Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Coming up on AsburyRadio -- The Podcast

This week - May 24th, 2020 at 4 pm

AsburyRadio - The Podcast presents Who's Building AsburyPark's West Side Housing? Are residents getting construction jobs? What are the barriers? This theme was postponed several times, most recently in order to gather more details. Please tune in at 4 on Facebook.com/APRadioVoice  


Future topics AsburyRadio - The Podcast is considering...

Parking

Now that the weather and Covid-19-ordered social distancing are easing a bit, we can expect the parking wars to return to Asbury Park, just as sure as the dive-bombing Blue Jays and Ocean Grove's annual grumblings over Asbury's visitor overflows.
We noticed, in the 5/14 - 5/20 Coaster newspaper, that Loch Arbour is plotting its own parking remedies. The latter could establish two permit parking zones: one on Euclid and another on Elberon avenues, both between Ocean Place and Ocean Avenue, according to the weekly. Parking-envy will definitely take over neighbors to the south side of Deal Lake, many of whom head north when oceanfront visitors sweep into their usual spots, when they hear this: Loch Arbour residents of the two zones, it is proposed, will get two free parking permits, only for guests of the resident, but good for three days. Sheer Luxury! And, each household will be entitled to purchase two additional permits for $50 each. The generosity stops at the border though. Violators risk a $125 fine. And those too handy with Photoshop will risk 30 days in jail.
I think I feel a screw being tightened? What do you say? What will be the effect, if any, on your parking strategies? The village commissioners will hear input on the ordinance June 3.

Balking on the Beach

Asbury Park startled many a seasoned veteran of its prize-winning beaches this spring by limiting beach ticket sales, for social distancing compliance. Some locker renters paid their season fee only to find they weren't assured of getting a summer beach pass. What's your experience? Has the dust settled? Will you have both this summer?

What themes do you wish the podcast would take on? We're listening.

https://tinyurl.com/y6vqarsx


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

AP Tax Abatement Deals - Your Opinion?

AP Tax Abatement Deals

Now that the loss of millions in state aid to our school district has brought home in stark relief the downside of the City’s pilot programs that relieve developments from paying any school taxes for decades, will the City at once impose feasibility impact studies as prerequisite to completing any current or future deliberations? The studies can estimate the impacts on such aspects as financial, social, and fiscal long and short term effects on our local government as well as all local and state tax payers. What is your opinion Mayor Moor, Council and City Manager Vieiro? Assistant City Manager Manzella? Residents? Renters indirectly pay these tax increases, too. Thank you for considering this. Maureen - AsburyRadio- The Podcast
If you'd like to send a bit of support through Paypal: https://tinyurl.com/y6vqarsx

Sunday, May 17, 2020

It is Sunday May 17, 2020 - AsburyRadio - The Podcast


Getting the whole story is the trademark of AsburyRadio. In the age of Covid-19 that task takes extra time, be it for overworked government officials to respond to Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests or simple questions.

Such is the case this week when we had planned, after a few too many postponements, to bring you a truly comprehensive report on Who's Getting the Jobs on Asbury Park's West Side? We've conducted interviews, but still need more. We're waiting for several responses and statistics. Rest assured AsburyRadio will bring you the full story as soon as we're satisfied that it's the best we can do.

Meanwhile, if you haven't already, please see the posts and other podcasts (available 24/7) on this page. Podcasts such as our Affordable Housing Zoning story, which covered the city's 8-ordinance plan for granting incentives to developers to build higher-story apartment buildings, to create greater population density in specific neighborhoods in the city. And, more recently, AsburyRadio revealed the answer to the much asked question about the role redevelopment tax abatements and payments-in-lieu-of tax (PILOT) programs, most of which exclude new owners from paying school tax, play. Do they increase the school tax burden piled on Asbury Park's individual homeowners? Quick Ans: Yes, the remaining tax payers make up the difference needed to keep the schools open.

