During the year just ended, OGHOA’s committees worked on several issues:
Parking. Access to parking is no longer a summer only issue; for residents in the entire north end of town it is increasingly difficult to park on weekends throughout the year. The Parking Committee, chaired by Joyce Klein, worked hard to keep the Neptune Township Committee focused on parking, and, as a result, the Township allocated funds to retain a professional to assess the situation and advise on measures to improve residents’ access to parking. We may not all agree on a solution yet, but continued focus and persistence are essential to identifying ways to resolve the problem.
North End Redevelopment. Last year, Ocean Grove North End Development LLC (“OGNED”) entered into an agreement with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association that will enable OGNED to redevelop the North End site. The members of OGNED are MB1 Capital Partners and Wesley Atlantic Village Enterprises LLC (“WAVE”). The agreement gives OGNED an option to develop the site, provided that certain conditions are met. In addition, OGNED has entered into a Conditional Designation and Cost Agreement with Neptune Township, a first step in the process of negotiating a redevelopment agreement with the Township. This is more activity than we have seen in years, and the North End Committee, led by Joan Venezia, will continue to monitor the negotiation and report on its progress. In this regard, it is worth noting that OGHOA was instrumental in persuading the Township to reduce the density of the project by scaling back the number of condominiums and hotel rooms and requiring the inclusion of single-family homes in the Redevelopment Plan adopted in May of 2008. Persistent pressure by OGHOA helped to ensure that off-street parking remained part of the Redevelopment Plan and that New Jersey’s Residential Site Improvement Standards (“RSIS”) will determine the number of parking spaces required for the project.
Certified Local Government. Certified Local Government (“CLG”) is a program administered jointly by the National Park Service and the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office. Municipalities that qualify for CLG status are eligible for grants to support local preservation efforts, including mapping historic structures and engaging professionals, such as architects and architectural historians, to advise on preservation.
The Preservation Committee (formerly, the Derelict Buildings Committee), chaired by Nancy Clarke, succeeded in persuading the Township to move forward on its application for CLG status, an application that languished for more than 10 years due to foot-dragging and intransigence in some quarters of local government.
In addition to these specific initiatives, OGHOA members meet monthly to learn about and discuss issues of concern to the community. The Summer Breakfast was attended by members of our municipal, county and state governments, and the candidate forums in September and October drew candidates for the Township Committee and congress. The December holiday party was well attended, with music provided by the indispensable Vince Cartier.
Board members and committee chairs regularly attend Township Committee meetings and workshops to monitor the proceedings and report back to OGHOA members. We enjoy and are proud of our work, and, to the extent that we are successful, it is because of the strength in numbers of our membership.