New Jersey has filed eminent domain lawsuits against oceanfront property owners in Brick who have refused to sign easements that would allow for the construction of protective sand dunes to hold back storm surges, officials announced.
Among the seven named in the lawsuits is Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Essex/Morris, an oceanfront homeowner.
But in the past, McKeon has said he would sign the easement after being assured exactly where it would be built.
McKeon is flying this morning and cannot immediately comment, his chief of staff told NewsWorks.
The state warned last month that officials would file lawsuits if property owners did not comply. Lawsuits are also pending in Long Beach Island, Ocean City, Margate.
In addition to Brick, outstanding easements remain in Mantoloking, Long Beach Island, Margate, and Longport. 283 easements, of which 176 are on private land, are outstanding on the Barnegat Bay Island.
Margate officials have maintained wooden bulkheads are sufficient to protect against ocean flooding, and that most of the damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012 came from the bay on the other side of town.