Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan’ Category

 

The North End of Ocean Grove has looked like a gulag for many years. We don’t know if or when construction will begin. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©.   October  2019.  Click to enlarge image.

 

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF:   “I Know It’s Wrong, But It’s All Right.”

 

Read Full Post »

OG North End looking through the looking glass into A. Park. Paul Goldfinger © A. Park looking through the looking-glass* into O. Grove’s North End. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

Brought to you by the Committee to Save OG's North End. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©© Evening at the OG  North End. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

 

  • “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There” is the name of Lewis Carroll’s 1872 book. (just a few years after OG was founded.)
  • Alice found a wondrous world. (as we find every day at our beautiful open-to-the-ocean North End)  but also Alice found that logic was reversed, as it is in the hands of all the North End culprits who are supposed to be doing right for the people of Ocean Grove.

Ya know:  If you walk on our boards, for most of the distance, you cannot see the beach or the ocean. That is because of the dunes created after Sandy.  People used to set up chairs near the boardwalk railing or towels to relax, get some sun and admire the view.  The same for the benches that face east.  But you can still do that at the North End of Ocean Grove…”for the people, of the people, and by the people .”

The beach and ocean front are supposed to be reserved for we-the-people for recreation, swimming, fishing, etc by order of laws going back to Roman times.

But the forthcoming North End development will block the views and the flow of breezes, and  the light for visitors and those who live in that neighborhood.

And can this re-development plan stand up to our Master Plan?    Let’s hope that the HPC can stand its ground,

But don’t depend on the Home Groaners.  They have been on the wrong side of all this since 2008.

 

RYAN GOSLING AND EMMA STONE  from La La Land:  “A Lovely Night.”

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

You can’t always get what you want. Paul Goldfinger photograph ©

 

2019.       Just because this agreement  is signed by the Mayor and the Redeveloper OGNED  doesn’t mean that the project will ever be completed.  The Redevelopers Agreement for the North End Redevelopment Plan should be subtitled  “Promises, Promises” because it is filled with nothing but those.

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher, was present at the September 9, 2019 Committee Meeting when this long delayed document was approved by resolution.

 

By Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher, September 10, 2019. Ocean Grove, NJ.

At the September 9, 2019 meeting of the Township Committee, a 100+ page report, with attachments and exhibits (Resolution 19-316,) was passed with no dissenters.

It had been written by the Township’s Redevelopment Attorney.  The report attempted to list all of the items that were NOT accomplished over the past 11 years, items that are necessary to start construction at the North End, and a recommendation for the Mayor to sign a “Redevelopment Agreement” with OGNED LLC.

It would have been easier to just say, “Nothing has been accomplished in 11 years.”  This 100 page report is an attempt to “pull the wool over our eyes.”

The only thing that was new in the report was that Mayor Rizzo’s Redevelopment Committee recommended that the Township Committee drop its requirement that the Redeveloper file “financial guarantees” with the Clerk assuring that the project would be completed and on time.

At the 7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting after the 6:00 p.m. workshop, about 40 residents were present, but OGNED did not attend.  The Camp Meeting Association did attend.  They are the landowner of the 3 acre site and they took notes.    6 residents spoke against the resolution, and no one spoke for it.

The OG Home Owners Association is already on record from day one, 2008,  supporting the North End Redevelopment project.

All residents with questions were told, “You can ask that question at a Planning Board meeting.”

Because Mayor Rizzo is the Class 1 member of the Planning Board, she should be able to answer all questions regarding the North End Redevelopment, but she appointed Dr. Michael Brantley as the Class 1 member of the Planning Board in her place, and he voted in 2008 that the redeveloper “shall” be required to post “financial guarantees.” And last night he voted, “The redeveloper ‘may’ post financial  guarantees, to assure the successful completion of the project.”

This change of one word from “shall” to “may” is a financial benefit to the Redeveloper that other developers do not get, and could be detrimental to OG residents if OGNED LLC goes bankrupt or cannot build an underground parking garage as approved by the Township, and they all voted for it.

 

Editor’s Note.  Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net . 9/10/19. Re-post.

Why should OGNED have been at the meeting?   That redeveloper has no interest in what the public thinks. You may recall when OGNED visited the HOA and refused to answer certain questions from the audience.

All these documents will be signed in private, out of the public’s view.