Please wear masks, keep that 6' distance and hopefully we'll see you next Sunday at 4.
If you would like to support local reporting, please consider: 
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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Podcast: Reaction to Affordable Housing Plan

Tomorrow is April 26th. AsburyRadio - The Podcast will discuss the public's reaction to the Council's Affordable Housing Plan, during the Zoom meeting last week - A Marathon Five-Hour meeting with sound, no video. One resident dropped off after being left on hold in silence for 15 minutes. Many residents were mostly critical of what they heard so far -- from the decision not to hold off the meeting until the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted to the complexity of the subject matter. Some issues raised included: The City's decision not to require developers to provide any parking for affordable units, a deal which entitles developers to extra building heights in exchange for providing 10 affordable units for every 50 market-rate built.
The meeting sputtered to an end, after five hours of fairly disgruntled public comment, at midnight and will pick-up again Thursday at 7 pm, when the remaining four or five ordinances in the plan must be voted on. The summarizing ordinance and #2020-11, which affects Deal Lake Drive, were passed unanimously, despite the public's opposition.
We'll hit the air tomorrow at or about 4 pm.
If you want to participate tomorrow, email me with a short description at AsburyRadio@aol.com. If you want to hang in 'the green room' and/or share a comment or ask a question on camera during the Podcast, text your cell number and full name to 732-261-4860 by 3 pm. If you don't want to be on camera let us know when you raise your hand to speak.
If you just have a question or comment, post it on this page or email it to me @ AsburyRadio@aol.com before 3pm if possible. You can also post on FB during the show.
See you tomorrow!
  

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Affordable Housing for Asbury Park - At Last??

Asbury Park has finished its Affordable Housing Plan. It's so complicated that it took eight ordinances to explain.

Before the council votes it into law, over Zoom on April 22, I'd just like to know how many people feel they understand the whole thing, how many at least understand what's going to happen to their zone and, of course, their questions. If you'd like to be anonymous, please PM me on Facebook/Asburyradio or email me at AsburyRadio@aol.com, with subject: AP Affordable

I'll share the results (withholding names on request) on this blog and on FB/AsburyRadio. I'm also planning an AsburyRadio Podcast on Facebook.com/APRadio Voice to get expert answers to our questions. And, I'll post parts of the plan on here (www.AsburyRadio.com).
Thanks for your time.
Maureen Nevin

Monday, March 30, 2020

Looking for the Link to AsburyRadio's very first Podcast?

Good - here it is!  https://www.facebook.com/APRadioVoice/videos/210956250336709/ 


We're still figuring out how to break-in the Zoom Monster, so treat this first effort (from
March 29, 2020) like you would your child's first steps, please.
The deep dive on the master plan for Asbury Park's Affordable Housing rollout is
anything but child's play and well worth your time. Don't choke when you hear the Miami-style do-over that may await Deal Lake Drive. Many thanks to our guests Felicia Simmons and Tracy Rogers and all the volunteers of the Asbury Park Affordable Housing Coalition, who worked for years to try to defend residents' interests against some very ham-fisted developers & friends. Tune in this week, on April 5, Palm Sunday, at 4 pm or so on Facebook/AsburyRadio when our live Podcast returns to the cyber air. Live music and surprise guests - Hint his initials are JM and the buck stops with him!  Meantime, please listen and feel free to comment, suggest, etc. below or on Facebook/AsburyRadio or AsburyRadio.blogspot.com It's virus-safe behavior!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Today Sunday March 29, 2020  - Use FACEBOOK to Tune in at 4 pm to the first ASBURY RADIO - THE RADIO VOICE OF ASBURY PARK -- PODCAST!!!!

Post comments, questions, wave hello to Maureen Nevin...



Monday, February 10, 2020

Just Mercy - a must-see movie for anyone who thinks Grace has died along with truth in this country.

Sorry for the long string of code below. But sometimes those short urls don't work so well. And I wanted everyone to see the poster for this film - Just Mercy - which I saw with friends Friday night at the Bradley Beach Showroom theater.
There were so few people in that beautifully renovated, airy theater! I guess people are distracted by so much: the latest election campaign revelations, impeachment details, Saturday Night Massacre-style firings, the Senate hearing acquittal and Hollywood's Annual Version of the Nobles, to name just a few.
But it would be a crime to miss this movie. Here is the story of Brian Stevenson, a young black man who aces Harvard Law and sets out immediately for the South - Alabama - to work for peanuts while investigating death row cases. He takes a ton of flak, including from some of the prisoners themselves. And he gets the stuffing punched out of him. But he prevails - he spares the lives of more than 135 people facing execution and keeps on going!
I just wish our schools or churches could arrange a trip for our young people to see it and maybe get inspired, too. They need to see that there is mercy amidst all this hatred and disinterest. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself, please.

https://www.showtimes.com/movies/just-mercy-143852/movie-poster/


Friday, February 7, 2020


City's 2018 Access Plan Approved iStar's PRIVATE POOL?




