Christie Won’t Rule Out Use of Eminent Domain in Dune Fight
Gov. Chris Christie won’t rule out use of eminent domain but hopes to use “gentle persuasion” instead with NJ’s beachfront homeowners who are hampering the state’s dune replenishment plan for vulnerable shorelines.
“I am not going to permit people’s desire to have a better view of the Atlantic Ocean imperil entire municipalities in this state again,” Christie said on Townsquare Media’s Ask the Governor program.
A May 1st deadline looms for towns to submit easements for a federal dune replenishment program created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the shore’s most vulnerable areas.
Several homeowners have refused to grant the easements, citing concerns over property use and government intrusion upon their property rights.
The easements would allow the construction crews access to the properties to create the dunes.
Christie says he hopes to get the homeowners to grant the easements by using “gentle persuasion,” but adds, “Whatever action I have to take, I will take to protect this state.”
The dune replenishment project would include the construction of approximately 25-foot-wide dunes, 75-foot-wide berms and 175 acres of dune grass in an 11-mile stretch from the Manasquan Inlet all the way down to the Barnegat Inlet.