Reconsider Pool Club Due To New Environmental Concerns

Reconsider Pool Club Due To New Environmental Concerns

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Save Asbury's Waterfront started this petition to Board Secretary and Clerk Asbury Park Planning Board

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 Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW) and others, including some Board members, contend that many of these requirements are out of date or inadequate.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 Board
did 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 and
approval".

The issue is whether the Board reconsiders the proposal now or later. We believe
strongly 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 no
circumstances 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.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!