Less than 24 hours after a Harvey Cedars couple agreed to grant an easement to the town for a dollar, Gov. Chris Christie ordered the state Attorney General to take legal action to acquire dune easements throughout the state.
“I am doing everything in my power to get them in place as soon as possible," Christie said today. "We can no longer be held back from completing these critical projects by a small number of owners who are selfishly concerned about their view while putting large swaths of homes and businesses around them at risk.”
Christie signed Executive Order No.140. , which allows the state Attorney General to go after homeowners who have refused to grant dune easements to municipalities along New Jersey's 127 miles of coastline.
The order, which takes effect today, paves the way for the Army Corps of Engineers to begin dune construction.
The order also creates the Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures in the state Department of Environmental Protection to coordinate acquiring the needed easements to build dunes.
The DEP, Harvey Cedars and a Harvey Cedars couple who originally were slated to receive a $375,000 payment for the lost value of their ocean view, reached an agreement of a $1 settlement, the Governor's Office said.
The $375,000 payment was set aside by an appellate court earlier this summer.
“The impact of that court ruling should now be clear to anyone who thinks they were in line for a big government check,” Christie said. “Sandy changed everything. It’s time to do the right thing to not only protect your own property, but the property of all your neighbors.”
When Sandy roared onto the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29, 2012, oceanfront and bayfront towns without dunes were hit with more "catastrophic" damage that towns with dunes already in place, according to the Governor's office.