TRENTON – The governor’s office Monday applauded the state Supreme Court ruling that called for a retrial regarding homeowners’ compensation in beach dune cases.
“This is a decisive victory for the citizens of New Jersey and provides the critical next step in securing and preserving New Jersey’s shoreline,” governor’s office spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement.
“Engineered dune systems paid for with public dollars benefit everyone, including holdouts who selfishly refuse to provide easements to protect not just their own homes but the homes and businesses inland of them as well.
“Those holdouts are the greatest beneficiaries of dune systems and are not entitled to a windfall at the public’s expense.
“The Supreme Court’s decision embraces what Governor Christie has been arguing ever since Sandy, that oceanfront properties protected from destruction are safer and more valuable than those that are not.”
In the Cedar Harveys case decided this morning, the court overturned a $375,000 award to Harvey and Phyllis Karan, who won at the trial court level. They had argued that a dune built on the beach blocked the ocean view of their approximately $2 million property.
The town argued on appeal that it had been improperly blocked from presenting evidence regarding how the dune project enhanced their property value. The court ruled today that the town has to have the chance to present its evidence.
The state plans extensive dune-building to protect against future major storms such as last year’s Superstorm Sandy.