By Cleve Bryan
OCEAN CITY, N.J., (CBS) — About 36 beachfront property owners who haven’t signed easements for dune construction may soon find themselves in eminent domain lawsuits.
On Thursday night, Ocean City Council plans to give a first reading to an ordinance authorizing the use of eminent domain to build dunes.
City Solicitor Dottie McCrosson says she’s spent the last 10 months trying to get easements signed for an anticipated dune project from 34th Street to the southern tip of the island.
“Eminent domain isn’t our first choice we would like to get signatures without litigation to save the taxpayers the cost,” says McCrosson.
She says a few property owners who haven’t signed easements told her they didn’t want dunes to obstruct their ocean views. She says even more people are worried new dunes would erase foot paths they use to get from their homes to the beach through already existing dunes.
“A lot of these beachfront property owners do not want to have walk to the end of the block to get to the beach – and that has been the biggest issue,” says McCrosson.
If all the properties are cleared the dune project could begin as soon as Spring 2014.
You can take a look at the ordinance and see the names and addresses of the beach front property owners who haven’t signed easements her: