Started 3 petitions
Reconsider Pool Club Due To New Environmental Concerns
Given the magnitude of the controversy surrounding the Proposal it is helpful to summarize briefly the risks in and objections to the application expressed during its past three years of intense public scrutiny. From lack of aesthetic design to environmental dangers to social exclusiveness, many City residents have appeared at Council and Planning Board (Board) meetings to voice their criticisms of the application. The local public clearly, unmistakably and overwhelmingly clearly objects to the approved application. At the same time, our City's elected representatives and appointed officials have felt helpless in the face of current applicable requirements, which at least until recently, clearly permitted the application to advance toward final approval. Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW) and others, including some Board members, contend that many of these requirements are out of date or inadequate. In early March, local government officials were on notice that the pool club application as depicted did not meet FEMA requirements. An official letter was discovered through a resident-initiated OPRA request, and has implications for flood plain integrity and flood insurance for the City. This very important communication was not shared with the public by knowledgeable, elected City representatives or officials. Whether the FEMA statements were shared with the Planning Board remains a mystery. Although placed on the agenda, the Boarddid not discuss this significant new issue in a public meeting. In response to these developments, SAW presented to the Board in letters dated June 15, 2021 and July 1, 2021, arguments in support of an immediate rescindment of Provisional Approval of the application by the Board. Full consideration of the implications of FEMA concerns were never discussed by the Board. SAW stated in correspondence that the current plan having Provisional Approval is not compliant with the City's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Ordinance). In response to the June 15 letter cited above, the Board Engineer and Conflict Engineer opined that "there is no need for the Board to reconsider the application at this time on the basis stated". The Board Engineer also stated that, "if the applicant is required to revise the plans to comply with the Ordinance such that the property development will appear different from that which "the Board" approved then the applicant must return to the Board for its review andapproval". The issue is whether the Board reconsiders the proposal now or later. We believestrongly that reconsideration should take place publicly, now, by the Board. Whereas, the application affects our oceanfront, the jewel that distinguishes Asbury Park. Whereas, a significant portion of the community opposes the application and it remains controversial. Whereas, our local government has failed for whatever reasons to be fully transparent in its dealings with the application. Whereas, a lack of full transparency reflects poorly upon public trust and confidence in the approval process. Whereas, a loss of public trust and confidence in the approval process encourages speculation on governmental motives and must be countered immediately by Board conduct that assures transparency. Whereas, pertinent and significant new information in the form of FEMA and Ordinance requirements not yet publicly considered has emerged. Whereas, it is possible that this new information will require redesign of the application. Whereas, it is in the interest of all parties in this controversy to resolve this matter in the most expeditious manner available. Whereas, this request may not be a typical response to a Board issue but under nocircumstances is this a typical Board issue. Whereas, the Board is a primary representative of the public in determining whether the application should be approved. Whereas, it is the Board's duty and obligation to participate fully in the approval process. Whereas, reconsideration now will prepare the Board for a knowledgeable decision on the ultimate fate of the application and prepare the public for knowledgeable participation in and understanding of that decision. Whereas, there is reason to question whether the Board-approved plan, as it stands, can be made compliant with the ordinance. We, the undersigned, believe that the Planning Board, in the interest of the public, should rescind its Approval NOW, and, employing the highest standards of scrutiny, reconsider the application in view of FEMA-expressed reservations.
Save Asbury's Waterfront
Save Asbury’s Waterfront is a coalition of residents and environmental, civic and social justice organizations who want to preserve Asbury Park’s waterfront, enhance public access, and encourage development withan eye towards the future. We ask that DEP investigate the validity of CAFRA Permit #1303-03-001.2,issued on March 26, 2004 to Asbury Partners, LLC (herein referred to as the “Master Developer”) and the City ofAsbury Park.This permit remains valid under the Permit Extension Act (first enacted in 2008). we believe that the Permit Extension Act stipulates that for a CAFRA permit to remain valid after its original expiration date, construction cannot lapse for acumulative period of more than one year. However, based on information and belief, construction did lapse on this permit after its original expiration (March 26,2009) for a cumulative period of 21 months. After 2.5 years of researching this permit, we believe that agents of the Master Developer and some employees of the NJ DEP may have colluded to maintain the permit’s validity. In theattachments, the details of the permit’s invalidity highlight the collusion with employees in the agency that have permitted the Master Developer to skirt the rules.Save Asbury’s Waterfront requests that you rescind the permit immediately and order the Master Developer and the City of Asbury Park to reapply for a new CAFRA permit. Asbury Park has undergone tremendous change since itscurrent Waterfront Redevelopment Plan (WRP) began in 2002. We must pivot, and modernize what we are doing on our coast to meet the needs of our community’s present and future.
