Opinion: Atlantic Highlands Waterfront Property Battle Continues

first_imgNeighbors for Waterfront Preservation will appeal thissubdivision approval and in so doing, hopes set an important precedent forfuture developments.  As a community, wehave a choice.  Will we allow newdevelopments in flood zones, thereby endangering existing residents in theneighborhood?  Or, will we preserve theseareas for open space, public access, and a buffer for rising seas? Some members of the planning board felt otherwise, however: twomembers voted no and one abstained. Unfortunately, approval required only asimple majority, and now the developer has cleared his first hurdle.  This decision undermines efforts by thecommunity to preserve some or all of this property as open space, especially onthe waterfront, and it risks contributing to over-development on the JerseyShore. Now the fate of this unique property will be decided by the NJ DEP, thecourts, and, potentially, the Borough Council.  The Two River Times recently reported the Atlantic Highlands Planning Board approved a large subdivision plan for luxury waterfront homes on the 7-acre waterfront McConnell Property.  The developer, Steven Denholtz, and his attorney John Giunco, argued that the development was “variance and waiver free,” and that the hands of the Planning Board were tied, making approval fait accompli.  But apparently the developer has a shorter memory than therest of us. Mr. Denholtz’s professionals said that this waiver did not apply tohis application because the waterfront was already “developed.”  While it is true that the property onceserved as an oil transfer station with minimal infrastructure built toaccommodate the now defunct business, it was never subdivided or “developed”for residential use as the zone requires. The Borough Council’s obvious intent was to prevent new development inflood-prone areas, not to stop existing homeowners from rebuilding their flood-damaged homes. This stretch of waterfront has been abandoned for decades, andthe sea is taking back the old wooden bulkhead. Clearly, the developer should have requested a waiver to subdivide andbuild homes on this site.  The Boroughengineer neglected to address this issue in his original review letter, but inthe end sided with Denholtz, setting the stage for this potentially disastrous decision.  Local residents have numerous concerns about this project, including:the toxic legacy of the property; the failure of the developer and the planningboard to provide public access; the disregard for the historical significanceof the site; and the exclusion of the objector’s legal counsel in the planningprocess. One of the most substantial and immediate questions posed by thisdecision is: should new developments be allowed in flood zones?center_img This letter was first published in the Commentary section of the May 23-29, 2019 print edition of The Two River Times. Contributed by Benson Chiles, Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation A year after Super Storm Sandy when the borough sufferedmillions of dollars in damage to homes and property, the Atlantic HighlandsBorough Council updated its zoning ordinance design standards to require thatall new subdivision plans preserve all areas in the flood zone as openspace.  This action was a logical andmeaningful response to a devastating storm that no one in the Two River area issoon to forget.  last_img read more

BLINGISMYTHING JUST UP TO WIN GRADE III, $100,000 WILSHIRE STAKES BY A NOSE IN THRILLING FOUR-HORSE PHOTO; BAZE, KRULJAC TEAM FOR WIN AT MILE ON TURF

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (April 26, 2015)–Patience is a virtue. You’d get no argument from Tyler Baze on that account, as he bided his time and orchestrated a thrilling nose victory in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes aboard the Eric Kruljac-conditioned Blingismything who prevailed in a four-horse photo while covering a flat mile on turf in 1:37.16.Next to last with a quarter mile to run in a compact field of six fillies and mares 3-and-up, Baze split horses two off the rail a sixteenth out and eked out the win over a fast closing Smoove It, who was caught wide with Mario Gutierrez up.“I won pretty easy, I thought,” said Baze. “She’s just a nice filly. I broke her maiden first time out a couple of years ago at Hollywood. This is my first opportunity to ride her back so I made the most of it. She’s a nice filly to ride with a big heart.”Owned by Class Racing Stable, Blingismything was the second choice in the field at 5-2 and paid $7.40, $3.80 and $2.40. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Arch, she was a close third in the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes April 11, and the Wilshire triumph provided her with her first-ever stakes win. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $246,330 and ran her overall record to 10-4-2-3.Trained by Doug O’Neill, Smoove It, who saved ground at the rail into and around the far turn, angled five-wide off the fence approaching the quarter pole and just missed at 6-1, finishing a head in front of her favored stablemate, Birdlover. Smoove paid $5.60 and $3.20.“I thought I had it,” said Gutierrez. “She’s improving a lot and I was hoping to get that kind of race out of her.”Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Birdlover, who broke from the outside, was off at 9-5, made an easy lead and tired late to finish third, a nose in front of Indecise. Birdlover paid $2.40 to show.“My filly broke beautifully,” said Bejarano. “We had an easy pace, 23 and change, 48 and change…it was perfect. The other horses were just flying late and we got beat a head. She ran great, no excuse.”Fractions on the race, set by Birdlover, were 23.64, 48.79, 1:13.48 and 1:25.23.Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. –30–last_img read more