The Agreement raises all sorts of questions that currently are not answered.  The Redeveloper thinks he can complete all the approvals and documents within 14 months, but it likely will take longer than that.  And the actual construction project will probably take at least 5 years.  During that time, there will be major hardships on those who live near the project, and the document promises that those concerns will be assuaged.

Most of us wonder about the underground garage which will be huge.  It will have to be flood-proofed and it will need massive pilings to hold its weight as well as the weight on top of it. None of that information is yet available, and the garage is barely mentioned in the document.

And we also wonder where all the equipment and supplies will be kept during construction.

Here is a partial list of what is promised in this Redevelopers Agreement:

a.  “Any and all required goverment approvals” will be obtained including DEP (Federal and State.)

b. A final site plan with all needed engineering approvals to go to the Planning Board.

c. A  “traffic impact study.”

d. A “project schedule.”

e. “Financials” which “may” be supplied.

f. A “minimization impacts” statement.

g.  A long-term lease agreement between the Camp Meeting Association and the Township/OGNED.  We don’t know if all this has been thoroughly worked out. But in the end, all condo unit owners (51)  will have their own individual ground rent arrangements with the CMA. Other components are also condo units such as the hotel and the retail entities.

h. And much more…..You can read the entire Agreement.  The HOA sent it around a few days ago. Email them. The Neptune web site has not posted it.

 

So, after years of Blogfinger ‘s wrestling with this damn topic, we find that democracy has lost out to apathy….a failure of the people to participate in the process.

ITUANA:  From the soundtrack of “Big Little Lies.”

Read Full Post »

 

The Brewer Cemetery (1810   Farmingdale ) where the North End Redevelopment Plan ought to be buried. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©  2015.  Click to enlarge.

 

By Paul Goldfinger and Jack Bredin of Blogfinger.net   

 

Re-posted  2021  with minor updates from 2018–a refresher course now that the Mayor Brantley  (August 2021) says that the North End project will go ahead.

This post is dated 7/21/22—-following on the refusal of the Historic Preservation Commission to give their stamp of approval to the developers.   We don’t know if the next step will be at the Planning Board of Neptune  (the town not the planet.)   Or will we be seeing all parties in a courthouse in Freehold?

Blogflinger.net. Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  From the Blogfinger Department of Recent OG Past History devoted to keeping the truth alive in our beautiful little town.

A little historic perspective is now in order since the Township is insisting on pushing their unfortunate  fifteen year-old North End Redevelopment Plan past the citizens and into the reality of a construction zone.  They are determined to move quickly and  to break a variety of rules along the way, and the public be damned.

But why not push this travesty through since they have had a lot of experience doing whatever they please with zoning abominations, architectural design, land use law, and condoization of our little town?

Let’s go back to 2008.  The Neptune Planning Board received a request from the Township  Committee to consider the idea of an Area in Need of Re-development for the long neglected and vacant North End.  The Camp Meeting Association associated with a group of developers called WAVE and conspired to find a way to bypass the single family zoning of that time.

So they decided to exploit a State program designed to bring to life horrible urban land areas, such as the inner city of places like Camden, where nobody wanted to invest and develop.

The program was not intended to help affluent developers such as the OGCMA and WAVE do away with current local zoning and instead allow them to do pretty much whatever they wished.

The Planning Board had a meeting in 2008 where only 6 of 11 members were present to act on that request. Only 5 “yes” votes were needed to approve the Redevelopment project.   For such an important meeting, 100% of members should have been present.  Were those absences a form of protest?

One of the 5 who would vote “yes” was Denis McCarthy, the President of the OG Homeowners Association.  If he had voted “no” we would have had single family homes over there a long time ago.   But he voted “yes,” and the Committee accepted those 5 “yes” votes and went ahead and allowed that Area in Need of Redevelopment.

Fast forward to 2011.  There was no progress at the North End, so the OGHOA, instead of insisting that the NERP be abandoned, met with the CMA to ask that the project be scaled back.  Then Committeeman Randy Bishop presented that idea to the Township, but the historic reality is that the HOA had no authority to negotiate anything with anybody regarding that public project.  And, the “HOA plan” was never officially approved, but they have continued to brag that somehow they made progress.

Now, as you know from our recent 2018 articles, a new re-developer has been named called OGNED.  Mayor Williams said publicly at the last Committee meeting that the “OGNED Plan” would be approved.   However, there is still only one legal plan extant, and that is the 2008 North End Redevelopment Plan.  The explanation of the current situation and negotiation was presented in such a muddled way at the November meeting, that we called it “gobbledygook” in our last article.