Save Asbury's Waterfront
URGENT! SAVE ASBURY'S WATERFRONT! MAJOR construction is ongoing right now on the North end of Asbury Park, NJ. We seek to foster and encourage appropriate development along Asbury Park's Waterfront. That development will: 1. Maximize social inclusion and provide access for all residents and visitors2. Recognize current coastal development guidelines and practices 3. Be sensitive to endangered species, pollution and other environmental concerns4. Be transparent during all phases of planning and implementation We are residents who want to SAVE ASBURY'S WATERFRONT (SAW). We want iStar to immediately stop its ongoing construction that is based on outdated plans approved in 2004. Asbury Park has undergone tremendous change in 15 years and iStar's current development initiatives on the North End no longer suit our City. Instead of developing one of the LARGEST REMAINING COASTAL OPEN SPACES IN MONMOUTH COUNTY, We want iStar to use its innovation and vast resources to develop an appropriate, forward-looking plan for Asbury's Waterfront. CONSTRUCTION HAPPENING NOW: · Boardwalk from 6th Ave north to Deal Lake Drive is completely gone. · At 7th Avenue, iStar’s new boardwalk will ABRUPTLY go from 64 FEET WIDE down to a 15 FOOT WIDE PATHWAY · Some existing dunes are scheduled to be relocated.· Fisherman’s Lot will be paved with impervious, non-porous asphalt which could cause flooding during frequent storms. FUTURE CONSTRUCTION:· iStar plans to also build a MEMBERSHIP-BASED POOL CLUB WITH AN EXCLUSIVE ATMOSPHERE (it is being sold this way to prospective buyers of 1101 Ocean)· The pool club will be LOCATED EAST OF OCEAN AVENUE, on the lot between 6th and 7th Avenues, with an entryway to the beach WE MUST FIGHT THIS DEVELOPMENT PLAN BECAUSE IT: - Does not promote diversity and social inclusion- Discourages public enjoyment of the boardwalk and beach- Affects our fragile, changing coastal environment- Will develop one of the largest remaining coastal open spaces in Monmouth County SUPPORTING FACTS:1. THE PLAN WILL DISCOURAGE PUBLIC ENJOYMENT OF THE BOARDWALK AND BEACH.· iStar is currently demolishing and removing the existing boardwalk on North Beach, and REPLACING IT WITH A VERY NARROW BOARDED PATHWAY ON THE BEACH FROM 7THAve to Deal Lake Drive. · iStar also plans to build a PRIVATE POOL CLUBeast of Ocean Avenue between 6thand 7thAvenues with an entryway to the beach. THIS WILL SEVERELY DISCOURAGE PUBLIC ACCESSfor walking, bike riding, surfing, and beach entry. · The final phase of iStar’s plan is to construct luxury townhomes in Bradley Cove, with access to the newly-created “exclusive” beach areas. 2. THE PLAN WILL NEGATIVELY AFFECT OUR FRAGILE, CHANGING COASTAL ENVIRONMENT.· The CAFRA development permit issued to iStar by NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection is from 2004 -before Hurricane Sandy. · In the face of devastating climate change, THE PROPOSED PLAN IS NOT SUITABLE FOR POST-SANDY ASBURY PARK,but was “grandfathered” into an outdated 2004 permit for Coastal Area. · The plan to pave the Fisherman’s Lot (between the Ocean and Deal Lake) with impervious cover could create flooding · There are endangered animal and plant-life species that will be destroyed. 3. THE PLAN DOES NOT PROMOTE DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND PUBLIC USE AND ENJOYMENT OF OUR BEACH AREAS· The private pool club will be an expensive, membership-only club. MOST OF ASBURY’S POPULATION WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD A MEMBERSHIPbecause it will likely cost thousands of dollars each year. · The pool club is being advertised as a FREE BENEFIT FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL BUY UNITS IN THE VERY EXPENSIVE, OCEAN CLUB CONDOMINIUMS that iStar is building at 1100 Ocean Avenue. · THE REPLACEMENT OF OUR BOARDWALK WITH A NARROW BOARDED PATHWAY AND POOL CLUB WILL CREATE SEGREGATED BEACH AREAS IN THE CITY OF ASBURY PARK, BASED ON ECONOMIC FACTORS, which is directly contrary to the vision for an inclusive and diverse city. If we use our foresight to preserve our natural resources, and restore and promote our city’s historic and cultural treasures, Asbury will anchor its status as a model city – a diverse environmental, social, cultural and economic hub. Conversely, if we stick to outdated plans, even in the face of the many drastic, unforeseen changes the City and our planet have experienced in the last 15 years, we will mature into a cookie-cutter, overdeveloped, city stuck in economic doldrums, in a constant battle with Mother Nature’s wrath. PLEASE ATTEND THE ASBURY PARK CITY COUNCIL MEETINGON NOVEMBER 8TH; iStar will present its plans to the Council at 6:00 PM SHARP!!! (opportunity for public comment will follow)