It’s official, the State DEP is reviewing Asbury Park’s Green Acres application! And the Freeholders have pledged the matching funds if our application is accepted. Thank you Councilwoman Amy Quinn, Councilman John Moor for your leadership and Don Sammet, Tony Nuccio, and Joyce Grant for all your hard work on the application.
July 16, 2014
The Good: The Monmouth County Freeholders once again pledged their support for the City’s Green Acres application. During the July 10th meeting Freeholder Burry requested the County Planning Board and Parks Service draft letters of support on behalf of the Freeholders. Listen to the July 10th Freeholder meeting here.
The Bad: The photo above is of a surfboard planted by iStar to represent their Bradley Cove Development on Green Acres public lands, as well as a grassroots protest sign. According to iStar the surfboards are ” a little something we can do for the community.” They planted this surfboard just days before they refused to support the City’s Green Acres application. iStar’s decision to erect a physical reminder of their intentions to develop this portion of our coast is a clear illustration that they do not respect our City, they dismiss the collective voice of our community, and they brush off the environmental ramifications of their plans. Tell iStar’s Brian Cheripka that you don’t want the “Townhomes at Bradley Cove” built.
The Upcoming: The Monmouth County Freeholders will make their support for the City’s Green Acres application official at the next Freeholder meeting on Thursday, July 24th at 7 PM at the Tinton Falls Municipal Building, 556 Tinton Avenue. We need a few people to show up to witness and thank the Freeholders. RSVP for the meeting here.
July 7, 2014
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Freeholder meeting on June 26th.
Over 200 people showed up to ask the Freeholders to help save Asbury Park’s north end beach. AP City Hall was filled to capacity and over 50 were locked out of the meeting. We are little late getting this thank you out, but as a result we have some updates and action items.
1. Just last week Asbury Park held the public hearing for the Green Acres application they are submitting at the end of July. This current City Council has done everything in its power to move this project forward. This includes passing a unanimous resolution and officially requesting the County’s partnership on this issue. Despite the Freeholder’s rhetoric, the ball is in the County’s court.
2. The City received the elusive 3.5 million dollar pre-Sandy, non-certified, appraisal the day before the meeting. Interesting timing. The reason the the appraiser never certified it is because it is invalid and incomplete. Until an completed independent appraisal is conducted, it seems the value of the development rights is around 1 million dollars.
3. Let us be clear about what we are requesting from the County: a partnership on the Green Acres application that begins with a a 25% match of up to 250k.
Remember the county has collected over 7 million dollars over the last 10 years from Asbury, Loch Arbour, Interlaken, Deal, and Allenhurst for its County’s open space fund but those municipalities have zero acres of Mo. Co. open space, Mo. Co. parks, or Mo. Co. farmland.
1. Tell the Monmouth County Freeholder we want them to provide the $250,000 match for the City of Asbury Park’s Green Acres application due July 31st. Email them all here.
2. Attend the Freeholder Meeting July 10, 7 PM at 1 East Main Street, Freehold, Hall of Records. It is a very small room so we will be only bringing a small group. But it is essential we keep on top of them. If you are interested in attending, please email Joe directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned from more action alerts.
June 25, 2014
Rally to Save Asbury’s North End Beach:
Quick reminder that the Rally to Save Asbury Park’s north end beach from development will be held Thursday (tomorrow), June 26th, 7 pm at Asbury Park City Council Chambers.
If you can not make the Freeholder meeting in Asbury Park this Thursday at 7 pm please submit your written comments to email@example.com Include in the subject line “Written Comments for the Freeholder Meeting 6/26/14” and please cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction of Freeholder Burry’s Email:
Freeholder Burry responded with a form email to all who submitted comments in support of the County’s involvement in purchasing the development rights for the Townhomes at Bradley Cove. She claims in the email that there is “a lot of misinformation out there.”
Honest communication is essential in any partnership. In that spirit we would like to clarify each of the “facts” Freeholder Burry states.
1. She states “the area involved in the development debate with iStar consists of approximately ½ acre of land, currently being used as a public street, owned by iStar”
The land is not owned by iStar, but they do own the development rights to build 15 townhomes on the site. The half acres she mentions runs from south of the Asbury Tower to north of the triangle property. This long narrow strip slices through the area, is flooded by lake and ocean waters, encroaches on public lands used for recreation, walls off the beach and ocean, and is inconsistent with Bradley’s vision for Asbury Park.
As far as misinformation with regard to this point, at our first rally we outlined the footprint of the Bradley Cove Development with supporters and took a picture from Asbury Tower. We personally brought that enlarged picture to many Recreation Commission meetings, of which Burry is the chair. We also use it as the background of our Save the North Beach of Asbruy Park Facebook page and publicized it widely. The photo is attached above.
2. Her second facts is that “…Monmouth County, the Parks & Recreation Commission was the agency that retained an appraiser who drew the conclusion that there are too many variables affecting the property that influence its value, to finalize the appraisal and certify the value.”
