Taking Eminent the Domain Issue Outside its Borders
Toms River officials are moving forward with plans to use eminent domain to acquire easements from hold out beach front property owners but they're hoping neighboring communities will join them.
This Tuesday, the Town Council is planning to adopt a resolution urging communities from the Manasquan to the Barnegat Inlets to also use eminent domain as well. Council Vice President Maria Maruca says a contiguous dune system is the most effective protection against storm surges. She says "if there's gaps in the dune line, that's where the weakness is. So you need a strong contiguous dune line but you also need the beach replenishment project in front of it."
Maruca says they'll be sending out letters giving hold out property owners one last chance to sign easements but if they refuse, they'll begin the eminent domain process.
"The Mayor, Council and the Administration of Toms River feels it is too important an issue to let a few people become holdouts and possibly holdup the Army Corp project," says Maruca.
In a published statement, Councilman Brian Kubiel says "we need a synergistic plan for the whole region. All of us who live here have one thing in common - the Atlantic Ocean. What good is it for one town to have dunes and the next town does not? The gushing of destructive hurricane waters knows no municipal boundaries."
The Council meeting takes place Tuesday at 6 o'clock at the Toms River Municipal building.