SBB needs your help by: (1) Writing CAFRA to object, and
(2)Writing the County to urge purchase as a waterfront park.
– Read about a Small Victory on Traders Cove.
On Wednesday, May 15, the Brick Township Zoning Board of Adjustment granted a variance permitting 62 luxury homes, a restaurant and an upgraded marina.
Save Barnegat Bay objects, and our Board of Directors has voted to file an appeal to Superior Court. The appeal has not yet been filed because the Brick Zoning Board has handled this matter irregularly.
The Board has allowed the applicant to “bifurcate” the process into a use variance phase and a site plan approval phase. The use variance has been granted, but Save Barnegat Bay is unable to appeal as of yet because the Zoning Board has taken the highly irregular step of not passing a formal resolution even though the decision has been made. The purpose of the delay is presumeably to postpone the approval of the site plan until after the November election. The ramifications for Brick Township’s 53 miles of waterfront are substantial.
Because the applicant’s proposal does not conform with Brick’s Master Plan, and because it violates myriad other tenets of sound planning, we believe that our chances for a successful appeal are good.
Meanwhile, THE FIGHT IS STILL ON, and you can help us two ways:
(1) Write DEP Commissioner Brad Campbell to object to the CAFRA application:
THE CAFRA COMMENT PERIOD IS STILL OPEN…
Commissioner Bradley Campbell
PO Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
In addition to your own thoughts, you may desire to make some of the points that SBB has previously made in its communications with the Department.
Please remind Commissioner Campbell that:
A – You respectfully request that a public hearing be held on a weekday evening in Brick Township.
B – Governor McGreevey made a promise at the Metedeconk River Yacht Club – within sight of Traders Cove – that he was going to curb overdevelopment in our area. The Department’s action on this application will determine if our Governor was telling the truth.
C – Luxury condos are an inappropriate use adjacent to a Federal Wildlife Refuge. Hundreds of people have worked and sacrificed to make the Herring Point section of the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge a reality. To allow this area to be visually dominated by private homes is a betrayal of these volunteers and is wrong for nature.
D – Barnegat Bay is a “Category – 1 waterbody”, a status which the McGreevey administration has loudly pledge to protect.
E – Commissioner Campbell has the right under Section 10 of CAFRA to deny any application that he deems in conflict with the needs of a protected environment.
F – Barnegat Bay is being walled off from the public by luxury homes. This proposal would aggravate that problem and interfere with public access, notwithstanding the token public access the developer would provide.
(2) Write the County to urge purchase as a waterfront park.
Freeholder Director John Bartlett
PO Box 2191
Toms River, NJ 08754
Urge Freeholder Bartlett to purchase Traders Cove as a County Park, a use for which it is ideally suited.
Some contextual financial facts of note:
– The County is currently spending approximately four times what purchase of Traders Cove would cost simply to widen two miles of Brick Boulevard. SBB does not oppose the widenning of Brick Blvd, but this illustrates that they can find the money if they find the subject important enough.
– Brick Township recently authorized over five million dollars to purchase the Food Town site on Route 70 to prevent a Home Depot from being built. SBB applauds this action by Brick Township – but it also makes an excellent demonstration that when elected officials care enough, the money can be found.
– Save Barnegat Bay is ready, willing and able to provide some of the money for the purchase of the Traders Cove site. Our source would be the not-for-profit program at Green Acres.
– The cost of this site is not as great as some have opined. If DEP denies the CAFRA application, or if the questionable Zoning Board variance is overturned in court, the price will likely come down to a very reasonable level. Contrary to rumor, contamination of the site is minimal – you may rely on that because the applicant has purchased the property outright, rather than making a contract purchase.
– If action is not taken soon, those who cannot afford waterfront homes will be walled off from Barnegat Bay by luxury homes.
See Plot Plan of the proposal.
Read SBB’s discussion of Traders Cove, and it’s larger meaning. As published (approximately) in the Asbury Park Press May 30.
Read about the successful preliminary court battle between SBB and the developer.
Read May 26 Asbury Park Press update.