Ortley Dunes

Ortley Dune System

Hopefully the flood zone issue for Ortley Beach has been
settled, unless they decide to change it again. Manasquan put their zoning
issue to rest as well. However, they even went a step further by extending
their height restriction to 38 feet without any unnecessary visits to the
variance board or expenses to their homeowners. Manasquan realized it is
mid-February and no construction has started to bring their town back. Toms
River on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care about Ortley Beach. They just
like to tie the property owners up in red tape, undo restrictions and
additional building expenses. I wonder if we had a vote (but unfortunately most
of us don’t) would they treat the homeowner of Ortley Beach differently?

So now that we almost have the zoning issue settled, the next big issue is
Ortley’s dune system.  Standing in the
way of rebuilding Ortley Beach dunes is the Beach Front Property Owners and
their Beach Associations that pertains to their easements. The Township should
present to the beach front property owners and their associations a
comprehensive list of their obligations and their rights, concerning the
easement issue. This package of information should be a well-designed list of
property rights and obligations after they sign on to the beach easements. The
concerned parties should be given a period of 10 working days to evaluate the
package. At the end of that 10 day period a meeting needs to be held. This
meeting needs to address all the questions and concerns followed by an answer
session with qualified government officials. Directly after this meeting, the
beach front property owners should be given a 5 day working day period to make
their decision.

For each and every beach front property owner that chooses not to sign the
easement, they should be made to understand, that they will have to sign a
different binding agreement. This agreement will require them to provide, the
same and exact dune and beach replenishment system that the Army Corps of
Engineers has pledged to provide. Failure to provide and maintain the required
dune and beach replenishment, would make the beach front property owners
liable. They would be liable for all damages incurred by any ocean breaches
that would have been protected by the described installed dune system. The
beach front property owners will also be required to carry and maintain an
insurance liability policy to pay for any such claims. The beach front property
owners who refuse or fail to comply with the requirements of the law should
have their property ceased by the laws of Eminent Domain. These decisions and
the reactions to the decisions have to be made in a reasonable period of time.
The reasonable period of time should be 10 working days after the
aforementioned meeting. The agreements, obligations and terms should be fair
and the use of Eminent Domain should be made extremely clear.

This measure may seem to be too extreme. The storm we called Sandy was harsh,
and the aftermath she left us with was even harsher. This is why any beach
front property owner who holds the safety and economic well-being of a whole
community hostage, has to be made to understand the dunes come first.

The Township must be fair and clear as to the rights and obligations that beach
front property owners have after signing the easement. It is not being harsh
when government is trying to make laws so people as a whole can be protected.  Hurricane Season is not going to wait for a
long drawn out process. The people of Ortley Beach have waited long enough for
the dune issue to be resolved. In fact, according to Jon K Miller, Ph.D.,
Ortley Beach has never had a proper dune system. (But this is another story
waiting to be written). Our beach community has a chance to finally have a
proper dune and a proper beach. We cannot allow a few property owners to hold
our shores, homes, businesses and our families safety hostage. The personal
wants and needs, and in some cases selfish desires, of a few beach front
property owners have to take a back seat. This is one case were the ends
justify the means.

If I can take the time to develop a fair and basic template to get the beach
Easement issue resolved. Why is it that Toms River Township cannot find the
time or the political will to get the easements signed? The Toms River Township
can bend, reinterpret, and change the meaning/intention of any existing laws to
inflict their political, will/agenda on issues they deem important. They
justify their draconian behavior by saying they want to prevent the destruction
that another storm like Sandy can inflict. An example of such a law is the forcing
of property owners to sign an affidavit to raise their home in 4 years. This
affidavit must be signed and certified in order to get a building permit and a
final C of O. The reasoning behind this requirement is to prevent future flood
damage to low level homes. What is the point of forcing people to raise their
homes when the dune system will not protect them against ocean flooding? What
happened to the promise of streamlining the rebuilding process – it has only
gotten worse! Maybe we can use all the useless red tape on our windows and
doors to keep the flood waters out, when the temporary dunes fail.  I also have a question – are the other towns
requiring their homeowners to sign these legal affidavits to get a building
permit? Are the other towns facing the same easement problems we are?  If not, could be it because they already have
a proven dune system in place.  If not,
then we need to have someone explain to us why we do!