On December 10, 2018, at the Committee meeting, a representative of the OGHOA, Joan Venezia, went to the microphone during the Public Portion to complain that the recent explanations by the Redevelopment lawyer and the Mayor were so confusing that no one at the HOA understood what was going on. Jack Bredin from Blogfinger concurred, as we did in a recent article.

But here is the rub. (2022):  Now, after 15 years, the HOA is still supporting the NERP instead of taking the side of reasonable and caring residents.  And, despite 15 years of their failure to accomplish anything meaningful regarding the NERP, The Groaners are not embarrassed to have said publicly in 2018 that they don’t know what is going on and that they have not employed any impartial experts to help the OG community understand the ongoing process.

When Ms. Venezia asked the Committee in 2018 when public hearings will be held on this matter, she was told by Mr. Gadaleta, the Township Business Manager, that the public can be free to ask questions when the HPC has its hearing and when the Board of Adherence has its rubber stamp session.

But, the HPC has no power to rule on the NERP–only the architectural drawings, and the Board of Adherence will not challenge any of this despite what public statements are made by Grover residents.

At Blogfinger we are still doing our best to stay on top of the situation and to demand that the fraudulent Area in Need of Redevelopment be abandoned, with a return to single family zoning, a decision that would be consistent with the Master Plan in this historic town.

But we don’t know if the next stop will be a courthouse in Freehold, The Board of Adjustment in Neptune, or a repeat visit at the HPC where they will probably eventually approve all the columns, windows, paint colors, roof-lines etc that they tend to fuss over.

We hope instead, that they will trash the whole plan and allow the Neptuners to do the same, clearing the field for a return to single family zoning.

After all, at some point over the last 15 years, the clock should have run out on these illegal “developers.”

VALERIE MASTERSON    from the soundtrack of the marvelous movie “Quartet.”  This is from Gilbert and Sullivan’s the Mikado.

 

“I think you ought to recollect
You cannot show too much respect
Towards the highly titled few;
But nobody does, and why should you?”

 

Read Full Post »

Ocean Grove. 2011 © Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Yellow warning flag is flying.

This article was posted in January, 2020, but it references events in 2019:

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  Blogfinger.net

 

Modern Ocean Grove History:

 

“Something familiar,

Something peculiar,

Something for everyone:

A comedy tonight!

“New complications,

Nothing portentous or polite;

Tragedy tomorrow,

Comedy tonight!”

*Stephen Sondheim:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

 

Raise the curtain at the Neptune Theater of the Absurd.  The stage is set for a tragedy:

Jack Bredin attended the Township Comedy’s meeting last night (August 2019,) and his conclusion is, “Ocean Grove is being sold down the river.”

After hearing OG’s  Carol Rizzo, the 2019  Neptune Township Mayor, effusively praise the “new” North End Plan, Jack sank down in his chair—He says that all hope seems to be lost as this show unfolds with its final acts waiting in the wings.

This drama about the historic town of Ocean Grove is now positioned to move forward in a direction that will be accepted by all the power players, leaving the residents of the Grove hung out to dry.  Once the contractors’ trucks begin to stir up the dust and clog our respiratory tracts, while creating a nightmare of congestion  and a cacophony of noise, we will wind up with a large scale version of the Greek Temple on Main Avenue—a variation on a theme as the promise of historic small town OG may forever be lost.

And along with it will be the hopes for a pristine Wesley Lake, now known by  all concerned  as a “retention/detention basin.”

Let’s consider the players in this Greek tragedy known as “The North End Revelopment Plan.”  We have the main actors at  the  Neptune Township Comedy along with the Chorus consisting of  the Home Groaners, the Camp Meeting, the Chamber of Commercials, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Board, and The Wesley Lake Commission.

And providing the backdrop and script for this scandalous performance, there is the main villain of the piece—secretive developers lurking off stage while pulling on the puppet strings.

Here is the cast of characters:

a. The Neptune Township Committee: Mayor Rizzo of Ocean Grove, who has swallowed the Kool Aid,  will lead those Neptuner sheep to unanimously approve the new plan.  She has appointed Committeeman Michael Brantley to take her place as the “Class one” member of the Planning Board.

She has abdicated her key role as the protector of the people at the PB. Brantley is a Neptuner through and through and he will order the PB to approve the new plan unanimously.

Once upon a time there was a Committeewoman who favored single family zoning at the North End.  Mary Beth Jahn stuck her neck out for the best interests of the people and the town, and she was beheaded by the Monmouth County and Neptune Democrat Party.

