Home Government Evergreen Woods Residents Continue Quest for Parkway Sound Wall

Evergreen Woods Residents Continue Quest for Parkway Sound Wall

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New trees planted at Evergreen Woods, May 2016. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
New trees planted at Evergreen Woods, May 2016. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Residents of the Evergreen Woods condominium complex in Brick, who have long-lobbied for a sound wall to be installed along the community’s border with the Garden State Parkway, will be able to take their case directly to state legislators.

The complex borders the southbound lanes of the highway, and since its shoulders were expanded over the last several years – necessitating the removal of trees – residents have frequently complained of excessive noise and air pollution. They have also worried that without a natural tree barrier, a vehicle could plow into their homes.

While the condominium’s association chose not to bring legal action against the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which has jurisdiction over the Parkway, a group of residents have recently seen some success in persuading public officials to take up their cause.

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Recently, Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph Vicari pledged he would write a letter to the Turnpike Authority in support of the sound wall, and explaining the consequences reduced home values in the area could have to the local tax base.

Additionally, Mayor John Ducey announced this week that state Sen. James Holzapfel is planning a meeting, brokered by township officials, to learn more about the sound wall request.

“This is just the beginning of our plan to get more than one rep to work together to get a bigger meeting with us included this time and get the NJTA to come discuss our wall,” a post from a pro-wall Facebook group stated. “Governmment wheels move too slow, but at least it’s moving.”

A date for the meeting has yet to be set.

Stephen Brill, one of the most vocal residents on the issue, pleaded with the township council members this week to have the township attorney write a letter to the Turnpike Authority demanding the municipal government be made whole for any reduction in tax base the lack of a sound wall may spur.

“Let the true cost of these projects be known,” Brill said. “You can prevent millions of dollars in future lost revenue by demanding the New Jersey Turnpike Authority build a sound barrier in Evergreen Woods.”


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  • 205167117

    These issues exist up and down the Parkway. I live close enough that I can hear it in the distance but not close enough that it can’t be mistaken for general township traffic. I’d rather see sound barriers installed to the east of the Parkway where the vast majority of Brick would benefit. Between public and private complaints about the condos there and in the surrounding area I feel like their residents should have larger concerns than sound.

    The last I spoke to a friend that owns there, they told me the monthly fees are absurb, maintnence is lacking and the place has been in a steady decline for a long time. Condo and apartment complexes will always become throwaway properties as long as the majority of their residents are renters.

    If Brick wants to clean up the township then I believe the strongest way to do it is to make this a township of owners. When you own where you live you treat it as an investment and not temporary housing. Create benefits for owners and hurdles for landlords and renters that would keep them from treating our neighborhoods as businesses.

    • Lord Trump, Westeros

      Throw out the slumlords, get rid of those absurb fees, and we can #MBGA!

      • Nan

        Another amadan. These are not the slumlord condos. That was probably still is Maple Leaf. Like previous jerk when and where will the discuss take place?

      • 205167117

        Those condos are run down. No one said anything about Maple Leaf. No one said anything about crime. I’m talking about old structures that haven’t been kept up yet are costing renters a ridiculous amount to live in.

        If you want to lump Evergreen Woods in with the problems on Lanes Mill that’s your choice. I see prime real estate that would be cared for if the owners of the property were the ones living there.

      • Eileen McGinnis Bednarczyk

        I’m not sure where or from whom you’ve gotten your info but you are mistaken. The majority in EWPA are homeowners, you must live on site for 2 years before you can rent. The association fees are not absurb and the property is well maintained and upgraded on a yearly basis. Nor has it been in decline for many years, I should know as I’ve lived here for 24 years. It’s acommunity of hard working families whose concern is for a peaceful and safe community.

      • 205167117

        How much is the maintenance fee?
        How much are the condos renting and selling for? Personally I’m against condo rentals even when someone has stayed for two years.

        My friend’s mother lived there. She passed away. He immediately rented it out and never lived there.

        I see overpriced rentals with sale prices that aren’t keeping with property sale trends in the area. Sales and prices are up across the board in the area yet those trends don’t seem to apply to any of the condos in the area.