Excerpt from pg. 38 of the

Amended and Restated Redeveloper and Land Disposition Agreement

Contained in the Municipal Public Access Plan. The excerpt reads:

The Amended and Restated Redeveloper and Land Disposition Agreement is a master redeveloper agreement between the City of Asbury Park (acting as the redevelopment agency) and Asbury Partners, LLC that was executed in 2002 in order to implement the Asbury Park Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. The purpose of the redeveloper agreement is to set forth the respective rights, obligations, conditions, and agreements of the City and the Master Redeveloper in connection with the development and redevelopment of the properties in the Asbury Park Waterfront Redevelopment Area. [Emphasis AsburyRadio]

The redeveloper agreement outlines the following specific provisions as relevant to public beach access and parking for the redevelopment area:

1. Article 3, Schedule of Development: 3.13 Beach Clubs:
Master Developer shall be responsible for the construction of two, one or two-story Beach Club facilities, one of which shall be available to the general public. [Emphasis AR.]The first will be located on the eastern terminus of Ocean Avenue and the beach between 6th and 7th Avenues and Master Developer may charge a membership fee. The second, the public Beach Club will be located on the eastern terminus of Ocean Avenue and the beach between 1st and 2nd Avenue and available to the general public. Neither of the facilities shall be built to impede pedestrian access to the boardwalk. The obligation to construct the facility for the general public is explicitly conditioned on Master Developer obtaining all approvals to construct the two Beach Clubs”

For the full Municipal Access Report from the DEP site Use URL https://tinyurl.com/vapdwq5

How should this Developer Agreement and the Coastal Area Facilities Review Act (CAFRA) 2004 Permit, which Asbury Radio posted about earlier this week, on our FB page at https://tinyurl.com/uxf843z and here https://AsburyRadio.blogspot.com, to be viewed?
The CAFRA Permit bars anything but a public facility on the Asbury Park beach.
Yet the Developer Agreement seems to grant exactly what iStar is asking for in 2020 - a non-public beach, albeit without using the word private.
And why are the dates missing from this 2018 document, the Access Plan? [see brackets]
It reads:
"This plan has been developed in collaboration with the DEP, Asbury Park City Council, City Manager, and Planning Staff; and was presented to the Planning Board [on date] and approved for submission to the DEP [on date]. Upon receiving approval from the DEP [on date], the MPAP was incorporated into [specify element] Element of the Master Plan by resolution on [date], (see Appendix 1). All public access decisions made within Asbury Park after [this date] will be consistent with this plan." End of excerpt -

Why does this document reference 2002 (see above), as if these details were included upon the signing of the City's first developer agreement with Asbury Partners. And if that's true, why wouldn't the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have finalized it by filling in those dates? This, together with the strange page numbering and missing pages in the CAFRA permit document, listed on the http://www.AsburyRadio.com homepage, should give the AP Planning Board cause to pause for even more reflection.  Your comments are invited and very important.

But NOTE all might be turned around again, according to N.J. Governor Phil Murphy's press release this morning 2/7/20, laying out the State's plans to bring our DEP into the Climate Conscious 2020s.  

DEP Begins Reform of Environmental Regulations in Response to Climate Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 6, 2020

Contact: Lawrence Hajna       (609) 984-1795
                Caryn Shinske          (609) 292-2994

NEW JERSEY DEP BEGINS REFORM OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS IN RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Protecting Against Climate Threats: DEP Seeks Stakeholder Input on Greenhouse Gas and Environmental Land Use Rule Changes

(19/P02) TRENTON - One week after Governor Phil Murphy and Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced a comprehensive effort to modernize New Jersey's environmental regulations to protect our communities and economy against the threats of climate change, the Department of Environmental Protection is moving forward  with a collaborative rulemaking process, holding several stakeholder events throughout February and March, to make the New Jersey Protecting Against Climate Threats (NJ PACT) reforms a reality. [ Read full release with details for public comment at https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2020/20_0002.htm ]



Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Area Residents Jam Chambers to Protest iStar Private Pool - Even the State's CAFRA Permit Bars It

Residents had only three minutes each to voice their disgust last night for the nearly 18,000 sq ft private pool club planned for between 6th and 7th avenues, right in front of North Beach condos. Two hours later the last speaker finished by declaring the oceanfront "exactly back where we were before" the redevelopment plan of 2002 began. Everything about the master developer's concept irritated every speaker - white, black, young or old, poor or well off - not one liked the proposal. 

