BAY HEAD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A group of ocean front homeowners at the Jersey Shore are suing the state because they don’t want to be a part of a sand dune project.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, there are some angry residents inside of the big, historic, beach front homes in Bay Head.
“We are not going to give them our land for free,” Larry Bathgate said.
Bathgate is one of nine residents suing the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They are refusing to give easements to the state to build a sand dune on their ocean front properties.
Residents said they have a sea wall on the beach buried beneath a sand dune. It was built in the late 1800s and strengthened in the 60s. They said it has weathered many storms.
“The dune they’re building is the same height as the one we already have,” Bathgate said.
Property owners, more than 70 of them on the beach, pay for their own maintenance and said they’re getting no guarantees that the feds and the state will keep replenishing the beach.
The DEP said they have tried to address their needs.
“The beachfront home owners have not negotiated in good faith. They have only put their own interests ahead of their neighbors,” the DEP said.
Residents who live toward the bay said they need the dune.
“I actually believe we need some kind of protection, especially after Sandy. The nor’easter we had a couple of weeks ago wasn’t that big, but did a lot of damage to the dunes,” Julia McLane said.
Some of the sand on a revetment steel wall being built in Mantoloking washed away during the last storm, but protected homes.
The state wants to put in protection across the coast, but said Bay Head and one other town stand in the way.
Margate in South Jersey is the other town still holding out.
Governor Christie called residents there, “the most selfish in New Jersey.” He hasn’t commented on Bay Head oceanfront homeowners.