        On the simplest level the HOA should consider it’s web feedback. 1.0 and 2.6 rating on Yelp and Facebook. The feedback and complaints are easily found when searched. I wish you good luck but my opinion on the state of shared structures, HOAs, rental properties and renters in general will be hard to change.

      • realcheeseyo

        I have a friend who pays 1500 plus utilities to rent in there. Place is ok, not very updated.

      • KaayC

        wth?

    • Nan

      When and where have you scheduled a public debate on these issues. You have no idea of what you speak.

      • 205167117

        Feel free to elaborate. I’m not closed minded. I presented my opinion and personal experience. If you wish to change someone’s mind you should consider not dropping a smug comment followed by an abbreviated opinion of an opinion.

        Seriously please explain your position.

    • Surfrider

      Yeah agreed, but Brick is full of “talking points” and no follow-up. Very few renters in this town still take pride of ownership and a lot of owners who rent do not care enough to even keep their investment up. I don’t think a person should be able to rent a condo, because the consequences of getting a slob next door are too great and not fair to the person who takes pride where they live…….I also do not think its a place where pets should be allowed. These are 2 reasons that most of the condo complexes in Brick are not nice and kept up…….Just future slum type properties…..

      • realcheeseyo

        Because people don’t want to be locked into a 30 year mortgage they are trash? That’s a weird take.

      • Surfrider

        Not at all pardner! You said that..I certainly did not. There needs to be more rules in order to keep the place nicer for all. Not enough people care about the person next door. Not enough people have pride for where they live and participate in making things neater and nicer. That does not cost anything! Just what I observe at various places around town.

  • Surfrider

    Meanwhile….If i lived there, I would have been getting everyone on base with digging up “scrub pines” which would not cost anything and get neighbors there to help me plant them. If they did that back years ago when this all started, they would be well on their way to having a natural pine tree barrier woods, that I believe would certainly be more aesthetic for their development, and also more of a sound barrier……..I would still do that with every bit of property available there.

    • Matt

      Exactly. The condo owners and association should have handled this themselves almost a decade ago when the project was in the planning stages. They should have proactively planted dozens of trees themselves, built an extra tall timber fence to act as a sound wall on their own property, or plant fast growing bamboo with a barrier. I’m fairly certain the town would have granted them any exceptions or variances needed. At this point, people’s sympathy is waning. They knowingly bought condos that border the GSP on one side, and a Superfund site on another. Taxpayer money paid for the Superfund cleanup. It shouldn’t be the taxpayer’s responsibility to fund a barrier that the property owners have had ample time to grow themselves. I’m beginning to equate the Evergreen Woods residents with the people who complained about the marching band at Brick Memorial.

      • ThatGuy

        Where do you live Matt? You sound so elitist and better then everyone else.

      • JWWW

        Matt be sum stupad cracka who pays his Texas

  • Lord Trump, Westeros

    We can build a soundwall better than anyone else! It will be high & keep out all the dangerous sound! It will be so high that no sounds can get over it or under it or thru it. & you know what the best part is? We’re going to get Lakewood to pay for it!! #MBGA

    • JWWW

      You be wrong…my chocolate brothas are enslaved in the Lakewooood

  • Let’s Roll

    Plant a wall of Leyland Cypress trees. In 5 years you will have a natural sound barrier.

  • Michele Spector

    You know, every time I see these pitiful trees that were forced on us in
    a take-it-or-leave-it deal, my blood boils. Reality check idiots:
    there’s still eight lanes of highway noise and fumes. The NJTA is still patting themselves on the back for their own ingenuity to get away with utter
    destruction. That’s why we still fight for a sound barrier. The NJ
    Turnpike Authority are just a bunch of bullies who can bond to their
    heart’s desire for these road projects. Anyone who has the misfortune to
    live along the parkway is just the sacrifice zone and they can give a
    shit who they hurt as long as pockets are lined NJTA lied about the overpass project and the road widening project. The company that did the sound study to determine who qualified, according to NEPA, is supposed to consider if both projects overlap–they did not. You want to find out all about it look at our facebook page. We documented everything for five years and have been fighting that long. We qualified but were dismissed because they didn’t count ALL those effected so we wouldn’t qualify. They found loopholes like segmenting their projects, even when they are on top of each other to get away with this.

