Court rules NJ can use eminent domain in Margate dunes case

A wooden bulkhead stretches along the beachfront in Margate

A wooden bulkhead stretches along the beachfront in Margate

A judge has ruled in favor of New Jersey’s efforts to seize land for a protective dune project in Margate.

It was the second major ruling in favor of the state Environmental Protection Department as it tries to assemble strips of privately owned beachfront land along the coast to build dunes.

Two weeks ago, a judge in Toms River ruled in favor of the state’s seizure of land in northern Ocean County for the project, which was begun after Superstorm Sandy devastated the coast in 2012.

Margate says its wooden bulkhead is sufficient to protect it from storms. It sued the state to block the dunes.

The lawsuit was the highest profile challenge to the dune plan.

Margate officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.