This point was discussed at both the Freeholder and Recreation Commissioner level. The solution, a two-tiered appraisal, is used fairly often in land acquisition deals. The first tier assumes the developer receives no special approvals, setting the price floor. The second tier assumes all special approvals are obtained, setting the price ceiling.
3. Her third fact states, “the appraiser has put the value of over $3 million on this ½ acre, without improvements.”
Considering the appraisal was of the development rights to build 15 townhomes, and the City of Asbury Park still holds the title to this land, it is impossible that the tract could be appraised “without improvements.” Furthermore, the appraisal was done prior to Superstorm Sandy that inflicted millions of dollars in damage to the wastewater treatment plant, flooded and triggered an electrical fire in the Asbury Tower, filled Deal Lake with sand, and devastated many homes in Loch Arbour.
Freeholder Burry closes with the argument that “this property can be protected through negotiations between the City and iStar as part of a revision to the City’s redevelopment plan.”
In that she is correct, but realistically a city on State Transitional and School Development Authority aid cannot go it alone on this project anymore than the County should. This is particularly the case when the taxpayers of Deal, Allenhurst, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Asbury Park and Ocean Township contribute over $1.5 million to the County Open Space fund each and every year; money specifically intended for projects like this one.
We are still hopeful that the County Freeholders are open to a partnership that will preserve this land as a regional recreation hub and storm buffer.
Campaign Coordinator, Save Asbury Park’s North End Beach
June 16, 2014
On Thursday, June 26th at 7 PM in the Asbury Park City Council Chambers the Monmouth County Freeholders will be holding their public session. We need their help to save Asbury Park’s north end beach from development.
It is imperative that we come out in force to convince the Freeholders to take up our cause. Mark your calendar and be there Thursday, June 26th at 7 pm at the Asbury Park City Council Chambers.
RSVP on Facebook here.
An important day in the struggle to preserve Asbury Park’s north end beach is just around the corner. This land is one of the last coastal open spaces in Monmouth County. It must be preserved. The Monmouth County Freeholders are in a unique position to do just that. They are coming to town on June 26th!
Since 2007 the proposed “Townhomes at Bradley Cove” have been opposed by thousands of people because they sit in an area flooded by lake and ocean waters, encroach on public lands used for recreation, wall off the beach and ocean, and are inconsistent with Bradley’s vision for Asbury Park.
Thanks to the leadership of Councilmembers Quinn and Moor, the City is finally submitting an application to obtain State Green Acres funds. These funds can be used by the City to purchase the development rights for this land from iStar.
The City needs help. The Green Acres grant requires a 25% match. If the City gets a million dollars from the State, the County could provide the $250,000 dollar match. They could also finish the appraisal that Freeholder Burry promised before her last election bid in 2011, which is still incomplete 3 years later.
It is imperative that we come out in force on Thursday, June 26th at 7 pm at the Asbury Park City Council Chambers. Let’s convince the Freeholders that Asbury Park’s north end beach is worth saving!
June 3, 2014
Your help is needed to Save Asbury Park’s north end beach.
Please click here to send all 5 Monmouth County Freeholders an email requesting that they help Asbury Park in its effort to raise funds to buy the Bradley Cove tract development rights back from iStar.
The County can help in a number of ways:
1. Complete the appraisal promised by Lillian Burry before the 2011 election. Freeholder Burry and the Park’s department have not yet completed that appraisal.
2. Aid the City in finding matching funds for its Green Acres application.
3. Provide technical and legal advice to the City from the Monmouth County Park system with its expertise in acquiring land and creating world-class regional parks.
Emails can be sent to all 5 Freeholders at this link. You can download the Letter to Mo. Co. Freeholders – June 1 sent to the Freeholders by community activists Joe Woerner and Joyce Grant. Stay tuned for more action alerts later this month.
In 2011 when Freeholder Lilian Burry was up for re-election she was dead set against the County ordering an appraisal for the tract of land on Asbury’s north end beach. Thanks to hundreds of requests from registered voters she changed her mind in early November, a week before the election. The appraisal that was promised prior to that election still stands incomplete in 2014.
Freeholder Burry and Park’s Secretary Truncer attended a meeting at Asbury Park’s request this winter. Although this meeting was intended to be the first step in a potential partnership between the City of Asbury Park and the County, iStar attended at the County’s request. As a result of this, and the incomplete nature of the County’s appraisal of the Bradley Cove tract, the headline coming out of the meeting was “ISTAR CLAIMS LAND WORTH MORE THAN $3.5 MILLION, BURRY SAYS” according to the Asbury Park Sun.
Freeholder Burry’s failure of leadership on this issue is a great disappointment. As a result we have requested above that emails be sent to all five of the current Freeholders. Hopefully we can convince Freeholder Burry that Asbury Park’s north end beach is worth the County’s attention and resources.
Thank you for the continued support and keep an eye out for an action alert later this month.