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Posts Tagged ‘Quotes about the North End Redevelopment Plan in Ocean Grove’

The NERP is nostalgic for the old North End (1916 in this photo)/  There were large structures, concession stands down the middle, people congestion--and beyond is the Casino with its own chaos.     From Ocean Grove in Vintage Postcards by Bell and Flynn.

The NERP waxes nostalgic for the old North End (1916 in this photo) and uses that era as justification for the commercialization of the North End today.    There were large structures, concession stands down the middle, crowds and congestion–and beyond, further north,  is the Asbury Park Casino with its own chaos. Luckily people then came by train.     From Ocean Grove in Vintage Postcards by Bell and Flynn

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

Many Grovers have privately thanked Blogfinger for providing information about the NERP that has been kept under wraps by our elected officials.   The citizens are very concerned.  The Township Committee does not bring up this subject at their public sessions. It would be much better if the Township Committee would have a town hall meeting, committed to transparency,  to update OG citizens about the North End plan and to answer all  questions.

There  are  several documents which Ocean Grovers should know about. Some quotes from those  have already been posted, while others have not been revealed on this site…yet.    The quotes  will help you see our concerns which we have been reporting about regularly since April 2015, and intermittently back another five years.   You can read the entire documents if you wish  (see links and sources below).  The italics are ours.

As we have pointed out, the most current relevant document is the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  between WAVE and the OGCMA  which we have recently obtained and reported on  to a limited extent.

We  offer quotes from the Neptune Township Master Plan  (revised in 2011,)  the North End Redevelopment Plan (  NERP 2008,)  the Memorandum of Understanding (MUO–April 2015), and The Lomax Consulting Group Client Project Directory (2011-2015)

 The Neptune Twp Master Plan — 2011 update: 

“According to the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law, a zoning ordinance generally must be “substantially consistent” with the municipality’s master plan.”

“The purpose of the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan   (NERP, 2008)  is to reclaim the North End site as the northern anchor to Ocean Grove, while providing for new opportunities for employment and housing within the Township, as well as enhanced public access to the Wesley Lake waterfront and the oceanfront and beach areas of the Township.”  ( This quote from the Neptune Master Plan  was copied straight out of the North End Redevelopment Plan of 2008, written by T &M Planners and WAVE.)”

“A goal of historic preservation in Ocean Grove  is to preserve the historic character, livability and property values of historic structures and neighborhoods by maintaining and rehabilitating historic housing, preventing the deterioration and demolition of historic structures, and encouraging new construction that is compatible in scale and design to the physical character of the surrounding neighborhood.”

“The decline of the hotels and rooming houses that previously provided summer lodging gave rise to conversion to multi-family residential uses or provided additional rooming and boarding uses for the indigent. These changes had deleterious effects on Ocean Grove.”

“Ordinance changes prohibiting similar conversions to multi-family use have limited additional deterioration and facilitated a renaissance of investment for single family housing*, bed and breakfasts and historic hotels. These types of uses, in conjunction with and as shaped by the unique lay-out and civic design of Ocean Grove are more appropriate to the scale and character of the district and provide an appropriate type of growth and evolution that preserves the character and fabric of Ocean Grove.”

“Through these efforts the Township has demonstrated a strong commitment to the protection of all properties designated as having architectural and historic significance.”

NERP :      In the NERP  (2008 North End Redevelopment Plan) there is a section designed to explain why the single -family home provision of the Master Plan is going to be ignored. Below is the introduction to that effort to ignore the Master Plan:

“While the Township Committee recognizes that there may be inconsistencies* relative to the multifamily expansion as referenced in the Land Use Plan element, these inconsistencies must be balanced against the advancement of the overall goals of the Township’s redevelopment and land use planning policies and the manner in which the North End Redevelopment Plan advances these objectives.

“The Township committee also finds that while the purpose of the Master Plan recommendation limiting the expansion of multifamily housing in Ocean Grove is intended to protect the predominantly single family residential character of Ocean Grove, the North End Redevelopment Plan is surrounded by a mix of both single family and multifamily land uses and was historically used as hotel and boardwalk commercial uses.”

Lomax Consulting Group Draft “Client Project Directory” :  First created June 24, 2011, but updated on November 28, 2011, and May 27, 2015.

This “WAVE at North End Destination Report” was made for WAVE by the Lomax Group, and copies were sent to a list of 14 “development team consultants,” but missing from that copy list were representatives from Neptune Township, even though this project is a public project, and the Township is supposed to be in charge  (representing the citizens of Ocean Grove).     Also missing from the list is the Camp Meeting Association.

This list of consultants was created for William P Gannon, Esq. representing WAVE.  The other investment principals of WAVE are not revealed, but this report suggests that WAVE is in charge, not the Township and not the CMA.

We will disclose the consultants names in the future, but there is one entry that you should see now:  “Construction Manager/Developer:  Fields Development Group, One Henderson Street, Hoboken, NJ 070030.  This revelation suggests that this company will be the one to actually redevelop the North End.