  • Michele Spector

    You know, every time I see these pitiful trees that were forced on us in
    a take-it-or-leave-it deal, my blood boils. Reality check idiots:
    there’s still eight lanes of highway noise and fumes. Stop patting
    yourselves on the back for your own ingenuity to get away with utter
    destruction. That’s why we still fight for a sound barrier. The NJ
    Turnpike Authority are just a bunch of bullies who can bond to their
    heart’s desire for these road projects. Anyone who has the misfortune to
    live along the parkway is just the sacrifice zone and they can give a
    shit who they hurt as long as pockets are lined.

    • JWWW

      You white cave woman need to be stopping this raceeest talk. Da parkway help people of color get to der jobs.

  • Michele Spector

    Check out this article for pics of before and afters. Also notice the white white box in the center of the diagram. That was what the NJDEP demanded be placed on the parkway. P.S. this was illegal for them to demand it. P.S. we know have 8 lanes of noise and fumes. https://jerseyshoreonline.com/brick/state-still-denies-sound-mitigation-evergreen-woods/

  • Michele Spector

    Here is my letter to the AP editor explaining why we qualify for a sound barrier but keep getting ignored by the NJ Turnpike Authority. http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/03/18/sound-barrier-brick-parkway/99351806/

  • Michele Spector

    We are not the only community affected by this widening of the Parkway or the addition of detention basins, but are just the most vocal. There are only a few of this fighting this for the past over 5 years now. We could really use more folks to help us.

  • Stephen Brill

    The Interchange 91 project was financed by the Transportation Trust Fund. Not the New Jersey Turnpike Authority ! This forces everyone who purchases fuel in New Jersey to subsidize the NJTA! Whether you use the Garden State Parkway or not! I am sure you remember the tunnel to nowhere! The $670 million hole in the ground called the ARC tunnel. That bill was paid for by the NJTA, who transferred money to NJTransit. Why? Because it makes so much profit! Profit from the people and companies who pay its toll. If you would like, take a trip and attend one of the NJTA public meetings and voice your disapproval. You will be allowed to speak but you will not be heard as the board does not have any representatives from Ocean County to represent your interests. This shadow government exists outside our control! Not even the State Attorney General will intercede as that office does not have jurisdiction!

  • Mac

    Belly laughing. Sorry guys, but if the above mentioned are your best hopes, start planting your own trees first thing in the morning. It’s unlikely a Vicari letter would clear the junk mail letter pile of the Turnpike Authority. Anyway, doesn’t the CEO of JCP&L still have Vicari on hold over his attempts to criticize their service recoveries a few hurricanes ago?

    And Holzapfel, who’s going to arrange a meeting to learn about an event that’s been going on for years in the neighborhood right under his nose? Really? Well, I guess that is progress, at least.

    You just can’t make this BS up day-after-day without these role models. You just keep blindly voting Republican in Ocean County folks. You are definitely getting the best of what they have to offer.

    And anyone who would vote to keep Vicari in public elected office for over 50 years straight deserves every bit of it.

  • Nan

    The Bricktown Planning Board. Big $$$,$$$,$$$.00 for bad decisions by non professionals an inexpert people.

  • Nan

    Stephen, Michele and John are absolutely correct. In early 2000 there were several meetings with GSP, Ocean County Engineers and Bricktown politicians. We were promised meetings updating us as the work was done. The project was projected to be complete by 2010. When did the work commence?

    These people are the most vocal because most of the township is unable to get to Council meetings and their public voice is cut off at 5 minutes. They make it their business to get there and speak for the many who cannot.

  • Nan

    So where is this meeting which affects everyone in Brick going to take place? Will the place be convenient to all???

    What time will it be held?

    Will those who have voluminous documentation be given adequate time to present the problems???

  • Mac

    Evergreens, of course. It’s a tree with principles. That’s why the Parkway was created. To cut them down.

    • Andy Pat

      I do not know where you get your info but the Parkway opened in 1954. Evergreen was built in 70s. Parkway predates condos by approx. 20 years.