WAVE is still  the redeveloper, and the identities of the people involved in WAVE have yet to be made public.

And finally no Redevelopers Agreement has been signed between WAVE and the Neptune Township Committee.

Regarding the so-called “New NERP,” below is a link to our last post regarding this subject.  It shows a concept drawing illustrating a sharp reduction in residential units.   Nothing has changed since this April 28, 2015 Blogfinger article.

https://blogfinger.net/2015/04/28/neptune-township-announces-a-new-north-end-plan/

On November 26, 2016, at the latest OG Homeowners Assoc. meeting, one of the topics discussed was the North End redevelopment. Since the President was not present, the meeting was presided over by Vice President Richard Williams.

According to our reporter, Williams stated that he hoped the North End would “rise up and be re-developed.” Williams asserted that there was “a new plan which would cut the density in half.”

But he seriously misinformed the membership in a very public way.  He evidently didn’t know that  the “new plan”  lies dead and dormant  and thus is totally useless.

Certainly the Township Attorney, Gene Anthony, has never agreed that such a new plan has ever been legally approved, even though ex-Committeeman Randy Bishop spoke publicly about it in 2015,  as did HOA officials who have bragged in the past that they made the new plan happen.

At last Saturday’s meeting, during the public comment portion, Grover Jack Bredin brought out the truth that “the new plan was never approved by the Township.” He also reminded the HOA that the NERP is a public project, so there is no rationale for the HOA to make their case to the Camp Meeting Association.

He also responded to complaints by members at the meeting   that if they were worried about trash, weeds, sloppy fencing, or any other messes at the North End, that would be the Township’s job to correct, not the CMA.

It really would be a wonderful service if the Home Groaners actually told the truth to the public.  The HOA trustees should slow down, go out for coffee, and get their facts straight.

DAVID LOUD  and the cast of 70, Girls, 70.

 

 

 

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Corner of Mt. Tabor and New Jersey Avenues. Photo by Paul Goldfinger, 2011. ©

Corner of Mt. Tabor and New Jersey Avenues. Photo by Paul Goldfinger, 2011. ©

We recently reported on the application for demolition of 102 Mt.Tabor Way. (link below)

https://blogfinger.net/2016/11/22/tearing-down-a-sweet-cottage-in-the-grove-why-is-that-a-good-idea/

Last night, Nov. 29, 2016, our reporter attended the HPC hearing regarding this matter. A presentation by architect Mark Pavliv persuaded the HPC that demolition was needed for a variety of structural problems including foundation issues.  In addition, it was noted that the building, as we already knew, is not Victorian.

There was no information presented that would tell us what the owner plans to do with the property.

TYRONE TAYLOR:

 

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45 Main Avenue, new home of Re/Max realtors in Ocean Grove, NJ Blogfinger photo. ©

45 Main Avenue, new home of Re/Max realtors in Ocean Grove, NJ Blogfinger photo. ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Some of you may remember Arlene Fox who ran the Re/Max office at 45 Main Avenue in Ocean Grove at the turn of this century. That business was closed, and Diane Turton moved in.  Now three local realtors have reopened Re/Max at this address once again. The will have their official opening in early December, but they are now open and operating,  as you can see from the sign above.

There are about 50 homes for sale in the Grove ranging in price from $299,000 to $2.2 million. Some local realtors say that there isn’t much available in town, but this sounds like quite a few.  Mortgage rates have been climbing rapidly lately, rising to about 4.3%, with the risk of going higher looming in the future. The feds are talking about raising rates. Also, there have been concerns expressed in the Times regarding the potential for falling prices in coastal communities, especially in flood prone shore towns. Some owners are thinking about selling.

Realtors have to apprise shoppers of environmental risks.

EDDY DAVIS AND CONAL FOWKES  “Hannah and her Sisters.”  from the album Live at the Hotel Casa Fuster Barcelona: Selections from Woody Allens motion pictures.

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Jersey Shore Arts Center on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Internet photo.

Jersey Shore Arts Center on Main Street  in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Internet photo.  (For those of you smartiepants who think we made an error in this address, this side of the building is on Main Street;  the other side is on Main Avenue.)

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Ocean Grove.  September  16, 2016.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

About three years ago, a group called QSpot moved into the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, NJ.  They put up a billboard in November, 2013,  on Main Street  to proudly announce their arrival.

This is what we said in Blogfinger about the photo below:

“We saw this banner today opposite the UPS store in the strip mall. I asked a gay friend about it, but she never heard of it. Consulting Google, I learned that this is a social group, founded in Asbury Park in December 2012. It will now be meeting in the lower level of the Jersey Shore Arts Center and its first open house was held last Sunday. It has about 100 members.

“If any of the members of this new Ocean Grove organization want to tell us about the Project, please contact Blogfinger.”

We never heard back from any of that group regarding what Q Spot was about.

Now we have received information that QSpot is an organization  which provides “services” to the LGBT community in this area.   The group thought it would have a long lease with the JSAC, but they were recently informed that the lease would  not be renewed.

Main Street sign announcing the arrival of QSpot in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013. © Click to read the sign.

Main Street, Ocean Grove,  sign announcing the arrival of QSpot in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013. © Click to read the sign.

The reason given by the landlord is that QSpot does not offer arts and education programs. That is the bottom line for those who get to rent space there.  John Mikytuck, the executive director of QSpot, disagrees regarding its programming.  He says that QSpot, founded in 2005, does offer such programs.

In an article by MaryAnn Spoto of NJ.com, she discusses the situation, but, as usual with the press, she fails to get the facts straight when speaking about Ocean Grove:

She said, “A community center providing services for gays and lesbians says it’s abruptly being thrown out of its office space in a Shore town that touts Christian beliefs but has had past struggles with gay couples.”

She also quoted Mikytuck as suggesting that the timing of the eviction notice indicates an anti-gay bias which he links to the Orlando shooting at a gay club.  This assertion is wildly out of order, and the reporter should have probed a bit before printing it.

After that she pursued the anti-gay, anti-Ocean Grove theory by saying, “Ocean Grove , a section of Neptune Township, has had past struggles with the gay community.”

She also mentioned the Camp Meeting Association as being guilty of bias regarding the Pavilion matter in 2007.  What in the world does the CMA have to do with this lease renewal situation, and certainly a good reporter would have determined the difference between the CMA and the town of Ocean Grove.

We will definitely  hear more about this situation, but hopefully, as they cover this story,  the press will do something about their muddled journalism.

MANDY HARVEY:

 

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