Gov. Christie Moves Against Dune Construction Holdouts
Gov. Chris Christie’s frustration with beachfront landowners refusing to grant easements for dune reconstruction after Sandy has come to its logical conclusion. The Governor signed an executive order today authorizing legal action against holdouts so that protective dunes can be rebuilt.
In a statement, Gov. Christie said, “As we rebuild from Superstorm Sandy, we need to make sure we are stronger, more resilient and prepared for future storms, and dunes are a major component of this process. We can no longer be held back from completing these critical projects by a small number of owners who are selfishly concerned about their view while putting large swaths of homes and businesses around them at risk.’
Not coincidentally, the order comes at the same time as a settlement in a long-running lawsuit over compensation demanded by a Harvey’s Cedars couple in exchange for a dune reconstruction easement. This past summer, the NJ Supreme Court overturned a prior judgement that of $350,000 in favor of the landowner. The Court ruled that the valuation didn’t include the storm protection benefits of the dune conferred to the property and sent the case back to the drawing board. In the settlement, the state agreed to pay the landowners compensation totaling all of $1.
There are an estimated 1000 holdouts on the Jersey shore. After today’s developments, they won’t last very long.