The Neptune Comedy is indifferent to the people of Ocean Grove, and one-party rule prevents any chance of changing the ending of this tragedy.

b.  The Rule of Law:  Normal procedures regarding land use law have been routinely violated in Neptune, but that crowd, along with their OG allies, does whatever it pleases.  And they are aided and abetted by favoritism offered by key unelected bureaucrats at Town Hall.

c. OG Home Owners Ass.  We don’t know their motives, but this group of turncoats continues to back the developers and Neptuners regarding the North End.  The late Ken Buckley who was on the HOA Board and the HPC told Jack that the HOA is  “backing the Plan.”

d.  Developers: (OGNED)    Some of these people are connected to OG, but despite that, they conspire, whenever possible, to exploit the people of OG for profit.  They are favored at the Mother Ship with zoning manipulations including those that increase congestion and ugliness in town:  condos, Greek Temple, Mary’s Place, parking  torture, etc.

e. Camp Meeting Association.  They have removed themselves as redevelopers, but that is just cosmetic.  The President of the the CMA told us publicly that his organization has been involved in negotiations to move the NERP forward. They have control as the land owners, so they are focused on making money.  They seem to have little interest in the OG residents community or the historical designation of the town.

f. Chamber of Commerce:  In many US towns the CC is community minded.  But this crew only cares about two things: profits and tourists.  They never get involved with community issues such as the North End. For them, the commercialized North End Plan will increase their membership as they continue to close Main Avenue for mindless tourist events and crowds.

g.  Historic Preservation Commission:  When they are not hiding under their beds  they have stood by while the Neptuners seek to take over their guidelines on behalf of developers and contractors.

And they refuse to be transparent with BF or the public. The Chairwoman won’t even speak to us regarding their situation.

h.  Wesley Lake Commission, representing both sides, has stopped trying to clean the Lake and instead they support the Retention/Detention re-naming in order to allow the Lake to be used to receive  increasing amounts of filthy ground water from the  future North End, thus saving the developers a huge amount of money to fix the ecology of the former “Wesley Lake.”

i. The Residents of OG-–Those who envision our historic town as a lovely place with its Victorian architecture, parks, clean Lakes, parking for those who live here, reduction in tourist glut, solving the Asburian invasion, keeping our streets open, nurturing of the community with its kids, families, retirees, diversification, etc. will be the big losers in the North End project.

“Representative government” has failed here, and apathy reigns.   Only a major law suit in Superior Court  or an investigation by the NJ Attorney General could close this show down.

Once the curtain closes on all this, the corruption in OG/Neptune will continue.  Blogfinger will keep reporting the news, but we don’t see an alternative ending to this drama.   Jack says, “Ocean Grove is a door mat;  we’re sunk.”

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger:  Blogfinger.net.   Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

 

ZERO MOSTEL  from the original Broadway cast album of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Read Full Post »

The way we were. Ocean Grove as it should look. Mt. Hermon Way at Firemen's Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. 2004. ©

The way we were. Ocean Grove as it should look. Mt. Hermon Way at Firemen’s Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. 2004. ©   2015 Re-Post

 

 

“Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
And if we had the chance to do it all again
tell me, would we?  could we?”

ALAN BERGMAN:   “The Way We Were.”

 

In the process of selling the North End Redevelopment Plan to the citizens of Ocean Grove in 2008, the Township Committee asserted that people in town were in favor of the plan. This pitch was based on what the OG Homegroaners had to say and what, supposedly , was said by citizens at “visioning sessions.”

The process of approving an “Area in Need of  Redevelopment” was supposed to include the support of the citizens, but do you think the citizens wanted to get rid of  the single family home zoning in exchange for the NERP Asbury Park South plan?

Did the Township  really obtain the blessings of the citizens of our town or were they twisting the truth?  We suspect the latter.

Here is a quote from the official “2008 North End Redevelopment Plan:”

Given the importance of this site to Ocean Grove and its residents, this plan was developed in conjunction with an extensive community visioning process in which members of the public had an opportunity to comment on all aspects of the plan and its proposed design standards and requirements. Accordingly, the final plan and its core design elements reflect the input of the Ocean Grove community in creating a new vision for the North End.”

Blogfinger has pointed out many of the illegalities and improprieties that are intrinsic to the NERP.  We haven’t yet exhausted everything that we have to say on this subject. Soon we will be posting our latest article entitled:  “Ten reasons why there is a black cloud over the NERP,” and actually there are more than ten.

