Jersey Shore Dune Opponents – Are They Being Shortsighted? [POLL]
If I had oceanfront property, I can’t imagine I wouldn’t want a view of the ocean.
But at the cost of seeing that property wiped out in another storm…even one not as severe as Sandy…would make me think of how prudent it would be to have dunes placed along the shore to protect not only my property, but that of my neighbors and the many businesses that line the shore.
That’s why Governor Christie has been critical of dune opponents who say that they’re losing value on their property because their view of the ocean is obstructed.
"That's extremely selfish and shortsighted," Christie said. "We're looking at ways we can place requirements, legally, to make sure these dune systems are built."
The governor's comments came as tourism officials arrived in Trenton to plead for an infusion of emergency funds to market the Shore, and Rutgers University economists predicted a post-Sandy construction boomlet would have a positive effect on the state economy.
Christie, meanwhile, focused on rebuilding.
"What I care most about is that an aggressive dune system is built and maintained," he said. "I hope that a group of homeowners doesn't place the lives of an entire town at risk because they want a little bit better of a view."
The debate has been under way for years, but took on urgency after Sandy wrecked parts of the Shore - particularly those without dune systems.
On Long Beach Island, a couple in Harvey Cedars sued over dune work in front of their $1.7 million house, arguing that it reduced their property value by harming the oceanfront view. A court awarded them $375,000, the borough appealed, and the case is headed to the state Supreme Court.
Homeowners associations in Toms River also have balked at allowing the township to carry out a dune project, saying they own the beach and will take care of it themselves. Only one of 30 private beach ownership groups has signed an easement granting Toms River the right to carry out dune work.
John Weber, head of the Surfrider Foundation, said dunes should be part of any beach replenishment project carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers. He also encouraged local towns to build their own dune systems, as Bradley Beach did.
It would seem to me, the non-oceanfront homeowner, that if dunes are a way to protect your property from the ravages of Mother Nature, then dunes should be constructed. It’s practical.
Otherwise, quit your bitching when your property is devastated when the next storm comes around; and no help is forthcoming.
Are oceanfront homeowners being shortsighted in not wanting dunes in front of their property?