More restrictive easements may hasten N.J. Shore dune agreements

    Gov. Chris Christie has made it clear that wants a coastal protection system built along the entire Jersey Shore. But some beachfront property owners are still reluctant to grant easements for the projects.

    Brick Township Mayor Steve Acropolis says more people are likely to sign the easements that now specify they’re just for beach protection projects.

    “So for the 50-year easement that you have, it’s just for this project. People are concerned that, let’s say 10 years from now, 20 years from now, it’s a different governor, a different mayor, well now the town wants to put a boardwalk in, well you have an easement we can do that,” Acropolis said. “That’s been taken out of the easement.”

    Acropolis says the biggest impediment to getting people to sign the easements centers on just where the Army Corps of Engineers is going to put the dune line.

    Once that’s clarified, he said he expects more homeowners will give their approval.

    Of the 150 easements needed in Brick to allow the shore restoration, only about half have been signed.

    Mantoloking Mayor George Nebel also is urging homeowners to sign easements allowing for the shore protection projects.

    “We tried to get the beach renourished here in 2007. We had a major campaign. We had over half the oceanfront owners signing easements, not near enough,” he said. “Had we done it then, we wouldn’t have this situation now … Sandy proved that we must replenish the beach.”

    Nebel says only 13 of the 128 owners of oceanfront property in Mantoloking have not granted easements, and he’s hoping the holdouts will come around in the next few weeks.

    Christie has vowed the Shore protection work will proceed with, or without, the homeowners’ approval.

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