This  opinion  poll will offer  an idea as to  whether the Ocean Grove public in 2015 really wants the NERP, complete with condominiums, a hotel, retail stores, one or two new roads, and a banquet hall, or would they prefer the original zoning for 25 single family homes.  Hopefully we will get 200 or more respondents, but whatever the number, I bet they are more than showed up for those “visioning sessions.”

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @ Blogfinger

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Used to be our town, too. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo ©
“This used to be our town, too.”    Paul Goldfinger photo ©  This subject is still relevant even though it first stuck its inquisitive head out of the primordial fog of the Mother Ship and Pitman Avenue.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger   (NOTE:  This article was originally posted on Dec  31, 2015, and again in 2020. )

In view of the current signs of life emerging out of the North End Redevelopment Plan’s resting place, here is another chance to read selected quotes by your neighbors and a few others regarding governance in this town and about the North End plan.

Why is it that our local institutions never seem to place the interests of OG’s citizens first?  Representative government here has failed.  The Neptune Committee makes you wait 3 hours before you get 5 minutes to speak at their meetings,  and they show essentially no interest in what the citizens of Ocean Grove think.

They have even threatened a Grover who spoke “out of turn” at their meetings.

Now (2020)  they will take advantage of the coronavirus to further distance their governance nonsense from we the people.

Here is a collection of comments, mostly from 2015, but some from 2011 and 2012, repeated now to show the extent of discourse, mostly on the critical side, and to offer a sense of clamor for change leading up to 2016.  Note that this is just a mere sprinkling of quotes, chosen arbitrarily from the nearly 17,000 comments made on Blogfinger  (except for A.O. Scott) since 2009 to 2015.

A.O. Scott of the New York Times, 2015,  talks about “how power operates in the absence of accountability. When institutions convinced of their own greatness work together, what usually happens is that the truth is buried and the innocent suffer.

“Breaking that pattern of collaboration is not easy. Challenging deeply entrenched, widely respected authority can be very scary.”  (This quote of A.O. Scott comes from his N.Y.Times movie review of “Spotlight” but it rings true for Neptune Township.)

Jack (Bredin) :  The proposed subdivision on Sea View Avenue will result in 4 illegal lots. Whoever purchases them could have big problems in the future, and the Neptune Township Planning Board doesn’t give a flying fig*.

Devo:  Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Jack: You would increase your chances of getting a subdivision if you hire a politically connected attorney who can trot out a professional planner who is willing to lie to the Board under oath.  You must first make a campaign contribution.

Kevin (Chambers) : As a service to the people of Ocean Grove it would be nice to have that Committee oath of office  printed on your site to remind each of the Committee people that their duty is to uphold the laws of the State and to enforce those laws, and that includes zoning laws—–for the protection of all the people in Neptune equally.

Oath of office Neptune Comedy

Kevin: The attorneys and the planners have the obligation to the public to make sure that testimony is factual, consistent and truthful. In one of these two cases it is anything but that.

Paul Goldfinger:  The people of Ocean Grove are being plundered, just as if the Vikings returned from Iceland and landed on the shores of Ocean Grove.

Jack:

What we do know is :
-The Township Committee has no heart.
-The Planning Board has no brain and,
-the OGHOA have no courage.

They all just “go along” with the “Flat Earth Society” opinions from the Township’s professional planners and engineers who most likely were referred to Neptune by the Great Wizard.

The fact is, we have no idea who is running (ruining) our town.

Blogfinger:   The Home Groaners’ Board has taken the Kool Aid and has jumped on the bandwagon which says that RSIS*** parking standards are no good for Ocean Grove

Rev Janeba:  Although I am a Brooklynite, my heart is in Ocean Grove – the Ocean Grove I KNOW, not the cartoon theme park version that so many misguided persons are trying to bring about. Thank you so much for looking out for MY best interests, too.

Radar:  I can’t remember any recent meeting that a vote was taken on the Homeowners’ position.

By the Sea:   Who does the OGHOA think they serve? Why do they not test their positions with their own membership? I am a member and I can attest to the fact that OGHOA members were never offered an opportunity to review the RSIS issue, vote on or even discuss it.

From the Neptune Application to SIAB**:      “This application…seeks relief from RSIS standards in an overall effort to balance the needs of residents, visitors, and public safety with the unique challenges of maintaining a Federal and State Historic Designation coupled with the unique and historic patterns of development that comprise Ocean Grove as a whole.”

