Posts Tagged ‘New information about the North End Redevelopment in Ocean Grove’

New curb and curb-cut at the northern end of Central Avenue. What is the meaning of this?  Click to enlarge the curb-cut and let a truck through. Blogfinger.net photograph. 5/14/17 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger.net

At Blogfinger we have long been suspcious of the North End Redevelopment Plan.  Our concerns are multiple, and you can review our many articles on the subject by typing key words into the search box at the top right of this page.

One of our concerns is that there is a secret Master Plan which  would create new roadways to make the large NERP project possible.  You may recall that the Home Groaners Ass. proposed putting in some roadways near the Founders’ Park west end, supposedly to create some new parking spaces.  That ridiculous idea did not (yet) materialize, but we saw it as one piece of a destructive move to turn Lake Avenue into a two way road stretching to the boardwalk.

That could be a part of access and egress roads to and from the North End, also involving Central Avenue and Beach Avenue.  You may recall that the Tax Map and even Google Maps have been labeling Lake Avenue at its east end as “Beach Avenue.” We have written about that concern where Lake Avenue, a walkway, could become a roadway.

Lake Avenue dreaming

Beach Avenue situation

Currently, Central Avenue is being paved.  If you were to walk down to the northern-most end of Central you will see that a new curb and a new curb cut have been installed. Before this there was no curb there;  just some grass which a car or truck could ride onto.

So why has a curb cut been installed?   Firstly, curb cuts are illegal in Ocean Grove.  Secondly, the curb cut opens onto a sort of lot which could accomodate a house, but this is CMA property, and it is part of a much larger lot. It is not subdivided for a house there.

Could it be for trucks and other vehicles to ride onto?  Why would that be since there is no roadway beyond that—just the Lake Avenue walkway;  and a curb cut is not a way to access a road.

We have requested  an engineer’s plan to see if we can learn the purpose of that curb cut.

Any ideas?   (See Kevin Chambers comment by clicking below on “comments”)

Even Tony Bennett and Ralph Sharon (and his orchestra) are wondering if this curb-cut might be the start of something big.

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Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Zone. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Zone. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, reporter and researcher @ Blogfinger.

On July 27, 2016,  we posted a summary regarding the North End Redevelopment Plan.  You should read it before you proceed with this article. Link below:


Committeeman Brantley showing the North End project to a "developer." on July 27, 2016. Blogfinger photo ©

Committeeman Brantley showing the North End project to a “developer.” on July 27, 2016. Blogfinger photo ©

One issue that was raised on July 27 was:   “Why was Committeeman Michael Brantley inspecting the North End property on July 27, 2016, at 11 am? He wasn’t going swimming. He was dressed in a business suit and was with two other ‘suits.’   Shouldn’t he explain himself since the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) is a public project? Doesn’t this look peculiar?”

At the August 22, 2016 Neptune Township Committee meeting, Brantley volunteered that he indeed wasn’t swimming when he visited the North End on July 27 wearing business attire.  He explained that he was there showing the re-development property to a developer who evidently was not WAVE, the developer who has been sitting on this project for 8 years.

This information tells us that the Township is tired of waiting for that derelict property to be turned into something functional,  historical and beautiful. We know that despite the long engagement, the Township is not married to WAVE, because those parties never signed a redevelopers agreement.

Some of us hoped that if the WAVE plan fell through, that the Township and the CMA, especially with new Committeemen on board, would do the right thing and revert to original zoning for 25 single family homes.  But evidently  that is not in the cards since Brantley, the Committeeman who made the motion to adopt the NERP in 2008, is still looking for a big commercial project, and why not, since it means more money for the Township, the developers, the CMA and perhaps others who are in play to get rich on such a plan.  The heck with the Master Plan and the wishes of most citizens in the Grove.  Check the Blogfinger poll below from January, 2016. Click on “view results:”

Also, in our July 27 piece:  The Township Attorney Gene Anthony said that he had nothing to report publicly at the Committee meeting about the North End negotiations because he hadn’t heard from WAVE or their attorney.

Well, it seems that the Township has been taken for a ride by WAVE because at the August 22 Committee meeting, the Township attorney once again reported  that WAVE  (represented by William Gannon III)  failed to contact him with certain financial information.

The entire process continues to be cloaked in secrecy—it’s a fog that doesn’t lift, but since it is a public project, transparency  should be required.  But not in Neptune Township where they ignore NJ RSIS laws, where they hold secret, behind-closed-doors meetings regarding the North End, where they don’t reveal the identities of those who would develop the North End—ie WAVE,  and where they don’t represent the views of those who elected them .

And, Committeeman Brantley, who was the developer that you were showing around?  Why have you failed to reveal publicly that you are conducting such a search, and are all the Neptune Township Committee members aware of your efforts?    And has the Committee formally put out a required public request for developers to look at the project?  And, Dr. Brantley, which other developers are you speaking or negotiating with?  And, finally,  Dr. Brantley, how about explaining to the public why you believe the NERP to be the best course of action for the people of Ocean Grove?

Back in 2007, WAVE was handed the redevelopers mantle without such a public search process.  We know that some developers did look at the project, but WAVE was predestined  to be the crown prince no matter what.   Consider this email to Blogfinger  from a developer who tried to be hired for the job:

Entire content of an email from a redeveloper regarding a North End proposal. We are not revealing that company's identity. Blogfinger.net ©

Entire content of an email from the president of a major developer regarding a North End proposal.  Blogfinger.net ©

The Neptune Township Committee is behind the NERP (North End Redevelopment Plan).  In 2007 they provided legal cover for the CMA/WAVE planners to get the zoning that would be essential to substitute 160 condos for the 25 Victorian single family homes that was the original zoning.

Our new Committeemen (2016) have now inherited  the zoning charade and all that goes with it including the secrecy and the questionable motives of all concerned including the OGCMA.  If the NERP gets into legal trouble, the entire Committee will be exposed including you freshmen.  Is this what you entered public office to do?

We ask that the Neptune Committee give up on WAVE and cancel the phony re-development zoning, returning the Grove to single family housing at the North End.

Editor’s Note:    If you enter “North End Redevelopment” into our search box at the top of this homepage, on the right, you can catch up on our many articles about this subject.



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