Beach Access Blocked By Homeowners

A $5 million project on Long Beach Island to restore the eroding beachfront is stymied by homeowners who don't want to allow easements through their property.

"The state cannot compel a group of homeowners on Long Beach Island to grant access to their beachfront property for a beach replenishment project on the fragile barrier island without first exhausting all its options, the Appellate Division ruled yesterday."

"'The core issue here is whether the state can force a private property owner, by way of preliminary injunction, to grant a perpetual public access easement without first following the procedures in the eminent domain act,' the ruling said. 'We are satisfied that the answer to this question is 'no.'

The impasse has virtually halted the beach replenishment project on Long Beach Island.

The Army Corps started work in Surf City in late 2006, but that project closed beaches early in the following spring just weeks before Memorial Day weekend. The sand pumped from the ocean floor onto the beach contained more than 1,000 unexploded World War I-era ordnance most likely dumped in the ocean before such offshore dumping was banned, officials have said."

Full Story: Court sides with residents in beach battle

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