“It is estimated that there are approximately 1.38 potential on-street parking spaces per occupied unit (ie house or condo). This potential inventory adequately addresses the parking need, given that the average number of vehicles per household in the 2010 census is 1.5 vehicles.”

“Neptune Township has worked in concert with the OGCMA to continue to ameliorate parking issues within Ocean Grove.”

Blogfinger  (re: RISS:)   Let’s face it, this has nothing to do with history or even parking, and everything to do with greed.

Blogfinger:   The $64,000.00 question: Even if the State turns down the application and leaves the RSIS rules in place, who is going to enforce the law?  After all, even today, the RSIS rules are in effect in Ocean Grove and they haven’t prevented condos without parking from being built— single family homes should have been constructed instead.

New Kid in Town  Has any thought been given to forming a citizen’s group to formally object to Neptune Township’s dishonest efforts to destroy our historical town for greed and profit? I for one, would be happy to join such a group and support it in anyway I could. I know many others who would do the same.

Upset taxpayer    I invite anyone on the Township Committee that thinks we already have adequate parking, to sit on my porch on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday all spring, summer and fall, and watch the frustration among all visitors to Ocean Grove.

Michael Grover (2011)     I believe the language in the proposed Master Plan is intended to further develop ratables for the Township in Ocean Grove at the expense of its residents. The Board is attempting to set up a structure that will permit replacement of B and B’s with condominiums and development of larger structures, further adding to our density.

Don’t count on the HPC to protect us, using historic preservation as grounds to prevent conversions. Recent decisions and the North End project demonstrate their weakness against the Planning Board.

As for the Township Committee, don’t look to them for much help either. The town needs money, and this is New Jersey, enough said. We will need to protect ourselves.

Mary Beth Jahn:     (2011)    I am the sole member of the Township Committee to vote against the North End plan, and I still believe that single-family homes and not condos should be built on that site.

OGrover:  2011    The recent high density project with it’s proposed underground parking is not supposed to add to the parking issues but will do nothing to alleviate them either. (Underground parking next to the ocean and a lake? The Titanic was unsinkable, too!)

Frank: (2011)  New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board knows the situation of our not owning the property, and their recommendation for parking is that Neptune follow the Municipal Land Use Law’s standards that are used throughout the state. I have a copy of the letter addressed to Neptune from the Sites Board that states that the Township is to follow the standards for parking

Joan C (2012)    I was rather surprised to read that Mr. Williams stated so emphatically that he would never read nor respond on Blogfinger. Is Mr. Williams “too good” for the blog? Is he choosing to remain unaware of the concerns of our residents? I frankly had hoped that all members of both parties read Blogfinger, which is the least divisive, non-political posting of relevant information for those of us living in Ocean Grove and Neptune Township

Devo (2012)  The North end project, in its current form, will not benefit the Grove. It will generate significant additional traffic, create additional parking issues (despite what they say they are planning), will depress home/condo prices for the existing housing stock, and will add out of character buildings. I wasn’t here when all this went down, but I can’t imagine why folks in OG think this is a good idea.

The longer it is delayed, the better.

Michael Grover (2012)  Those of us concerned about noise and congestion, not to mention density and over-development, need to look no farther than the North End project. Want a problem that really happens and lasts forever? Why was this project approved, and where was the HPC to protect the integrity of our beloved historic district? It’s a lot easier to enforce the rules when the issue is the color of a house and other minor cosmetic concerns, or when you have the authority to impose a decision no matter how unjustified on a weak, defenseless homeowner. Take on the town and the developers, that’s another story.

Devo (2012)    Scuttle the redevelopment plan now, or forever be sorry you did not.

Bythesea (2012)  Developing the North End under a State sanctioned redevelopment designation is a terrible idea. I can tell you right now that, based on what has happened most other places in NJ, OG will lose all control and hate the outcome. OG should seek to bring about the collapse of this redevelopment plan. The land and location is valuable/desirable enough that the CMA should be able to manage its own redevelopment.

Despite Mary Beth Jahn’s best intent and all of our wishful thinking, redevelopment areas take on a life of their own and they always gravitate to higher than expected density and insensitivity to quality of life concerns of the town they are occurring in (e.g., traffic impact, parking, etc.).

Gosh: (2012) I have to say for the last time, the approval of the redevelopment of the North End was never legal.