I guess when you really get down to it, the real question is
what is ultimately Toms River intention? The reason I question their motives is
the unresolved, unmentioned dune easement issue. If the Township is so worried
about the effects of future flooding in Ortley Beach then where is their sense
of urgency regarding the easement and dune system problem? They did nothing to
resolve these issues since the Veteran’s Day Storm 2009 and Hurricane Irene
2011, not to mention all the Nor-Easters in between. Why are they not using
their political will? The dunes are our first line of defense, and our only
line of protection. The Township knows how important the dunes are to Ortley
Beach. A reasonable person would assume that the Town would use their political
powers of persuasion to force the beach front property owners and their
associations to accept the beach easements. No other public safety issue facing
Ortley Beach should take president. If the Township cares, I mean really cares,
then we need to address the issue that caused Ortley Beach to sustain the
unprecedented flood damage that it did. Let’s not repeat the same mistakes of
the past. That mistake in my opinion is the Townships lack of a proper dune and
beach replenishment management system. According to Jon K Miller, Ph.D., the
beach was half of what was required/ needed. Could it be that because of the
Township’s lack of responsibility that Ortley Beach sustained such flood
damage? If you wish to see Dr. Miller’s presentation it is available at:

Why is it that the Township can withhold building permits and C of O's until
the public conforms to their will, yet the Township cannot find the political
will to get the easements signed? The Army Corps of Engineers are going to
build and maintain the dunes. These newly rebuilt dunes will protect us from
storms like Sandy and more importantly offer protection from Nor’easters, which
we as a beach community are more likely to experience time and again. Eroded
beaches will be replenished after storms, so beach goers will not have to take
turns sunning (like last summer) due to a lack of a beach.  So I ask you again, why the lack of will on
the part of the Township? Every person who has a voice and an interest in
Ortley Beach should be calling the Township and demanding answers. Just call
the town and ask the question why the delay on the beach easements? Ask your
questions in a polite manner, don't be rude. We cannot allow the Township to
feel that they can put the dune easement situation on a back burner. We need to
let them know that we the people of Ortley Beach who pay the bills refuse to
accept their inaction. The dune issue and beach replenishment should be at the
heart of the Towns rebuilding efforts. I for one am tired of evacuation notices
every time a storm approaches.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patricia Perillo February 21, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Beach Lover from Ortley. Each one of the towns along the barrier island must join and unite together and make one BIG voice on Memorial Day this year. Let us set up tents along our stretch of the island in one big massive protest. Each community has their own concerns, as well as those who lost everything that they owed. We must unite together as a group, so that we can be heard. What say ye all ?
Marina February 21, 2013 at 06:21 PM
@Patricia Perillo "Let us set up tents along our stretch of the island in one big massive protest." So we can all laugh at your futile attempt to change the mind of the federal government. Just sign the damn easement already.
Patricia Perillo February 21, 2013 at 06:28 PM
I have spoken. I do not need to sign the easement as I live in Normandy Beach and my home was totaled, so there is nothing to ease. The message is to unite everyone into one large complaint. I am tired of turning the other cheek, only to get it slapped again. With all of the communities together can create a very large voice to all, including the tourists who will think twice about renting down here.....
jack cee March 16, 2013 at 10:58 PM
So you must be a ocean front?Why would you not sign the easement? Maybe your next house will survive.If you don't care then just abandon the property.
TomsBoy March 16, 2013 at 11:29 PM
We do not have ocean front property. I want the 79 beach front property owners to sign the easements. The signing of the easements is the most important issue facing the Barrier Island. I call upon all 79 beach owners to sign the easement now no more delays. TomsBoy


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