Dune Plan Not Sitting Well With Some Homeowners [AUDIO]
A plan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to potentially protect the Jersey Shore is being stonewalled due to lack of cooperation from homeowners.
It's been almost five months since Superstorm Sandy hit. For some, it feels like yesterday. For others, a long time ago. The recovery effort continues on a daily basis and rebuilding is also taking place in many spots.
The idea has been in the works for a number of years, 11 miles of dunes from the Manasquan Inlet all the way down to the Barnegat Inlet. Seems like a good idea, right? Not everyone thinks so.
Some property owners, who have homes on or right up against the beach, are refusing to sign the necessary easements to let the project happen.
The easements are like permission slips. It would give the crews the access they need to the property to place the dunes in the vulnerable areas.
The whole thing is becoming a major headache for shore towns, including Toms River.
Township Engineer Robert Chankalian tells Townsquare Media News that the project has been in the works for nearly 15 years - way before Irene or Sandy were known to us.
"This is really a no-brainer. We need these dunes for protection. These homeowners and property owners are concerned, and we are trying to put their fears to rest with no success thus far."
Some of the concern from the property owners, include fear of government control and possibly the construction of a boardwalk or amusement park.
"We can go on record here on air, and in Town Hall that this will not be the case. We only want them to build the dunes so we can protect property. We don't want a repeat of what happened during Sandy when the next big storm hits."
In the event the town can't secure the necessary approvals, the project would be scrapped and the Army Corps would move on to other projects.
"We are not the only town going through this," Chankalian explains. "It seems to be a problem across the board. We will continue to work to try and appeal and ask that the owners reconsider for the greater good."