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Posts Tagged ‘Ocean GRove North End’

The Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove.   Does this look like a town in need of a special redevelopment zone?   Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The copy below is from the “NJ Statutes for Counties and Municipalities,” section 40A:12A-5: Determination of need for redevelopment:

As many of you know, the way that the CMA, WAVE, and Neptune Township were able to bury the single family zoning for the North End of Ocean Grove was to fraudulently declare the property an “area in need of redevelopment.”

That is how they justified turning that property into a commercial zone.  That is how they were able to grant permission for condominiums, an underground garage, retail, restaurants, etc.

All of this is contrary to the goals of Ocean Grove’s Master Plan which stressed the residential /historic nature of the town.

Currently the latest  consortium of big shots in town will push hard to begin a revised version of that project.

It’s not clear from the gobbledygook that they are putting  out lately, that the changes which they are now happily  promoting will avoid complications such as environmental damage, congestion, worsened parking distress, and further deterioration of quality of life for residents.  Nor is it clear that those changes are legal and proper according to land use laws in New Jersey.  We think not, on both counts.

If you are curious about what went down in 2008, read this to see what the State had in mind for “areas in need of redevelopment.”

40A:12A-5   Determination of need for redevelopment:

5.A delineated area may be determined to be in need of redevelopment if, after investigation, notice and hearing as provided in section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6), the governing body of the municipality by resolution concludes that within the delineated area any of the following conditions is found:

a.  The generality of buildings are substandard, unsafe, unsanitary, dilapidated, or obsolescent, or possess any of such characteristics, or are so lacking in light, air, or space, as to be conducive to unwholesome living or working conditions.

b.  The discontinuance of the use of buildings previously used for commercial, manufacturing, or industrial purposes; the abandonment of such buildings; or the same being allowed to fall into so great a state of disrepair as to be untenable.

c.  Land that is owned by the municipality, the county, a local housing authority, redevelopment agency or redevelopment entity, or unimproved vacant land that has remained so for a period of ten years prior to adoption of the resolution, and that by reason of its location, remoteness, lack of means of access to developed sections or portions of the municipality, or topography, or nature of the soil, is not likely to be developed through the instrumentality of private capital.

d.   Areas with buildings or improvements which, by reason of dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use or obsolete layout, or any combination of these or other factors, are detrimental to the safety, health, morals, or welfare of the community.

e.   A growing lack or total lack of proper utilization of areas caused by the condition of the title, diverse ownership of the real property therein or other conditions, resulting in a stagnant or not fully productive condition of land potentially useful and valuable for contributing to and serving the public health, safety and welfare.

f.  Areas, in excess of five contiguous acres, whereon buildings or improvements have been destroyed, consumed by fire, demolished or altered by the action of storm, fire, cyclone, tornado, earthquake or other casualty in such a way that the aggregate assessed value of the area has been materially depreciated.

g.   In any municipality in which an enterprise zone has been designated pursuant to the “New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zones Act,” P.L.1983, c.303 (C.52:27H-60 et seq.) etc.

h.   The designation of the delineated area is consistent with smart growth planning principles adopted pursuant to law or regulation.

L.1992,c.79,s.5; amended 2003, c.125, s.3.

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL:  “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.”

“So long, Frank Lloyd Wright
I can’t believe your song is gone so soon
I barely learned the tune
So soon
So soon.”

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Lake Avenue as it meanders past Founders' Park. Can you imagine parking there or, even, widening into a road? Paul Goldfinger. Ocean Grove 2014. ©

Lake Avenue as it meanders past Founders’ Park. Can you imagine parking just east of there on Lake Avenue, or even widening that walkway past the park into a road to receive traffic? Paul Goldfinger. Ocean Grove 2014. ©

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

We have learned that Neptune Township is applying for Federal and State funds to preserve historic sites in Neptune Twp.

It’s hypocrisy with a capital H. Ironies of ironies! This is the same Township that has violated State regulations to allow non-historic condominium buildings to be built instead of Victorian single family houses. They have allowed such structures to go in without parking, causing worsening congestion—distinctly an un-historic character trait.

They are the same elected officials who would allow a commercial zone at the North End instead of single family development that would be truly historic in keeping with our 19th century heritage.

And the Home Groaners will be champions of this application—the same people who are behind every one of the Township’s un-historic moves in recent years as they favor developers who have no interest in historical preservation.   Do you think Stokes ever saw a condo go up in his Ocean Grove?

That same Home Groaners group would have you believe that condominiums have not been a problem and will not become one in the future. But consider this: In recent years in Ocean Grove, 26 individual lots have been converted to condominium buildings, without providing parking, for a total of 308 residential units.

If the HOA/Township/WAVE consortium gets its way at the North End, we will probably see up to 160 new condo units, not counting any that might go up at the White Whale property.

And while we are speculating about the future, keep your eyes wide open for certain possible developments at the North End which you haven’t heard about….yet.

 This Google map is from the Neptune Township web site. Somebody has renamed the east end of Lake Avenue (see text below.) Beach Avenue lines up with the G of Google and magically continues east to the Boardwalk where Lake Ave. used to be. Note the traffic directions shown for Spray and Seaview. The North End Redevelopment zone is in the upper right corner. Note that the boardwalk is not and has never been a street-----but watch out. This Google map is from the Neptune Township web site. Somebody has renamed the east end of Lake Avenue (see text below.) Beach Avenue lines up with the G of Google and magically continues east to the Boardwalk where Lake Ave. used to be. Note the traffic directions shown for Spray and Seaview. The North End Redevelopment zone is in the upper right corner. Note that the boardwalk is not and has never been a street-----but watch out. Google map from the Township web site. Note that the eastern most part of Lake Avenue is now called Beach Avenue.

Google map from the Township web site. Note that the easternmost part of Lake Avenue is now called Beach Avenue.  The north-south part of Beach Avenue lines up with the G of Google. Currently Beach Avenue stops between Spray and Lake. It does  not turn the corner onto Lake Ave.

That NERP project will require considerable infrastructure surprises to permit ingress and egress at that very busy commercial district. The HOA/Township/WAVE consortium does its planning in secret, and non-transparency is always bad for the public good.

We predict that Lake Avenue, a walkway historically with no cars all the way to the ocean, will be widened at its east end, somewhere past Founders Park, into a two way road for traffic, that will empty into a two way extension of Beach Avenue and a two way section of road where the Boardwalk is now in order to reach the White Whale. Look for Spray Avenue to become a busy stretch for two way traffic. If you live around there, better pay attention!

Beach Avenue comes from the right and then proceeds east onto what used to be called Lake Avenue. Note the bidirectional arrows on the macadam. Blogfinger photo. 4/18/16.

Beach Avenue comes from the right and stops, but in the future we believe it will turn right here and proceed east onto what used to be called Lake Avenue. Note the bidirectional arrows on the macadam.  ? For runners or cars?   Blogfinger photo. 4/18/16.

And get this:     The HOA suggests metered parking/cars at one of Ocean Grove’s most beautiful, car free, and scenic locations—–along Wesley Lake by Founders’ Park.

This suggestion should make every resident furious and might even require cutting off a portion of the park. Don’t let this parking trial balloon fool you. This would-be parking subterfuge sounds like an excuse to widen Lake Avenue for traffic  right near our most famous and historic park.

We also predict that the hotel will never be built—to be replaced by condos, and that the underground garage might become an above ground garage.

The OG Home Groaners Ass. cannot be trusted to do what’s best for historic Ocean Grove. Citizens must form a watchdog committee now, or you will all wake up one Sunday morning to find that nothing is the same:

SPANKY AND OUR GANG:

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2009 North End, Ocean Grove. The GWW is seen on the right. Much of the space between it and the Casino belongs to A. Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

2009 North End, Ocean Grove. The GWW is seen on the right. Much of the space between it and the Casino belongs to A. Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

The North End Saga:  a long and winding road.  THE BEETLES:

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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

KARRIN ALLYSON     by Rodgers and Hammerstein  (South Pacific)

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Summer, 2015. A lone bike rider in the Casino prepares to enter the barren wasteland that is the OG North End. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

Summer, 2015. A lone bike rider in the Casino prepares to enter the barren wasteland that is the OG North End. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At the Township meeting last night, September 14, the town attorney, Gene Anthony,  announced that no Redevelopers Agreement for the North End had been signed because WAVE is looking to take on another partner  (ie another Redeveloper.)  This may mean that they are having money problems.  As usual, no details have been released to the public, so we are left to speculate.

Ordinarily, the process of choosing a Redeveloper involves  advertising a “Request for Proposals.” i.e.  RFP’s.  These proposals must be submitted in writing, with great detail.   This way there is a public process in the choosing.  We know that the Township is aware of this fact, because last night the Committee was discussing another “Area in Need of Redevelopment” (the West Lake Avenue Redevelopment,) and the Committee  agreed to advertise a “Request for Proposals.” (RFP)   But in the case of the North End project Randy Bishop said, “There would not be a request for proposals for the North End. It’s not necessary.”

The reason for the RFP process is to secure performance guarantees in favor of the Township and also to ensure the timely and successful completion of a project governed by the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.”  The governing body (the Redevelopment Entity—-i.e. the Township Committee) must advertise a “Request for Proposals” before selecting a Redeveloper.

This critical and correct procedure was bypassed by the Township Committee in 2008 when Randy Bishop was mayor and when the Redevelopers  (CMA and WAVE) were chosen. This may have happened because the OGCMA and WAVE had already selected themselves Co-Redevelopers of a public project in advance of the North End being declared an “Area in Need of Redevelopment”  (a public project.)

Another Redeveloper means that there will be a total of six Co-Redevelopers under the WAVE umbrella, most not identified by name,  and illustrates why there is a need for a RFP before a Redeveloper is selected .  The RFP process is supposed to reveal whom the Township is doing business with and whether they have the financial integrity to do the job.  Evidently the Township and even the CMA have no idea exactly whom they are in bed with, and now, 7 years later, there is still no contract to tell the Township what to expect from WAVE and the other Co-Developer—the OGCMA..

At last night’s meeting, Jack Bredin went to the microphone and asked the Committee to explain if there would be a “Request for Proposals” for the North End project because it was the OGCMA and not the Township Committee which did the original 2005 RFP.  At that time the RFP was done when the project was still a private general development project, not a public “Area in Need of Redevelopment Project” which came to be in 2008.   When the latter occurred, the Committee was supposed to advertise an RFP in 2008.  That never happened.

Credit:  Jack Bredin, Researcher  (a man in need of redevelopment.)

RUBY BRAFF and DICK HYMAN  “I’ll be With You in Apple Blossom Time.”

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Ocean Grove North End. c.1908.  Postcard.

Ocean Grove North End. c.1908. Postcard.

 

 

xxxx

Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff reporter/historian

Paul:

From those Ocean Grove boardwalk days at the North End Pavilion entertainment center, the Skee-Ball game is where you roll a baseball size wooden ball  up a fourteen foot lane and try to drop it into the high scoring holes.  Scoring well would deliver tickets from the machine that could be traded in for small toys, stuffed animals, free games and various souvenirs of a visit to the shore.

The attachment is a token that you dropped into the machine’s slot which would start the game by delivering the player a number of balls to roll.  Skee-ball was invented in 1909 and continues to be a great source of amusement 105 years later.

Rich

 

DANNY KAYE     “Roller bowl a ball a penny a pitch”

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