Posts Tagged ‘Law suit filed over Main Avenue building project’


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

This law suit was filed by long-time Ocean Grove resident and historian Kevin Chambers.  It is about the alleged  abuse of power and failure to enforce the law on the part of the Neptune Township Zoning Board of Adjustment in regard to the proposed construction of a mixed residential/commercial building at the site of a non-conforming building which was totally destroyed in a fire at 50-54 Main Avenue in Ocean Grove in February, 2015.

The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey Monmouth County law division on October 5, 2015. Docket # MON-L-3663-15  This is a summary of the allegations stated in the official court document which was forwarded to Blogfinger on October 24, 2015 by the Neptune Township Clerk’s Office. This summary is not meant to replace the entire content of the complaint.

On August 5, 2015, the Neptune Township Zoning Board of Adjustment passed a resolution to provide Kurt Cavano (developer) with “c” and “d” density variances for the new building,   The Board justified the action by  stating, in writing, that this “variance can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and that the granting of the variance does not substantially  impair the intent and purpose of the master plan, zone plan and zoning ordinance.”

5 members of the Board voted in favor including Barbara Bascom, William Frantz, James Gilligan, Dianna Harris and Joe Sears.  Absent were Grovers Paul Dunlap (Chairman)  and Carol Rizzo.  Also absent were Thomas Healy and Frances Keel. Only 5 votes were needed to pass the resolution.

HIGHLIGHTS —–selected portions from the complaint.   If you want to read the entire document, you can request it from the Neptune Township Clerk’s office. They can email it to you but you do need to fill out an OPRA form.

  1. The action “challenges the granting of variances and the failure of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to require compliance with the parking standard of the Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS)”  The action also concerns itself with Zoning Board  approvals  perpetuating nonconforming conditions. There are other aspects as well.
  2. “The Zoning Board failed to impose conditions necessary to  protect the zone plan and the public good and further failed to act in accordance with law.”
  3. Neptune township previously failed to obtain a special area treatment from the NJ SIAB (Site Improvements Advisory Board)  which would have exempted Ocean Grove from RSIS parking rules.  Therefore, the plaintiff says, “Applicants  who do not provide parking as part of a residential application must obtain waivers or de minimis exceptions from the Zoning Board which must forward the approvals to the SIAB”.
  4. “The Zoning Board has continued to ignore RSIS parking requirements as part of a pattern and practice of action that violates RSIS and causes negative impacts on the Ocean Grove section due to inadequate parking and the attendant problems engendered by inadequate parking.” The document mentions repeated violations of this sort.
  5. “Instead of eliminating nonconforming uses, which is the mandate of the law, the Zoning Board has granted approvals to continue and perpetuate such nonconformities.”  The plaintiff concludes that the actions of the Zoning Board are “illegal rezoning and perpetuation of nonconformities.”

Of course, this summary on Blogfinger leaves out a lot of details, but we believe that this is a fair representation of what the action says, especially as it lays out the actual topics addressed by the plaintiff. The defendants will now have an opportunity to answer the complaint.

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Fire destroys building at #50 Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Stores and apartments are lost. CBC New photo

February fire destroys building at #50 Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Stores and apartments are lost. CBC New photo

Fire damage. Rubble filled #50-54. #48 (L), site of Barbaric Bean is being renovated. Blogfinger photo. Prosper Bellizia. Ω©

Fire damage before cleanup. Rubble filled #50-54. #48 (L), site of Barbaric Bean is being renovated. Blogfinger photo. Prosper Bellizia. Ω©

Proposed new building at 50-54 Main Avenue

Proposed new building at 50-54 Main Avenue

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

We have just reported on a possible class action suit against Neptune Township regarding RISS parking standards. But now we bring another story to your attention.  The parameters for the planned new construction at the site of a  building destroyed by fire last February on Main Avenue is being challenged in court. It is planned that the new structure will contain stores, a restaurant and apartments.

Kevin Chambers, an Ocean Grove citizen, has filed a suit with the  New Jersey Superior Court in Freehold against Neptune Township  (Board of Adjustment) and  the owner of the building–Kurt Cavano.

Although we have not yet seen the paperwork, we are told by the plaintiff that the suit is about the zoning for this building which allegedly was changed to illegally increase density.  It has been re-zoned to a high density usage, and that is only allowed when there are hardship reasons.

In addition, the complaint alleges that the Township has approved this project without following RISS parking laws or offering disabled access as required by the ADA (Americans with Disability Act.)

This suit may delay the start of construction.  Among the businesses which are supposed to come back to this location is Yvonne’s Restaurant.

The attorney involved is not the same as the one who is planning to bring a class action suit against the Township over RISS standards.

The docket # (pubic record) is MON-L-3663-15.

Mr. Chambers also has advised us that he has other issues as well which he plans to address publicly with the Township.  We will continue reporting on this important story of a courageous  Ocean Grove citizen who is insisting on his rights as a homeowner in this town.

AMY WINEHOUSE   “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

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