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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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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

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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.

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©  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.

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Looking north!    It’s time for Grovers to speak up about the North End. This scene is from when the White Whale went up in flames. Don’t wait for the North End to be consumed by commercialism.    Paul Goldfinger photo. ©. Spring, 2019.

 

 

As most of you know, the NJDEP has been considering the North End Plan for CAFRA approvals.  CAFRA is the Coastal Area Facility Review Act of 1973.

OGNED, the “re-developers ” of the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan, are awaiting approval of their application.  Many of us have been concerned about the environmental impact of that project, nestled between the ocean and Wesley Lake.  The plan calls for an underground garage, condominiums, private homes, retail, and a hotel.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the NJDEP.  Their web site says, “Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2020, the DEP makes New Jersey a stronger and fairer state by protecting our environment and public health. With hard work, exceptional knowledge and expertise, the DEP’s men and women have made the agency an unfailing guardian of New Jersey’s precious natural and historic resources.”  (our italics)

The public is now invited to express their concerns to the NJDEP.   The DEP has no plans for public hearings on this topic, but any of you are in a position to communicate with them as individuals or as a group.

At Blogfinger we know about the Ocean Grove public’s opposition to the project, so now’s the time to send an email to the DEP. We know that the DEP is interested in what the citizens of Ocean Grove have to say.

Blogfinger has obtained the contact information below, thanks to the Press Department at DEP in Trenton:

 

“Residents wanting to comment on the proposed project may email the project manager at becky.mazzei@dep.nj.gov or send their comment to this address:

 

“New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Division of Land Use Regulation

P.O. Box 420, Code 501-02A

Trenton, New Jersey 08625

Attn: Neptune Supervisor “

 

Editor’s Note:  If you send BF a copy of your note, we will post it on this site.  Using your real name is most effective, and we will collect those notes in our comments section.

For those of you who belong to organizations in town which profess to care about the Grove’s history, safety, welfare, health, and future, you should urge them to pressure the DEP to reject this application.

The Homeowners Assoc. is planning a town-wide survey because they don’t know what to do to keep busy, so here is something that they should support forcefully. It’s about time they gave a damn!  Others which should step up include OG United,  Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Parking Alliance.

Approval of the North End as a Zone in Need of Redevelopment was illegal to begin with,  and  the Plan can still be turned back on those grounds alone, notwithstanding the environmental concerns.

This plan is not in the best interest of the people of Ocean Grove.  Speak up now or regret it later.  The DEP can stop this ill-conceived project.

Write an email. You have until Dec. 21, but maybe they will read your message now  (FE 4, 2021)

 

 

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor Blogfinger.net.

 

HARRY NILSSON.  from Midnight Cowboy;

 

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Speaking of environmental: Will the North End Plan take care of increased ground water that could pollute the ocean and the lake? Blogfinger photo.

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net.

October 26, 2020.  Ocean Grove, NJ

 

The DEP application has been held up for months now; we don’t know all the details about what is delaying approval, but our last communication with the DEP  (Oct. 8)  is linked below.

In it, the DEP Press Officer told us:

“Paul, nothing has been approved at this point. The fact that the application has been deemed complete only means the DEP has been provided all the required information to now put the proposal up for public review and comment.”

 

North End update on Blogfinger Oct. 8, 2020

 

I have also checked the latest DEP Bimonthly Bulletin, but there is nothing there about the North End application. I will look into that further.  If nothing else, Blogfinger will shine a light on the opaque and sneaky OGNED.

Remember when they came to the Groaners’ meeting, refusing to answer certain questions, and the Groaners supported that censorship?  What do the Groaners stand for?

We have reached this point without any updated public statements on the subject by Neptune Township, the CMA, the Home Groaners, or the opaque and secretive OGNED.  The bottom line is that nothing has been approved yet, and public comments will have to be solicited.

The letter below, dated Oct. 20, 2020, is written by the Lomax Consulting Group which has been representing OGNED, the self-proclaimed North End Re-developer. We believe that the letter was sent to everyone who owns a home within 200 feet of the North End project.

The letter was shared with us by an anonymous source.  He/she says, “Just received this updated notification of the application for a CAFRA permit for the north end.   The only difference from the original one received in March is the location now includes Part of Lot 5 and the End of Beach Avenue which were not on the original application as well as the NJDEP File Number.   There is no change to the plan attached to the application.”