Mary Beth Jahn   (2012)   Those who are sucking sour lemons and trying to run a smear campaign wouldn’t know or care, because they have no respect for the Grove’s historic designation and would have no problem turning the Grove into Condo City.

Wisher:  (2012)  There will be no distinguishing OG or Asbury Park in the future. No grand vistas, or public places for shoppers and beach-goers. People won’t come here any more than they will go to any of the myriad of other shore towns. No distinguishing characteristics. Just everything shoved up against the shoreline while developers walk about with their boatload of cash.

Gosh (2012)   Condos have been motivated by GREED and REVENUE that they bring into Neptune. There is absolutely no interest in keeping O.G. historic with single family homes; just look at the new Master Plan— there are so many gray areas for interpretation.

Bythesea:    (2012)  Where is the OGHOA on the North End Development? What stand have they taken relative to the abomination of a plan that now exists for the “redevelopment” of the North End? It is they who should be the champions in the fight against poor planning that will hurt the town. Do they just play a reactive game, or do they try to lead? Where is their position paper? Seems to me that this is by far the biggest issue on their plates for the next year.

Jack    The first and only comment from our new year (2016):

OhGee, the reason this special town exists, is to the credit of the OGCMA.

The Township Committee has the exclusive authority to adopt our zoning ordinance.
We cannot blame any property owner for developing what they are permitted to develop under the zoning ordinance adopted by the Committee.   With zoning, the buck stops with the Township Committee.

The problem is that the Committee, Planning Board and Board of Adjustment use Municipal Land Use Law in ways that were never intended by the NJ State Legislature.

**SIAB  is the State Site Improvement Advisory Board in Trenton.  They keep Blogfinger up to date on their agendas so that the Neptune Comedy doesn’t sneak into one of their meetings without the people knowing.

*** RSIS means Residential Site Improvement Standards” regarding required off site parking standards for new construction.

Editor’s note:   June, 2020. The OGNED North End Redevelopers applied to the DEP for CAFRA approval to build an underground garage at the North End.   But they were rejected, and we are seeking up-dated information as to the current status of that fraudulent plan.

JAMES TAYLOR

Read Full Post »

RE-POST  from  2015.  Still relevant:

 

Old Salvation Army housing is being turned into a boutique hotel in Asbury Park. Prosper Belizia photo, Blogfinger staff. Old Salvation Army housing is being turned into a boutique hotel in Asbury Park. Prosper Bellizia photo, Blogfinger staff. April, 2015. ©

 

Is this the historic look that the HPC wants for the North End? The CMA seems to create the good old days in the Grove and call it Is this the historic look that the HPC wants for the North End?*   The CMA seems to want to re-create the good old days in the Grove and call it “historic.”

 

This space on the southern border of Asbury Park, across from Wesley Lake will get condos in the future. Does Ocean Grove need to add more condos to the neighborhood? Blogfinger photo. This space on the southern border of Asbury Park, across from Wesley Lake, will get condos in the future. Does Ocean Grove need to add more condos to the neighborhood?  Isn’t AP more in need of “redevelopment” than we are?      Blogfinger photo.

 

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

If you were wondering what our new North End hotel might look like, better hope it doesn’t take shape like the one on top.   The NERP calls for an 85 room hotel, but don’t worry—-remember that the HPC must approve the design.  What? You don’t trust the HPC? Perhaps you are thinking about the Greek Temple on Main Avenue or about the new Mary’s Place which will take up two lots and look like a pseudo- Victorian building designed to fool the tourists.

Or perhaps it occurs to you that there are enough hotels in the neighborhood counting the one above, so maybe we don’t need another hotel in the Grove. Currently in Asbury Park there are 3 hotels:  Berkley-Carteret, Tides, and Empress. In Ocean Grove we have Majestic, Shawmont, and Laingdon.

How about a nice park which we could call “Hotel Park” to remember the old North End Hotel which became useless in its time and was finally torn down in 1978.

Did you have a look at recently built condos in Ocean Grove  (e.g. on Ocean Pathway)  or in Asbury Park?  What do you think?

Editor’s note March, 2021. We have posted the architects design* for the hotel and condos.  It has a pseudo-Victorian look.

Historic zoning should not have permitted a hotel now at this site.  Just because there was a hotel before in that vicinity does not mean that another one should be allowed.  The 1911 hotel at the North End was demolished in 1978.  Note that the Asbury Hotel has opened in the interim, while the Tides has closed.

