November 20, 2014 | Number of The Day
Number of coastal residents still unwilling to grant easements for the Army Corps of Engineers to build protective dunes

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection says that as of last Wednesday, 347 holdouts are still refusing to sign easements to their beachfront land to allow for construction of protective dunes. Those homeowners are mostly grouped along a stretch of coastline south of Manasquan on the Barnegat Penninsula.

The state has pledged to fortify its coastline to make communities less vulnerable to storms like Sandy, but it’s faced opposition from some residents who are frustrated that their land is being taken away or feel that other physical defenses would be more effective than dunes.

In July of last year, the State Supreme Court ruled that a Harvey Cedars couple, was only entitled to $1 compensation for the loss of their view, since the protection the dune would afford them and their neighbors was tantamount when it came to preserving the value of their home. That ruling effectively opened the door for the state to pursue condemnation proceedings against uncooperative landowners, which officials plan to do more aggressively in the coming months.