Pelican Island Residents Threaten Legal Action to Halt ‘Snooki’ Filming

Residents blast plan to film MTV show in their neighborhood; Berkeley officials say they were kept in the dark on the matter

Snooki (left); Pelican Island (Photo: Mapquest)
Snooki (left); Pelican Island (Photo: Mapquest)
Written by Daniel Nee (Editor)

An attorney representing a group of Pelican Island residents has threatened legal action against Berkeley Township as well as the production company behind the MTV show “Snooki and JWoww” to stop the filming of the show from taking place in their neighborhood.

The threat came after several residents of Pelican Island blasted Mike Loundy, the owner of the home where filming is poised to take place, for failing to inform officials and neighboring residents of his plans to lease his property at 515 Sunset Drive South to 495 Productions, which is responsible for the show.

"Snooki and JWoww" is a reality show that follows former “Jersey Shore” cast members Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jennifer “JWoww” Farley. News emerged last week that the show would film its next season in the local area, including at the Pelican Island home.

“This property is a residential house within a residential zone,” said Ronald Gasiorowski, a Red Bank-based land use attorney who told the Berkeley Township council at its meeting Monday night that he had been retained by a group of local residents to oppose the filming of the show. “They are seeking to turn this house into a movie production studio. It's not someone who is living in this house as a resident, or having a summer vacation there. They're taking this house and they're converting it into a commercial use.”

Township officials said at the same meeting that the council’s legislative committee would review a proposal to create a film permitting ordinance to govern television productions in town, though it would not be introduced for another two weeks. It would then require a second vote and public hearing before it could become law, likely after the filming of the show will have been completed.

Gasiorowski said if township zoning officers do not shut down production based on use violations, he would bring legal action against the township forcing them to do so. He also said he would likely engage in legal action against MTV and 495 Productions.

The threat of legal action came after several residents said their quiet neighborhood – which is still largely in shambles due to damage from Superstorm Sandy – was being disturbed by both productions crews and people coming in both cars and boats to view the house.

“We need to find a way to keep people off the island,” said Sue Kosakowski, who lives on the same street as the production house. “Boats are circling the house, going by and taking pictures.”

Another island resident, Lori Tyska, said township inspectors were sent away from the island due to the commotion of crews setting up for the show, leading potentially to residents failing to receive building approvals as they make repairs to their homes.

“The other day, I had six cars behind me,” she said. “Everybody was beeping their horns. It was nuts.”

Neighbor ‘Sold Us Out’

Kosakowski placed blame for the Snooki debacle on Mike Loundy, the owner of the home where production is set to take place.

Loundy, a realtor in Seaside Heights, also owned the Ocean Terrace house in that borough where the original Jersey Shore cast stayed during production.

“The biggest thing we're offended about is that one of our own Pelican Island residents would sell us out,” said Kosakowski.

Berkeley Township Administrator Christopher Reid said township officials were not provided details on what type of filming would take place in the house. His office was notified that an MTV show would be shot there after residents caught wind of the plan and called town hall, he said.

“Before that, there was no detail that was provided to anyone on the council or the mayor,” said Reid.

Likewise, Mayor Carmen Amato said the extent of the information his office was given was that “a young mother and a child would be in the house and they would be filming for a limited number of days.”

“He fooled his neighbors, he fooled you,” said Gasiorowski, to township officials. “What they tried to do, basically, is sneak one by you.”

No one answered the phone at Loundy’s real estate office Monday night.

Reid said township zoning officers have already identified zoning violations at the house and have issued summonses regarding them. Officers will keep up with future activity at the house, however he said it was not clear any filming had taken place.

The township has also gotten 495 Productions to agree to hire off-duty Berkeley Township police officers to provide extra security near the house at their own cost.

One resident who came to the meeting urged calm.

“Take a wait and see attitude instead of having a knee-jerk response to what is going on,” said Mark Wade. “I support Mike Loundy. He's a good neighbor, a good person, and he helps everyone on that island.”

“The focus should remain on rebuilding the island, and not tearing it apart.” 

proud August 05, 2013 at 11:14 AM
But you're not a resident of Pelican Island, are you Rambo?
proud August 05, 2013 at 12:16 PM
@ FAILED, you can continue to murder the English language, and amaze us all with you horrific spelling, but you can NOT claim to be a resident of Pelican Island as your misrepresentation has already been proven. Now, I do not know where you got the idea that I live in Ortley, but I have never made such a claim. Knowing these facts, I must conclude from your comments that the only thing you are shooting is blanks. We can all be thankful for that.


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