Wayne Perry – Associated Press
DEAL, NJ (AP) – Deal has made a deal.
And it could satisfy everyone who has fought for public access to the beach in this wealthy enclave of Jersey Shore in a lawsuit that has dragged around the legal system for three years.
In a settlement announced Tuesday night, the Dell district, the American Coastal Society and the owner of a house by the ocean have agreed to set up a public access point to the beach at the end of the street the district wants to sell to the homeowner.
A set of stairs will be built under the village “and maintained forever” down the rocky cliff, where surfers and other people have long descended to the sand.
It will also be maintained as a visual access point, which means that nothing can be built or planted that would obscure the public view of the ocean from the street.
It also allows you to continue selling the end of the street to homeowner Isaac Cher. Deal approved the sale of Chera’s $ 1 million property in 2018; it was impossible to determine at once whether this price remained.
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The mayor and district administrator did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment Tuesday night after the district hall closed that day.
“It’s really a win for all parties,” said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the Littoral Society, a coastal environmental group that sued Deal for the proposed transfer. “There will be a good staircase to the beach so people can get to the beach safely. And the public’s view of the ocean from the street will remain. “
The Maritime Society, which has long fought to maintain public access to the beach, said it had filed a lawsuit fearing the deal could set a precedent when coastal cities sell street ends to private parties and eliminate traditional beach access points.
The deal claimed that the end of Neptune Avenue was never an official access point to the beach and that it was included in the state government’s list of beach access points as a place for visual access only.
But the public has long used this place to get to the beach, which is especially popular with surfers who make their way down the line of boulders to the sand.
The sale at the end of the street was just one of many instances where beach access advocates accused Deal of trying to limit public access to his coastline, which has repeatedly expanded as part of government-funded beach replenishment projects.
Other proposals included an attempt to limit parking on the streets near the beach only to residents who were recalled after causing public outcry.
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