Click on letter and site plan for easier reading. 

Note that the letter doesn’t spell out the process whereby public hearings might be held.   The only way that the fraudulent aspects of this application might be exposed is if knowledgeable OG organizations or individuals formally contact the DEP to request hearings to be held in the Grove.

In a normal town, the Home Owners Association would step up and make sure that the interests of  OG residents are represented, but our HOA is useless when it comes to advocacy in the face of dangerous issues such as  what OGNED, CMA and Neptune Townships are planning for the North End.  But if anyone does want to formally request such an inquiry, they need to send a letter with return receipt requested.  

As we have pointed out, the plan which Lomax submitted to the NJDEP is not the one approved by the Neptune Township Committee back in 2008 which included 165 condominiums.  And it is not the one which Mayor Rizzo carelessly signed off on in her “Redevelopers Agreement” with OGNED last year.

 

Site plan submitted to NJDEPfor Block 101, lots 3&4, parts of loat 2 and 54, and end of Beach Avenue

 


Editor’s note
:   Read that letter.  They don’t mention an “underground garage,”  only 140 spaces  “covered by a podium deck..”  The total parking is 155 spaces.  Where are the other 15?

They also mention a “historic hotel.”  That is clearly nonsensical and dishonest  terminology.

Speaking of “historic;”

 

The Lenape Indians probably were in Ocean Grove back when, so tents are truly historic for the North End. And so were bikinis on the beach.  Let’s turn the North End into Tent Village II. Source: Google says so.

 

And they say, “The project will not result in the adverse impact on environmentally sensitive areas”  Really?  Are Wesley Lake and the Atlantic Ocean “environmentally sensitive areas?”

 

Let’s not let Ocean Grove slip slide away:  

 

PAUL SIMON    2011 in London at the iTunes Festival

“Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away.”

 

 

 

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Kathy and Mark of Ocean Grove at the North End. Paul Goldfinger photo

Kathy and Mark of Ocean Grove at the North End. Paul Goldfinger photo

 

 

BRIAN WILSON RE-IMAGINES GERSHWIN:

“I’ve Got a Crush on You”   by George and Ira Gershwin  (1928)

 

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Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger photo. 9/22/15 © Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms, oriented north and south,  providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger.net  photograph. 9/22/15 ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

Here is a re-post of part I of our research about the Embury Arms Condominiums posted in September of 2015. Time to re-read it now in 2020.  The dots between it and the current North End Plan can be connected.

Recently a reader wondered about the Embury Arms condominiums. Her concern came about in the midst of our real-time discussions of the North End Project and Mary’s Place zoning. She asked how that large condo project came about and whether there were issues then similar to the ones that we have been considering recently.

Embury Arms condominiums on Whitefield Avenue consist of 112 units. It was built in the 1980’s. Old OG newspaper reports say that the CMA approved the project in 1978, and then the ground breaking ceremony was held in 1980.  Those news reports never mention approvals by Neptune Twp. nor do they mention any concerns about historic preservation.  They do talk about energy conservation measures that won awards for the developer.

These condos are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments within four large 3 story buildings. The complex sits in the middle of the Grove, surrounded by Benson, Delaware, Heck and Abbott Avenues. Embury and Webb Avenues stop short as they go west to Delaware Avenue, right at the border of the Embury Arms  condos, and Whitefield Avenue goes straight through the middle, with private parking spaces on the perimeter of a public street.

Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978. Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978.

An ad in a 1982 local newspaper  describes “authentic Victorian designs.”  The apartments were starting at $49,900.00.

These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ © These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ ©

The official 2015 CMA summer guidebook map shows Webb and Embury going straight through  to Lawrence Avenue, but they do not and they never did because west of Delaware, where Embury Arms now sits, there were stables, used mostly for storage by the Camp Meeting Association. Apparently some of the buildings were rented out for parking, but it was not an area for public parking.

It is not our intention to review the detailed history of this  condo project, but anyone walking by has to wonder how the heck the developer got permission to do this distinctly un-Grovian style condominium complex. It not only is contrary to the Master Plan as we know it, but it takes up space that could have been filled with single family Victorian style homes in order to match the appearance of the rest of the Grove.

Embury Arms provides PRIVATE parking by allowing head-on placement of vehicles on Whitefield Avenue that is partly on private property (using the theoretical front yards of those lots) but it also allows the cars to stick out over where the public sidewalks should be. In other words, that parking lot violates the public pedestrian right of way.

 

Note how Note how the sidewalk (pedestrian right of way) ends to allow parked cars to protrude into that right of way.  This is Whitefield Avenue taken by walking from Heck Avenue.  Blogfinger photo ©

Normally the right of way along a public street is 40 feet wide, consisting of the road (auto right of way) and the sidewalks (pedestrian right of way) measured together.

Yes they put some recessed sidewalks there, but that is private property, and public access could theoretically be shut down at any time. The Whitefield Ave. auto right of way is intact for cars driving through, but is not inviting for autos to drive through, and warning signs threaten anyone who would dare park there.

In addition, the project deprived Ocean Grove of many potential public parking spaces if private homes had been built on streets. Instead, all those curb cuts created a giant parking lot. Where else in town is a public street (in this case Whitefield Avenue) used for private parking?

The property was originally used for stables, so no private homes were demolished to make room. Undoubtedly the CMA, the Township, and the developer were in collusion to create this massive mistake, but the history of the time* indicates that OG was not as proactive in historic preservation then. It was a time when governance here was in a state of flux**, and the public did not protest much.  There was a suit that delayed completion, but eventually the Embury Arms condominiums were finished.   At least the condo developer of Embury Arms provided parking, even though the law was stretched to make that happen.

We have no information as to how the zoning was finessed to allow this, nor do we know what the Planning Board had to say. At any rate, it is a done deal, and nothing can be done about it at this point.

It is interesting that there is an earlier precedent.  In 1964, across from Days, a large hotel burned down, and in its place rose the Arlington Court Co-op.  consisting of one bedroom apartments for which no mortgages were allowed.   This was a new idea for the Grove, and evidently no one cared that single family Victorian homes were not built.  The CMA was in charge then and they must have supported the idea.   (? sound familiar)

However, now we are in a position to do something about the largest condominium development in the history of Ocean Grove—the North End Redevelopment Project.  But there is concern that public apathy will once again allow a wrong-headed condo project to go ahead. We have seen this illegal process before.  If no one takes  legal action when work begins or sooner, then, as with other projects in town, nothing can be done after the fact.

The CMA and the Township are counting on public inaction.  Will we let them do it again?

CREDITS:

Ted Bell*, Ocean Grove historian

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger researcher

Tom Constantino, Blogfinger researcher

** In 1980, governance of Ocean Grove was turned over to Neptune Township by the NJ Supreme Court. That transition must have taken years to work out, but the Embury Arms project took hold during that delicate time.

 

Here is a link to Part II of this Embury Arms historical review.

 

Embury Arms Part II. Blogfinger.net

 

NANCY WILSON  “Please do it again.”

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Blogfinger has been in touch with the DEP regarding the OGNED application for North End Approval.  OGNED has already received two deficiency letters about a variety of items, but the most interesting is the rejection of plans for an underground parking garage as stipulated  in the Neptune approved 2008 site plan for the North End.

Below is the latest word from the DEP to us—dated July 16, 2020.

“Representatives with the DEP’s Land Resource Protection division met with the applicant on June 16 to discuss the deficiency issues in their application. During that discussion, the applicant indicated they would address the issues of concern. At this time, DEP has received no additional information from the applicant.”

Editor’s note:  A month has gone by suggesting that OGNED is having trouble responding to DEP.

EARL HINES AND ORCHESTRA featuring Billy Eckstine.   From the movie “The War.”  The skylark reminds us to think of the environment  as we consider what should be done at the OG North End.

 

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Used to be our town, too. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo © Used to be our town, too. Ocean Grove. 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 was originally posted on Dec  31, 2015, but needless to say, many of you missed it.  It was reposted in 2016.)

However, in view of the current signs of life emerging out of the NERP’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.

And for those of you who read that fake news story in the Coaster, June 11, 2020, you can watch for Blogfinger‘s response  to that mindless “news report” about the North End applications before the HPC and the DEP.

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 and they show essentially no interest in what the citizens of Ocean Grove think.

They have even threatened Grovers 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)  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.

Doubting Thomas:  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.

Bythe 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

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