N.J. beachfront homeowner admits cutting down dune trees

Authorities say dune trees were cut in the area of the 32nd Street beach. (Google image)

Authorities say dune trees were cut in the area of the 32nd Street beach. (Google image)

A Pennsylvania man has admitted he cut down some trees on sand dunes near his beachfront property in southern New Jersey.

David Dempsey pleaded guilty Monday to damaging borough property in Avalon. He was fined $2,000 and will also have to pay $1,880 in restitution.

Authorities say a witness saw the 63-year-old Newton, Pennsylvania man cutting down the trees near his house at 32nd Street in April and notified police.

Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi says Dempsey’s act was “selfish.” Pagliughi says the dune system provides “an integral defense” against Atlantic storms and is a key component of the borough’s natural ecosystem “that contributes to Avalon being one of the most visited flyways for migrating birds in North America.”

“I am very appreciative of the citizen who came forward with information that led to this charge and guilty plea,” the mayor said in a release. “Avalon maintains zero tolerance for this type of selfish behavior.”

Dempsey’s shore home is valued at $4 million


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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