A ruling to compensate the owners of a Long Beach Island property nearly $500,000 for loss of their ocean view could threaten the future of government-funded beach-replenishment projects, officials say.
Borough leaders say they were stunned this month when a court-appointed panel in Ocean County awarded Martin Flumenbaum and Ruth Hochberger $480,000 for an easement needed in a $25 million federal beach-replenishment project in Harvey Cedars.
The pair's East 83d Street vacation home, assessed at $3 million, is on a corner lot where the Army Corps of Engineers intends to create a 25-foot protective dune. The easement was one of 11 taken by the borough through eminent domain in July 2008 after property owners refused to give the corps access.
The easements, which do not transfer ownership of the land, permit the corps entree to widen the beach and build dunes.
Harvey Cedars offered Flumenbaum and Hochberger $300 for the 8,500-square-foot swath of land. According to the borough, the municipal appraiser set compensation after weighing the project's benefit in protecting the owners' property from storm damage and erosion vs. the loss of the view from the first floor of their two-story structure.