 

 

JOE WILLIAMS  From his album Music for Lovers

Read Full Post »

unknown

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor Blogfinger.net  In response to Annabel Bisset’s current comment to us about the NJDEP’s attitude towards underground garages.

On March 22, 2020, Blogfinger posted an article about the OGNED application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding the North End project. The application was prepared by a consultant (LOMAX)

The application contains 400 pages, but we all have known for a long time that environmental issues would be paramount when it was time to go to the state DEP for approvals.

In that article   (March 2020) we posted the  cover letter and a map.  We questioned a number of provisions contained in that application.  We have re-posted that piece above.

In that March 2020 piece we mentioned the controversial  planned underground garage.  This is what we said:

“I don’t see any mention of the underground garage. Would that not be an important environmental concern given that this project has boundaries on a natural lake and on an ocean?  Have they given up the plan for an underground garage?  If not, why isn’t it shown in the enclosed site plan?”

On April 15, the DEP sent a letter to OGNED saying that more information was needed.  That letter is linked below.

The April  2020, deficiency letter identifies a number of issues, but not the underground garage.

Over the years, in our many articles about the North End, we and quite a few of our readers questioned the environmental impact of that proposed garage.

Then, in May, 2020, according to an email to their members from the Ocean Grove Homeowners Association, the DEP has declared the application to be “deficient” on the grounds that “no subsurface enclosures are permitted.”

Blogfinger has not seen that alleged garage denial letter.

It’s hard to imagine how OGNED can do their huge project without that garage, unless, of course, they pull strings in Neptune and get  approval for a 150 car above ground garage on the surface.   If they do that, there should be an insurrection in town.

Maybe this will provide an opportunity for the CMA and for Neptune Township, like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, to get a heart and do something beautiful and grand at the North End.

And, as usual, the Groaners offer no opinions about this remarkable happening.  When will they find the courage, like the Lion, to become activists and get tough on behalf of we the people?

This situation  provides an opportunity to make noise, once again, about the misguided and selfish plan for the North End of Ocean Grove. Maybe some citizens can form an ad hoc group to push for new ideas at the North End.  Don’t let this upheaval go to waste.

Let’s hope that  our faith in the DEP will be reinforced.

Also note our January 2020 piece about the North End, with 20 comments. This analytic Blogfinger post references events in 2019.

Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight

 

JACK HALEY   from the Wizard of Oz

And from the ‘Useless Decorations Department” of the HOA comes a map of historic OG which was included in the email.  But why did they include that map?  Who knows?  No explanation.

This map is very early, but no date.  c. 1879.  Click to enlarge and study.

But while we are here, note the area of the OGNED North End. It contains 19 lots for single family homes. Jack Bredin tells us that those lots were originally designated for ministers and their families. And before Neptune changed the zoning in 2007, it was zoned only for 25 single family homes.

There is nothing there to suggest a project such as has been proposed by the CMA/OGNED/Neptune Township/OGHOA.

CMA Pres. Badger tried to argue that the current proposal would fulfill some sort of historic vision for the area, but if historic vision is what they want, then how about tent village part II or a wonderful park for all.

Osborne, the founder of OG, was offered a money making opportunity to join with Bradley (AP founder) to make our “sister cities” into a great investment.  But Osborne declined saying that making money was not part of the original OG vision.  No wonder the CMA has been going under-cover on this project.

Read Full Post »

©  Paul Goldfinger photograph on the OG asphalt boards, looking south, near the Casino.  A reminder of what will be lost.  October, 2019.

 

Is it treading too lightly to call the NERP “Asbury Park South?”    Our North End Redevelopment project will be more intrusive near the ocean than Asbury or other nearby towns  have done.

And don’t forget the White Whale site (where the recent fire occurred) where developers will try to re-build east of our boardwalk.   Which of our neighbors have built recently east of their boardwalk?

The OG North End is currently open space, light, and air.  OGNED will destroy that and create something more congested on our boardwalk than even Asbury has done on theirs.  Their condos are all around the AP beach area, but not on top of the boardwalk as will occur with the NERP.  And their boardwalk is much wider than ours.

The reason for the current asphalt jungle over there is that they need to figure out the elevations for construction immediately adjacent to the west side of the boardwalk.

The Camp Meeting’s  plans to re-do that North End boardwalk is about more than altruism.

 

From Grease:   Bring back pedal pushers.   Sha la, la, la, la, la, la etc.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: