Archive for the ‘RISS standards in Ocean Grove’ Category

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.


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.


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To the Editor:

Below is a letter we sent to the OGHOA regarding their being MIA on RSIS parking issues and asking what their strategy is.

I believe that, beyond contacting Mr. Lago at the Dept. of Community Affairs, we should encourage your readers to write to the OGHOA and ask/request that they initiate/increase their efforts on this critically important issue. Ocean Grovers need to begin to hold the OGHOA accountable for being our advocates. Let’ start a letter writing campaign/groundswell to get OGHOA moving.


We live in Ocean Grove. Parking is an important concern for our family and I found it curious, if not outright disturbing, that no representative of the OGHOA went to Trenton last week to lobby against changes to the application of RSIS standards within OG.

You are well aware that if Neptune Township is successful in negating these regulations, an explosion of condos will result, as will further exacerbation of the current parking shortage. These dynamics could well jeopardize our Historic District designation. This is an issue that is directly in the sweet spot for the OGHOA.

Further, I am mystified that you have not, to my knowledge, filed complaints/legal challenges with appropriate State agencies regarding the non-compliance of recent real estate projects. How many condos will you watch being built that don’t provide adequate parking before you act?

And, importantly, we have not seen evidence of the OGHOA being part of the dialogue for the likely non-compliance of the North End development (will an underground parking lot meet the full RSIS requirements? Not likely). To date, it appears that Blogfinger is the only entity that is fighting back

The RSIS regulations give you a very powerful tool to control development. What are you doing to assure these regulations are enforced and prevent circumnavigation of existing parking standards by Neptune Township and their crony developers (other than passively watching it all play out)? We need you to be activists on this issue. I’m sure all residents of OG would like to understand your strategy for managing this issue to OG’s advantage. Please let us know what you are doing.


DAVID HEPLER is a resident of Ocean Grove

December 21, 2015


Editor’s note:  Vote “yes” for Jack Bredin’s motion at the HOA meeting on Saturday, March 26, 2016


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Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At the last meeting of the OGHOA, a presentation was made by the HOA regarding RSIS.  All of a sudden, these folks became experts when they ignored the issue for years.

Fran of OG advised us that the HOA  Power Point slide-show regarding RSIS can be found on their web site  (OGHOA.org).  That presentation is long and convoluted, but the first slide stands out:

rsis-slide02As you can see, they say, “Parking in Ocean Grove is NOT governed by RSIS”   If that is true, then why has Neptune Twp. applied on two occasions in recent years for an exemption if they are already exempted?

Consider this excerpt from an exceptional RSIS review on Blogfinger by journalist Charles Layton on Feb. 14, 2011:

“On January 25, 2005, Neptune received a letter from the state Division of Codes and Standards pointing out the obvious — that our local ordinance violates the RSIS and is therefore legally invalid. However, the letter said Neptune could apply for special permission, in the form of what’s called a “special area standard.”

On October 26, 2007, Neptune did apply. It asked the New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board, which enforces RSIS, to let it retain its own separate regulations. Its application laid out all the arguments mentioned above.

On February 21, 2008 and again on September 18, 2008 the board held hearings on Neptune’s request.

On September 29, 2009, Neptune received a letter from the chairman of the board stating that there was insufficient evidence to justify a special standard for Ocean Grove. This letter reiterated that the Neptune ordinance was inconsistent with the RSIS and therefore invalid. However, the letter said the board was “willing to work with the Township” if it decided to submit a new or different request.

During all these years of negotiation, of course, quite a number of residences have been built in Ocean Grove, on Ocean Pathway and elsewhere. According to the RSIS law, those residences should have included off-street parking. But, because the buildings followed Neptune’s law rather than state law, no such parking was provided. In fact, by local law, the builders were forbidden to have off-street parking even if they’d wanted it.”

Here is a link to that entire article:



Last November, Kevin Chambers wrote an article for BF (based on a 2011 article by him)  on this subject, and he said, “Even though all the committee members of the RSIS Board were well aware of Ocean Grove’s problems having visited Ocean Grove, the RSIS Board was forced to deny Neptune the “Special Area Standard” designation since Neptune’s zoning for Ocean Grove was and is in violation of the MLUL.”     (MLUL is the Municipal Land Use Law of New Jersey.)


Support Jack Bredin’s motion and vote YES at the meeting next Saturday.

PEGGY LEE   “Is That All There Is?”

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In a series of articles on Blogfinger we have reviewed the lawless behavior of Neptune Township in failing to obey the existing RSIS parking standards which would discourage more condo development without parking.  (Just do a search above under “RSIS” or “Condominiums.”)

The Township had been trying to obtain an exemption (ie a “special area parking standard”) for Ocean Grove for some time, but as recently as December 2015, their application was denied by the State Residential Site Improvement Advisory Board  (SIAB.)

Some of us Grovers were present in Trenton to hear the Committee Chair tell the Township Administrator Vito Gadaletta that the application was denied “without prejudice” and that if the Township wants to reapply it would “have  to start the application process anew.”   (this quote is from the State Dept. of Consumer Affairs.)

At Blogfinger we have been watching for Neptune to appear on the agenda at the SIAB, but their meetings have been cancelled in January and February.  Now we have learned from the DCA that Neptune Township has not so far reapplied.

If you are a cynic, you might roll your eyes and think, “Fuhgetaboutit—Neptune will just do business as usual and continue to ignore the law even as it approves more condominiums and places like Mary’s.”

Would the new members of the Township Committee be willing to be a party to such blatant disdain for the people of Ocean Grove and the laws of our State?

STEVE EARLE AND THE PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND     –playing the theme song of the Neptune Township Committee:

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Bloginger

In an announcement e-mailed by Ann Horan, President of the HOA, the OG Home Groaners Association decided that they should discuss Grove parking and the RSIS application because “these topics are very much ‘of the moment,’ and the discussion is sure to be wide-ranging and lively'”

Wow! Where have they been? “Of the moment?” These topics have been topical for years.  And what has the HOA done to educate the people of the Grove about RSIS which is a subject that can impact the  town’s future?

They promise a ” lively discussion,” but without preparation, all the audience can do is listen to  lawyerly propaganda speeches by an organization that has shown little interest in the RSIS issue until now and which has been on the anti-OG side of other  topics including North End redevelopment and zoning.  Where do they stand on other “of the moment” issues such as the Park View subdivision?  Why didn’t they attend the recent RSIS meeting in Trenton?

If it weren’t for Blogfinger hammering away, nobody in town would have a clue about these important subjects.

Those who will attend the event on Saturday, Jan 23 at 10 am in the Community Room, should do their homework and do searches on Blogfinger under RSIS and parking.

This Saturday’s forum will hopefully be  enlivened by informed and involved individuals in the audience who will make sure that the facts are allowed to surface.

Maybe Jack Bredin will be there.  In the past certain officers of the   HOA tried to silence his dissent.



DOM  DE LUISE: Blogfinger is a watchdog, so there’s nothing dirty going on in Ocean Grove—-from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas:




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NJ State Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB). Photo during their meeting at the Dept of Community Affairs in Trenton.  12/17/15  Blogfinger photo ©

NJ State Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB). Photo during their meeting at the Dept of Community Affairs in Trenton. 12/17/15 Blogfinger photo ©

Do any of you have the courage to show up, sit down in those foreground chairs, and tell them what you think about the Neptune RSIS Special Area Parking Standard application?

You may have that chance if the Township manages to pull itself together and participate in hearings.    By the way, they are very nice people–they don’t bite or raise your taxes.  —-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

JOHN PIZZARELLI.    When you step to the microphone, you can break the ice by singing a chorus of this song:

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On December 24, 2015, we said:

“Note that part of the process which has to be followed includes public meetings.    When the Township Committee schedules those meetings, we plan to be there and we will encourage a large number of you to join us.  Last time around, the Township announced the application and quickly swept the subject under the rug so that no one could oppose their plans.  For some reason, the SIAB let that pass then; but not next time. We emphasized that point in Trenton on Dec. 17 when some of us got to speak to the Board chairman and others.

“At last night’s Committee meeting, Jack Bredin of Ocean Grove requested that when the public hearings are held, that they be held in Ocean Grove.”

When we were in Trenton, we spoke to the SIAB chairman about our desire to attend public hearings in Neptune regarding this matter because, for some reason, there were none prior to the application last time around. We assumed that there would be a special session in Neptune for all of us to discuss the matter with the Neptune Committee.  But, not so fast!

After digging into the matter further, we learned that all Neptune needs to do is place the resolution on the agenda and then they can slip it by without anyone being the wiser.  That is why they had no hearings last time—technically, that agenda item was a “hearing”—a call for comments, and there were none.

And the reason they can get away with such subterfuge is that the State does not require a public meeting in Neptune prior to the eventual SIAB public hearing in Trenton.

When Jack stood up at the Committee meeting last week and asked that the RSIS public meeting be held in Ocean Grove, no one told him that there would be no special meeting in Neptune.  Jack spoke to Committeeman Brantley about it later, and Brantley said it was a good idea, but evidently he meant to have the entire committee meeting in the Grove.

So, when it comes to local government, we should all keep our eyes and ears open because the lack of transparency continues.  Do not assume anything!

We need to watch for an agenda item to appear announcing a resolution to submit an RSIS application once again.  And once we know that, we should go there in force and everyone who attends should go to the microphone  (you get 5 minutes) and tell them that you oppose a special RSIS parking standard for all of Ocean Grove except for single family houses.

When we hear of that scheduled meeting, we will post it on Blogfinger.  Save our town from condomaniacs!  (Anyone want to make a banner to hold up that night?)

Can you tell us how to sweep the clouds away and how to get to where the air is clean?


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Why does the HOA support the Township on the RSIS  issue?  Partly it’s fear of curb cuts.

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 because our streets would be covered by curb cuts that would reduce on-street parking. That is one reason why they want the exemption from the RSIS.

But, there will be no curb cuts if the RSIS standards are left in place and enforced. Our lots are too small for proper off-street parking even if a multi-residential developer wanted to supply such parking. So, since he cannot offer off-street parking (curb cuts, garages, parking lots) then he has to settle for building single family houses or just donating his land to the town for a much needed dog park.

The only elements in town which should get a parking exemption (ie a Special Standard) are new single family houses. Allowing them the parking exemption will allow a builder to erect a single family house with no curb cut, driveway or garage.

We will continue to cover this story so that you all can understand what’s going on, and then you can offer an informed opinion. Will the HOA listen to its members and poll them on this subject?


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Are we having fun yet? Paul Goldfinger photo at the Jersey Shore. © Blogfinger.net

Are we having fun yet? Paul Goldfinger photo Long Beach Island. © Blogfinger.net

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

The stage was set in a conference room at the Broad Street headquarters of the NJ Department of Community Affairs in Trenton.  This was to be an important session of the Parking and Streets Committee who were to consider Neptune Township’s application for a Special Area designation in Ocean Grove.

Joseph E. Doyle, Jr. , Chairman of the Site Improvement Advisory Board  (SIAB) was seated  around a rectangular table with his colleagues.  They began the meeting with some brief business.  Kevin Chambers, Jack Bredin and I were in our seats after having taken a walking tour of historic downtown Trenton as we made our way to the big white building.

Jack Bredin (left) and Kevin Chambers in Trenton, waiting for the meeting to begin. DEc. 17, 2015. Blogfinger.net photo breaking news ©

Jack Bredin (left) and Kevin Chambers in Trenton, waiting for the meeting to begin. DEc. 17, 2015. Blogfinger.net photo breaking news ©

Sitting with us was Dr. Carol Livingston, the only Grover to show up.  We noticed that no one from Neptune Township was present, especially the Planner who, we expected, would present the Township’s application for a special RSIS parking area standard. As the Chairman announced that he was ready to begin the Ocean Grove application, two men entered the room.

One was Vito Gadaleta, the Neptune Twp business manager. The other man was not identified. Gadaleta did not look happy; it seemed clear that he really didn’t want to be there.  “Mr. Chairman,” he said, ” We cannot go forward today because our town attorney had to be at another case.”

The Committee looked startled at this revelation. After all, there were other incidences in the past where the Township began this process but, each time, failed to finish. This time they had jumped through enough DCA hoops to get to this point. This meeting of the Parking and Streets sub-c0mmittee wouldn’t have resolved the matter, but it would have created the groundwork to  have Neptune’s request decided upon by the big dog—-ie the SIAB.

Chairman Doyle is a calm, experienced and cheerful Board chairman, but he is very professional—-so he did not react emotionally.  After all, the Township was wasting everybody’s time including not only  his people’s, but the OG contingent as well.    He merely looked at Gadaleta and said, “Your application will not be considered now.  You are being denied without prejudice.  If you want to continue applying for the special standard, you have to start the process all over again.”  Chairman Doyle struck me as being in the same mold as George Washington who spent time in Trenton. You can’t help but have some 18th century thoughts as you walk around Trenton.

Mr. Gadaleta stood there and heard that the Township must resubmit the application, make changes if they wish, again obtain a Township resolution, explain again why they want the exception, and finally they must have public hearings and publicize the hearings so that we can bring a crowd there if we wish.  Then he turned and vanished into the gloom  (It was a gloomy day outside, matching Gadaleta’s mood)

Team OG did not despair, because Chairman Doyle and his committee were gracious enough to let us speak to them as they do care what the Ocean Grove citizens  have to say.  He did not permit any detailed technical discussions about the matter, but we were thrilled to go on the record, in general, about the topics of the day.

Each of us spoke briefly and we also had the chance after the meeting to talk with some members of the Board.  We found them to sympathetic and interested. We even got to have coffee and some outrageous baked goods including, gulp, chocolate eclairs.

This is a summary of what the 4 members of Team OG got to say to the Board:

Neptune was secretive when they submitted their application last summer.  None of us were given the chance to tell the Neptunites about our concerns, and we want that to change if there is a next time.  We want to bring a big crowd to that meeting in Neptune if it occurs.

No one seems to know why Neptune wanted to push their application and then why they failed to show up today.   None of us on Team Grove believed Gadaleta’s excuse.

I told the Board that Neptune is “playing them” and “disrespecting” them and our fellow citizens back in the Grove.

We asked that they get a clear answer next time as to the real reason for the application since historical preservation is a ridiculous excuse.

We told them about our poll where 300 people took part, and 86% did not trust the Neptune Committee to do what is “fair and right for Ocean Grove.”  I got to explain that Ocean Grove is a special place with our own culture, demographics and concerns.  Both Mr. John Lago of the DCA and Chairman Boyle told me that have been following Blogfinger regarding this matter.

Jack Bredin got to review some of our unique history which makes OG a very special case with regards to zoning and RISS standards.  He also presented his unique recommendation to exempt the standards for single family homes but not for multi -family buildings such as condominiums.  More on this idea later.

Carol Livingston gave a short but powerful description of what she , a grandmother in the Grove, has to go through to deal with parking problems in season. After the meeting we got to tell Mr. Doyle that our “season” now lasts about 6 months.  He said that he visits OG often, and he did experience parking trouble when attending a summer event at the Great Auditorium.

Kevin Chambers got to tell the Board about some of his ideas regarding illegal activities involving the Township in relation to zoning and RSIS regulations. He told them about his Main Avenue law suit.

We asked the Chairman to explain how Neptune could ignore State laws about required parking and that such disdain has resulted in the rise of a number of condominiums built without parking. He said that his Board deals with RSIS standards, but they are not an enforcement body. If we in Ocean Grove want something done, we need to go through the courts or to go to other State agencies to complain.

My comments were read and then handed to the secretary to make part of the minutes.  Jack and Kevin put away their written comments for another day.

Team OG left feeling that we had a successful day despite the no-show crowd from Neptune.  We thank the SIAB members who were so kind, hospitable and caring. As Jack said, “Democracy in action, even though there wasn’t much action.”  I felt proud to be there, as we actually got to experience representative transparent government, unlike what we get in Neptune.

Cast of Hamilton:  “History has its eyes on you.”

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Today Blogfinger has received some more details about this matter. This is Part 2 on this topic:

In November, 2014, a meeting was held, at the request of Neptune Township,  between town officials/consultants  and the  SIAB’s  (Site Improvement Advisory Board)  streets and parking committee to discuss how Neptune might obtain a special area parking standard  (ie exemption) according to the RISS rules.  The meeting concluded that Ocean Grove qualifies for such consideration. They also concluded that Neptune Township had to follow procedures including formal acceptance by the Township.

But somehow, Neptune failed to adequately complete the application properly and thus, on June 18, 2015, at the Board’s public meeting, due to the fact that “Neptune hadn’t yet submitted a formal application, its members approved a motion to dismiss without prejudice this topic from its agenda.”

On July 15, 2015, a letter was sent to Mayor Jahn from Joseph H. Doyle, Jr., Chairman of the New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board. We have a copy of that letter.  In it, he tells her that the request for a special area parking standard for the historic Ocean Grove neighborhood has been taken off the table.

Today, October 15, 2015,  we received a copy of an email dated August 20, 2015, which represents the most recent contact between the DCA and Neptune officials.

That  email, below, is  from Mr. John Lago, DCA Housing Research Manager to Jennifer Beahm, who is the planner from CME Associates who wrote the application dated July, 2015.

Thank you for the paper and electronic copies of the special area parking and street standards for the Ocean Grove neighborhood in Neptune Township, Monmouth County.  The paper copy was delivered to the Department on August 7, 2015.  An electronic version was shared with the Site Improvement Advisory Board (SIAB).  The material is close to a complete application.  Two items are still needed:

  1. A resolution from the municipal governing body that briefly describes the application and the reason for the exception to the Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS).  This requirement is specified at NJAC 5:21-3.5 (e) 1; and,
  1. Proof of publication by the municipality that Neptune Township is seeking approval of a special area standard.  A notice of the special area standard, like the one drafted for your application, must be published in a local paper.  It should briefly describe the special area standards, let those in the public know a copy of the application is available with the municipal clerk, and tell them how to get a copy of this information.  (See NJAC 5:21-3.5(c)1.i.)

Once the Department has this, it will file a notice in the NJ Register of receipt of the application, including a summary of the contents, and the time, place and date of the public meeting at which it will be discussed.  This will officially announce receipt of a complete application and begin the process  SIAB goes through to publicly review the application. 

Editor’s note:  We will continue reporting on this subject.  It is about more than the request for an exemption to the RISS parking rules. It is also about the way that development has occurred in our historic town. We will see if the State sees through the request which is, at its core, a smooth sailing pass-through for developers in a town that is already too developed.

The people of Ocean Grove care about parking, but parking questions are just symptoms of bigger related issues including quality of life, fresh air, peace and quiet,and  maintaining  the town as an authentic place with character and beauty and not just a source of riches for developers and taxes for politicians. The politicians in this town have a pattern of ignoring us in Ocean Grove. This RISS matter is part of that.  Why do you think that they are pushing this exemption?

The State says that it  is concerned about preserving our history as it considers the request, and we hope it gives a voice to our citizens as it has promised to do.  We will be presenting some of the highlights from the application, especially the parts that justify the special exemption.  And if it does reach the Planning Board, we should crowd that room in opposition.—-Paul Goldfinger  Editor @Blogfinger.

FATHER JOHN MISTY:   “Nancy from Now On”   It’s a moody thing, but the last part of the lyric—-watch out!

“Forgive me how it was
A place under the sun
Before the devil made me run
Run boy, run boy”

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