A developer and builder who said he chose North Beach as his retirement home, described the physical structure of the pool, which features four solid walls, as "a fortress." 

"We were told there might be structures of two stories in front of us," he said. But the buffer strip between North Beach and the boardwalk is on an incline so that the ocean side of the pool is higher than two stories. "This Planning Board is our last line of defense," he implored, urging the Board to create "an inclusive place that meets all requirements."    

Whites and blacks alike expressed frustration at iStar's apparent lack of empathy in deciding to build the City's first beach side pool in decades and to design it as an exclusive -- expensive -- iStar-owned Asbury Beach Club amenity for its members only. Comparisons were made to the pools built in pre-integration times, such as the former Monterey 'public' pool, which some say relied on social snubbing to make people of color feel unwelcome. The beach itself was once totally off-limits to black residents, with the exception of an untended no-man's-land scrap of sand south of the Casino, where the sewer pipes crossed the shore to the ocean.   

During our three minutes, Asbury Radio informed the Planning Board that the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection's 2004 Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) permit [see links] that they are guided by -- the only CAFRA permit issued to date -- specifically restricts structures to places of assembly open to "the general public" and "supports beach/tourism related activities, that is, retail, amusement and food services." The description does not seem to fit a members-only private pool beyond the reach of most Asbury Park residents. AR could find no references to private pools in the 54-page section of the more than 250-page document that deals with those issues.  

AR asked the professional planner hired by the group Save Asbury's Waterfront, Carlos Rodrigues, PP / FAICP ( which means he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners) of Design Solutions, LLC, for how we should interpret this information. 
The answer was far more than I anticipated: 
 "The CAFRA permit does not anticipate a private club – only public clubs," Rodrigues responded via email. 
"The applicant’s attorney will argue that the Planning Board has no jurisdiction over the CAFRA permit, only NJDEP.  However, if the town does something that puts that permit at risk, then redevelopment would also be at risk. So the Planning Board should take it seriously."

Teretha Jones, a native of the City whose family owned a business here, told the Board to "Throw the whole plan out!" Declaring the City to be 75 percent "her people," Jones said, "the City is more segregated than before," staining the City's era of redevelopment with the racist attitudes of the 50s and 60s. "You didn't even want to include my family business in your incubators." In those decades, she also noted, Asbury Park was a center for KKK rallies. 

Rev. Alison Estes, a 24-year resident, acknowledged a need for healing. Katherine Healy, a new mother of a son, lamented "how racism is built into our society today." And, she added her concerns for better stewardship of the coastline, "New Jersey is ground zero for the effects of climate change," she said.

"The onus is in your hands," said Joyce Grant, an environmental columnist whose view from her Asbury Tower window chronicles a daily devastating excavation. Where a wide boardwalk once stood, heavy construction equipment rakes, scoops and dumps dunes and shore grasses onto mountains of dirt. Her message to the board was simple and short: "I implore you, reject this environmentally irresponsible project." 

  

Duanne Small, a contractor and lifelong city resident, described earlier times of exclusivity when he would've had to carry proof of work in order to cross from the west- to the east-side of the City, and leave before dark. Today, Small said, there is a 30 percent unemployment rate among 18 - 30 year-old residents of color in Asbury. A former charter study member who worked successfully to change the City's form of government, Small complained that a meeting planned with an iStar manager has brought little relief and prodded city officials to take a stronger role in getting the developer to use local labor. "Power concedes nothing without a demand," said Small in closing on his three minutes with the Frederick Douglass quote. "It never has and never will."

Arlene and David Levenson, of North Beach, a 160-unit community, noted last week's revelation from an iStar engineer charged with analyzing storm water management of the pool. In draining and during weather events, when the adjacent Deal Lake would receive the bulk of runoff from the 74,800-gallon capacity pool, the Deal Lake Commission monitors and adjusts the depth of the lake through a flume system. Yet iStar's mechanical facilities engineer, Sean Delaney, told Asbury Radio last week that he has never contacted the DLC, or consulted its engineer, Peter Avakian.  David Levenson related the horror of seeing Superstorm Sandy literally push in the great front doors of their North Beach home that is directly behind the site planned for the pool.       

The Planning Board Chair thanked the participants for their comments, on which she said board members had taken notes in order to review later.  The board's vote was moved forward to February 24th, when she said some speakers may be asked to clarify or expand on their information. The 2004 CAFRA permit is linked to this report. Please see page 10 for the passages quoted here, as well as other mentions of venues for the general public.