BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork)– A steel wall stands between the water and oceanfront homes in Brick Township and the owners said it’s not only dangerous, it’s also a major inconvenience.
“People from the state have come up and said we won’t have access to beach for about a year,” Brick resident Ted Amo told CBS2’s Meg Baker.READ MORE: Blackwood Blanks Reeling Flyers As Devils End 4-Game Skid
Amo showed CBS2 the 15-foot drop created by the storm erosion, exposing the steel wall installed in 2014. Two of his neighbors on Lyndhurst Drive are now suing the state over the issue.
“Payment isn’t the big issue, the due process is the big issue. We want due process, we want our constitutional rights. They have completely ignored the constitution and taken the property without due process of law,” Bill Ward, an attorney for the homeowners, said.
Ward said when the state installed the wall, it did so without obtaining easements from the two beachfront homeowners and failed to reimburse them for property losses.
“We are not opposing the project, but we want the town of Brick to observe the constitution,” Ward added.READ MORE: Duarte, Turner Lead Pacers Over Knicks
The homeowners want sand brought in to cover the wall, but they also want to keep their property rights.
“I think the state has really dropped the ball not negotiating with these people,” one resident said.
Easements need to be signed in order for the Army Corps of Engineers replenishment project to begin. The two private homeowners are not the only holdouts, Deuville Beach Association has not signed off on it either. However, Brick Township Mayor John Ducey said it will get done.
“The two homeowners will be taken by eminent domain and the association will hopefully sign easement because the state is way behind on that project,” Ducey said.
The mayor said the public beaches, where the drop is about five feet, will be open come summer time.MORE NEWS: Avs Beat New York; Trouba Delivers Another Hard Check
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said it cannot comment on the lawsuit, but is working on a plan to cover the steel wall with sand and provide public beach access in time for summer.