Posts Tagged ‘More information on Mary’s Place approvals’

(L to R):  J. Randy Bishop, Kevin McMillan, Mayor Michael  Brantley, Mary Beth Jahn, and Eric  Houghtaling  (Neptune web site photo)

(L to R): J. Randy Bishop, Kevin McMillan, Mayor Michael Brantley, Mary Beth Jahn, and Eric Houghtaling (Neptune web site photo)

The Committee meeting on September 22 was sparsely attended.  Michelle Gannon, Founder of Mary’s Place, was the first to go to the microphone during the public portion where anyone can have five minutes to speak.   She  made a statement to clarify the timetable of their approvals since, she says,  there have  been some differences in the reporting of those events. Her timetable can be found in the comments below yesterday’s post “What did they know and when did they know it?”

Joan Venezia of Mt. Hermon Way  in Ocean Grove  (and a Trustee of the HOA)  suggested that garbage pickup be changed to once per week instead of twice because the recyclable program has been so effective.  She promoted this idea as a way for the township to save money.  Committeeman Eric Houghtaling said that they would consider her idea, although he said that twice per week might still be needed in the summer.

Kevin Chambers of Ocean Grove read a statement about how the Township was violating the State RSIS laws.  We have heard his argument recently on Blogfinger as part of the conversation about the absence of  off street parking for Mary’s Place.

Note that the minutes of Township Committee meetings can be found online at Neptunetownship.org      (  Township website link  ) but usually there is some delay. The quickest way is to request an audio recording from the Clerk’s office.


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Mary's Place architect rendering

Mary’s Place architect rendering.  Internet photo


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In July, I noticed a billboard on the empty double lot near the ocean on Main Avenue which announced the location as being the “future home” of Mary’s Place.   I posted an article about it on July 18.   Link;      July 18 BF post on Mary’s Place

If you read the article, you will see that the issue was quite straight forward:  “How could such a usage be permitted under the zoning regulations?”

I asked Bernie Haney about the zoning for that project. He is the Land Use Administrator for Neptune Township. He said that I would have to “talk to George.”

It turned out that George is George Waterman, the zoning officer whose official title is “Assistant Land Use Administrator.” I interviewed George prior to posting that article, and he said that he knows nothing about the project “because no one has filed papers for approval.”

It seemed odd that Mary’s Place would make this announcement of the project so publicly on a billboard and on their web site  (with an architect’s drawing )  if they hadn’t obtained the necessary approvals in advance.

Later we learned from the Zoning office that Mary’s Place received very rapid approvals in August as indicated on the “Correspondence” which we posted. We learned about it when we followed up at Town Hall.

We have until  now posted all the facts as we know them in a series of four articles on Blogfinger.

But some mysteries remain such as how did those quick approvals occur?   Then something happened yesterday which raises a concern about what actually went  on with the approval process that seemed so lightening fast.

A blogger in Asbury Park, who rarely reports on Ocean Grove, published an irate piece about our coverage of Mary’s Place   He did not link to our site, so I will not return that courtesy.  Most of his piece was journalistically  useless  because it was clear that he has no knowledge about  Ocean Grove and its issues/history, he launched multiple personal attacks, and the posting contained at least five outright lies and factual errors.

However, that blogger  did report on something that was quite a surprise. He did not name his source, but what he said suggests that he got this information from someone associated with Mary’s Place.  The “he” in the quote refers to Blogfinger:

If he chose to invest the time he would have learned about everything that led up to the town’s ultimate approval, including: the six months of dialogue between Mary’s Place and town officials, three aesthetic architectural revisions and the community impact study conducted by the charity.” 

Wow!!    How did all that stuff remain so quiet?   What “town officials?”  Is the quote true?   I don’t know.   But there you have it.


Editor’s Note:  See the comments below to read Michelle Gannon’s timeline which she submitted to the Township Committee on Sept. 22.


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