Harvey Cedars NJ Beach Replenishment Settlement

Important Information about the Recent Settlement for Beach Replenishment on Long Beach Island NJ

Harvey Cedars NJ Beach Replenishment Settlement

Beach Replenishment on Long Beach Island NJ

One of the aspects of living on a barrier island like Long Beach Island is having to deal with storms. Nor Easters and (while rare) hurricanes like Hurricane Sandy can have a major impact on the beaches and homes on Long Beach Island. One of the best ways to protect islands like Long Beach Island from these storms is through beach replenishment. Beach replenishment on LBI involves the widening of the natural beaches and the strengthening of the dune system designed to protect the homes on Long Beach Island NJ. This process involves removing sand from carefully selected deposits on the ocean floor and depositing it on the beaches of LBI to create a larger, stronger dune and a wider beach. While the benefits of beach replenishment, both for the security of LBI in general and the preservation of property values in the LBI real estate market, are undeniable, there are some who oppose the project. One notable party to oppose the project was the owner of an oceanfront home in Harvey Cedars. It was their opposition and subsequent lawsuit which resulted in a notable Harvey Cedars NJ Beach Replenishment Settlement.

Harvey Cedars NJ Beach Replenishment Settlement

In order for any beach replenishment project to move forward, the Army Core of Engineers, who oversee the project, must obtain the release of easements from the oceanfront homeowners. While the language of these easements has been clear that the securing of the easements is solely for the construction of dunes, there has been concern among some homeowners about signing over their easements. Since the beach replenishment project is not allowed to proceed until all easements have been signed, Harvey Cedars invoked eminent domain to secure the last 11 holdouts so as to allow the project to move forward. It was one of these homeowners who decided to sue the town of Harvey Cedars for compensation over their perceived loss of value in their property. When the matter reached the supreme court of New Jersey, these particular homeowners were awarded a major settlement in the amount of $375,000! Harvey Cedars contested the ruling due to the fact that in the initial trial the town of Harvey Cedars was barred from presenting evidence that the homeowners would realize a financial benefit from the added protection of the dune. Upon appealing, the courts ruled that the town SHOULD have been able to present evidence due to the fact that while there was some loss in value given a restriction on views (from the higher dune) these losses would be offset by the added value in the additional protection afforded by the dune. As the result, the homeowners decided to accept the following:

  • A $1 settlement (That is not a typo. The settlement was for one dollar) for compensation in loss of view
  • $24,000 partial reimbursement for legal expenses

While the case should not, according to the homeowner’s attorney, have an impact on other eminent domain cases, it does serve as an example to other oceanfront homeowners on Long Beach Island that may be reluctant to sign their easements in hopes of receiving financial compensation. The Harvey Cedars NJ Beach Replenishment Settlement will no doubt service as evidence in conjunction with ongoing studies to determine the financial gains realized by having a stronger dune. From a practical standpoint, it should be clear that a minimal loss of view (keeping in mind most oceanfront homes are reversed living and therefore their views are realized from the 2nd floor and mostly unaffected by beach replenishment) is insignificant compared to the loss in value if storms such as Hurricane Sandy cause massive damage to the Long Beach Island area. The ability for an engineered dune was evident in the case of Hurricane Sandy as Harvey Cedars and Surf City (each of which had beach replenishment) faired far better than North Beach which lies between Harvey Cedars and Surf City and did not have a replenishment project at the time of Hurricane Sandy.

Beach Replenishment and its Impact on the LBI Real Estate Market

Beach replenishment and the Harvey Cedars NJ Beach Replenishment Settlement do impact the LBI real estate market as a whole. For most, buying in the LBI real estate market is an investment and the more secure the investment is, the more the value of that investment will be. The protection recognized by beach replenishment and an engineered dune is undeniable and will add a great deal of value to the LBI real estate market and the Long Beach Island area as a whole.

Nathan Colmer | The Van Dyk Group
Cell: 609.290.4293 : Toll Free: 800.222.0131 : Email: ncolmer@vandykgroup.com
Click Here to Search All Homes For Sale in the Long Beach Island NJ Real Estate Market on LBI New Jersey

Related LBI Real Estate Articles

  • Dune Grass Planting on Long Beach Island New Jersey
  • Preparing to Sell Your Rental Property on Long Beach Island NJ
  • Summer 2013 Rental Season on Long Beach Island NJ
  • Oceanfront Home Sales in the Long Beach Island NJ Real Estate Market