With the anniversary of superstorm Sandy just a month away and the still-battered remains of homes visible on the beachfront, Gov. Chris Christie ordered the state to start legal action against holdout homeowners to get the dunes built.
Help is on the way for oceanfront municipalities in their ongoing battle with easement holdouts for the federally funded beach replenishment project.
On Wednesday, Christie signed an executive order that, among other things, directs the attorney general’s office to “coordinate legal action to acquire the necessary easements to build dunes” and creates a flood risk office to take steps toward acquiring property to build dunes along the coastline.
In addition to the order, the protracted legal battle between a Harvey Cedars couple and the borough over the rights to build a 22-foot dune on their beachfront property has been settled for less than a cup of coffee. The couple, Harvey and Phyllis Karan, will be compensated $1 in a property rights dispute that lasted over three years, two storms and one public rebuke by the governor. At one point, they had been awarded $375,000 for losing their ocean view to new protective dunes.
“As we rebuild from superstorm Sandy, we need to make sure we are stronger, more resilient and prepared for future storms, and dunes are a major component of this process,” Christie said in a statement. “We can no longer be held back from completing these critical projects by a small number of owners who are selfishly concerned about their view while putting large swaths of homes and businesses around them at risk.”*I have no idea what the title has to do with this post other than anytime I see a story about Sandy and New Jersey I think of 4th of July, Asbury Park. One of my favorites.