TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie had a succinct message Monday for beach property owners expecting six-figure payouts for easements: “It’s time to give your easement because you’re not going to get paid.”
Following up on the state Supreme Court ruling earlier today that ordered a retrial in the case of a Harvey Cedars couple who had won a $375,000 award because a beach dune ruined their ocean view, Christie said that “this should be a message to the 1,400 or so (property owners) who have not given easements on the 127 miles of coastline: you are not going to be paid a windfall for your easements.”
The court said that at the new trial the town must be permitted to present evidence on how building the dune has improved value of the property to balance the property owners’ case that their property value has been diminished.
“The lower courts are required now to consider the value of protective dunes when balancing that against any loss of value that may have to the loss of view. You are not going to wind up getting paid for these easements,” Christie said.
The state wants to build a system of dunes to protect against future major storms like last year’s Sandy.
Christie said that building the dune saved a multimillion-dollar house from being destroyed, and he doesn’t see how an ocean view is greater than saving one’s house from hurricanes.