Memorandum of Understanding (April 28, 2015.) :  Prepared  by Jennifer S Krimko, Esq of Ansell Grimm and Aaron, PC of Ocean New Jersey. This “MOU” is between WAVE and the Camp Meeting Association.  Neptune Township is not part of this understanding even though the Committee is supposed to be in charge of this redevelopment project. The CMA and WAVE are the only ones to sign this MUO, and they did so on April 28, 2015.

In January 2007, Wesley Lake Village Enterprises  (“WAVE”) and OGCMA executed a Developer’s Agreement which set forth the terms by which WAVE and the OGCMA would serve as co-redevelopers of the Subject Property.

So, the NERP, which is presented as coming from the Neptune Township Committee, actually originates with WAVE in 2007 , before the Neptune Committee and the Neptune Planning Board ever got to consider the Plan.

“OGCMA will no longer serve as the co-redeveloper of the subject property, and WAVE shall acquire OGCMA’s co-redeveloper status by assuming OGCMA’s co-redeveloper roll.”    Isn’t it interesting that the two parties to the MUO have made amendments and are announcing this redeveloper change, without the formal participation of the Committee or the Committee’s representatives?

“OGCMA will permit WAVE to conduct and complete a Phase 1 (and, as applicable, a Phase II ) environmental review of the Subject Property, with such review to be completed by WAVE within thirty (30) days from the execution of the MOU. ”

“All engineering and architectural subdivision, site and elevation plans for the proposed Plan “C” development shall be prepared by WAVE at its expense, and shall be approved by the OGCMA in advance of submission to any governmental board or agency.”

“This Memorandum of Understanding shall remain in effect until the date when the amended Developer’s Agreement is executed by the parties. ”

If anyone wants to have a copy of any of these documents, you can get them from the Township Clerk by filling out an OPRA form.  It’s easy to do.  You can also find the NJ Redevelopment Land Use Law and the NERP via Google. Some of these can also be found on the Neptune Township web site.

Editor’s Notes:  

Although the Neptune Township Committee is supposed to be managing this public project ( according to NJ Land Use Law), it seems clear that the real party in charge is WAVE.

The Township Committee has the power to end this entire process now because of the suspicious nature of the situation.  The zoning changes and special designation is old news already and seems to be set in stone, but there are current issues that expose the project to charges that the law has been violated, including the new revelation in the MUO that WAVE made plans in 2007 for the North End Redevelopment before the  Towship Committee approved the plan in 2008.      WAVE cannot prepare a plan for a public project and then appoint itself a co-redeveloper, 5 months before the Township committee determined the land to be “an area in need of redevelopment.”    In addition, since WAVE and the CMA decided that they could develop the North End with private funding, they should not have received the special designation of an area in need of redevelopment

And, regarding  that WAVE/CMA  re-development plan of 2007, that is the one that wound up in the NERP.   The planner of the NERP was merely following orders as was the Township Committee.     So who exactly was the  mayor of Neptune in 2008 when the NERP was turned into law?  Was it Randy Bishop or was it William Gannon III?

Then there is the problem with the Pavilion Building’s  (#4 Boardwalk) receiving a subdivision designation on the tax map when no such subdivision ever legally occurred.  That beach is public property, and only the DEP can determine its use, and, in addition, there can be no subdivision when the land does not front on an actual street. The Boardwalk is not a street.

The part of the NERP quoted above tries  to  justify bypassing the single-family* home goal of the Master Plan by calling the NERP a “unique circumstance” by virtue of the history of the North End. However that large commercialized and congested  North End of the early 20th century didn’t  kick in until 1911 when the hotel was built.  Before that, it was a swimming, fishing,  and recreational space for tourists and residents.

The historic OG that most of us recognize was happening from 1869-1900. The NERP historic argument says that the North End Hotel, movie theatre and other commercial amenities from the early part of the 20th century represents authentic OG history.  That is a distortion designed to latch onto a “historic” basis for dumping the existing zoning.

But now, we are in the 21st century, and who gets to say that duplicating the history of a commercial zone from over a hundred years ago, characterized by major congestion and loss of openness,  should be considered desirable for the future of this town in the 21st century?  Back then, everybody took the train to OG.    The Township and the OGHOA approved this historic nonsense/rationale in 2008, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t complain about it in 2015.

As for the NERP being “set in stone,” that may be so, unless some investigative body decides to look over the entire history of the North End Redevelopment Plan.  It could happen.

Below are links to the complete  Neptune Twp. Master Plan and the NERP of 2008 .   In addition, if you want to review all the pioneering articles in Blogfinger over the last five years, just look at the top of our home page to find the search box.  Then type in “North End Plan” or any other key words that interest you.

Click to access 01-13-12_Comprehensive%20Master%20Plan_Neptune%20Township_Amended%20January%202012.pdf

Click to access Redevelopment%20Plan_03-06-08_NorthEnd.pdf

CREDIT:  Jack Bredin  (pronounced Bray-din)  of Ocean Grove, researcher for Blogfinger.

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