Before the expected demand by Harvey Cedars residents and officials for a reconfiguration of Long Beach Boulevard through their borough, Ocean County Freeholders today take public comment on two proposed land purchases through the county's Natural Lands Trust program.

The board seeks to acquire tracts in two westernmost communities: Block 43, Lots 46, 60 and 66,fronting Hill Lane in Plumsted; and Block 501, Lot 7 in Jackson, near Bismark Road.

The meeting begins at 4 PM sharp in the county Administration Building on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.

Under the program, the county assumes ownership of land from willing sellers with the aim of sequestering the parcels from development.

Tracts are identified based on factors such as proximity to other preserved land, environmental concerns, or embellishment of the buffer zone separating the general population from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

The program operates on dedicated funding from county taxes.

During the public portion, Harvey Cedars residents plan to press the Board to reshape Long Beach Boulevard, from two lanes in each direction to a lane each way with a third, cutaway lane in the center for turns, and shoulders for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Board members at last week's preboard meeting indicated that it's a step they're not willing to take.