Home Ocean County Beach, Dune Replenishment Project On Hold As Legal Disputes Simmer

Beach, Dune Replenishment Project On Hold As Legal Disputes Simmer

A beach replenishment project in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township. A similar project is being planned for Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
A beach replenishment project in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township. A similar project is being planned for Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

A multi-million dollar project to replenish beaches and build a protective dune along Ocean County’s northern barrier island is on hold as legal disputes involving oceanfront property owners play out.

Steve Rochette, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia district, confirmed to Shorebeat that the project has not been advertised for bidding and no contracts have been awarded for replenishment work.

“We don’t have a precise timeline as to when construction may start because it is contingent on real estate issues and ongoing legal proceedings,” Rochette said.


State officials said in the fall that bids were due to be advertised before the end of 2014 and a contract would be awarded in early 2015, with work beginning in March or April. The $86 million project includes the replenishment of sand on beaches battered by Superstorm Sandy and the construction of engineered, vegetated dunes from Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach to the South Seaside Park section of Berkeley Township.

Since the estimates on the project’s timing were made at a news conference in Brick in October, Jenkinson’s, the owner of much of Point Pleasant Beach’s beachfront, filed a lawsuit against the federal and state governments, challenging whether the government agencies have the authority to condemn slivers of land on which the dunes would be built.

“The suit is intended to obtain a determination by the court concerning the limits of what the Army Corps requires for its projects,” John Buonocore Jr., the attorney representing Jenkinson’s, was quoted as saying.

Jenkinson’s has refused to voluntarily sign an easement allowing the project move forward, a significant impediment to the project since the company owns a large portion of Point Pleasant Beach’s oceanfront. Additionally, nearly all of the oceanfront homeowners in Bay Head are refusing to sign easements allowing the dunes to be constructed, as well as about 40 homeowners in Brick and a small number in Toms River.

Some homeowners have public stated they are against the prospect of the government having a right to use their property for a dune out of fear that beaches may become more open to the public by way of restrooms and other facilities. Others have said their property values may be diminished since their homes’ view of the ocean may be restricted by the dune. In the case of Jenkinson’s, the view of the ocean from the boardwalk could potentially be restricted in some areas since the dune would be built in between the boardwalk and beach area.

Municipalities have been working to condemn the would-be easements in the absence of residents’ signatures. Since the state Supreme Court in 2013 threw out a $375,000 judgment given to a Harvey Cedars couple whose easement was condemned in order to accommodate a beach replenishment project, several condemnation cases have resulted in awards of a few hundred dollars or less for homeowners, since the value of the protective dune is weighed against any potential loss of view.

  • Mark Story Jenks

    Better to have the dunes. If they prevent the beach replenishment and dune construction and another storm like Sandy comes along, they will cry that their homes and businesses are destroyed or significantly damaged. What is wrong with these people?

  • Doris Chakeres

    Stupid is as stupid does….maybe it takes 2 super storms to wake people up and bankrupt our state getting things back to normal.

  • Trevor

    “fear that beaches may become more open to the public”. The beaches should all be open to the public! NJ is one of the only states where you need to pay to go on the beaches…

    • JW P

      Worse yet, taxpayers in California and Alaska pay for our beach replenishment projects and this new dune. The beach badges thing is just a way to squeeze people for money and it’s a bloody disgrace.

  • Chuck Cumella

    There are two choices for the holdouts. They are one, sign the damn easement. Two, we take the land via eminent domain. End of discussion. The beach needs to be rebuilt. There are thousands of homes on the mainland side of the bay that require and demand that is selfish people sign the easement Immediately. I would be more than happy to personally deliver a message to each and everyone of those selfish people inclusive the owners of Jenks. Publish a list of names addresses and phone numbers. And we will start a mass calling of these selfish people. By the end of the month they will know my name they will not like me and they WILL sign the damn easement. Have a nice day Ocean County.

    • John Ghent

      Chuck here’s some of the names that were posted awhile back. So lets see if your more than buster.. http://wobm.com/long-beach-posts-names-of-dune-project-holdouts/

      And Jenkinsons is asking for compensation
      under the eminent domain law in their lawsuit…http://www.inversecondemnation.com/fi

      • Chuck Cumella

        Perfect….. thank you….. I’ll start my research and make a few hundred phone calls…. then it’s time for a road trip across the bay to visit the island dwellers…. I’m sure most of them are not there this time of the year. Maybe they can be caught on the weekend. Easter is coming; many will come down to open the houses. It’s never to late to disrupt their day…

      • John Ghent

        A number of the properties in the Beach are listed in the complaint. The link doesn’t work on the Shore Beat web site. So just type in Jenkinsons & inverse condemnation into a search engine…

      • Chuck Cumella

        I Will look. Thanks

    • Chuck Cumella

      They are not the names from the Mantoloking and Brick Beach area. They are from Long Beach Island. I’m not talking about them.

    • baylady

      I agree with you Chuck, that eminent domain should be utilized to get the dune project started. Governor Christie told us on more than one occasion, that he would exercise that option, but of course, he has not done that yet.

  • Sharon Quilter

    If my property is damaged again because folk did not sign the easement, guess who I am going after…

    • Chuck Cumella

      I Agree. I’m Going after them with a vengeance

  • Mac

    While I personally don’t have a problem with building the dunes this time around, I do believe this outrageous public expense is just a short temporary solution for a problem with no financially feasible solution. And I agree with a comment below that all of America is being forced to pay for protection on property they have to pay again to use, at least the limited sections they are allowed to use. How much of these beach badge charges are going to be set aside for further yearly dune replacements? Toms River has spent $1M this year alone to replace sand lost to weather conditions, and that’s just a band-aid. Mother Nature is Mother Nature and the shore has been eroding for centuries and will continue to do so. Banning the federal government from financing the rebuilding of destroyed storm property at citizen expense is a far more sensible course of action to take.