Preserve Bradley Cove? Why? For Who?

Lots of Open Space at Bradley Cove, July 23, 2014

Lots of Open Space at Bradley Cove, July 23, 2014

There was a great deal of Open Space on the beach at Bradley Cove in Asbury Park yesterday afternoon. Yesterday was a gorgeous beach day.

Just to the north in Loch Arbour and Allenhurst, there was a lot less Open Space.

View looking north from Bradley Cove. July 23, 2014

View looking north from Bradley Cove. July 23, 2014

Immediately to the south of Bradley Cove beach, North Beach, across the street from the federally subsidized senior citizen housing, there was also a lot of Open Space.

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I’m thinking of putting my name of the waiting list for Asbury Tower. In six years when I’ll be age eligible there might be an opening. I could walk to the Bradley Cove Condos, if they are built, and visit my friend Tommy DeSeno who wants to move there, and watch the surfers and fisherman from his balcony. If the condos are not built, either because Asbury Park, Monmouth County and rest of New Jersey taxpayers buy back the development rights to Bradley Cove with Green Acres funds, or because iStar, the company who owns the development rights didn’t build them, Tommy can visit me in my $850/month subsidized apartment. That would really Tommy him off. But I digress.

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Further south in Asbury Park, the beach was busy and beach badge sales were brisk for a Wednesday afternoon.

 

3rd Street Beach, Asbury Park, July 23, 2014

3rd Street Beach, Asbury Park, July 23, 2014

Up in Long Branch, the beach in front of Pier Village was packed.

Beach at Pier Village, Long Branch, July 23, 2014

Beach at Pier Village, Long Branch, July 23, 2014

All the area beaches except Bradley Cove and adjoining North Beach were busy yesterday. That’s because there are no amenities for those beaches.

Bradley Cove, Deal Lake and Asbury Tower. July 23, 2014

Bradley Cove, Deal Lake and Asbury Tower. July 23, 2014

Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Monmouth County | Tags: , , | 16 Comments »

16 Comments on “Preserve Bradley Cove? Why? For Who?”

  1. Charles M said at 2:29 pm on July 24th, 2014:

    What really annoys me it’s not even a “cove”. No one’s destroying the cove because the cove doesn’t exist.

  2. Mike Harmon said at 4:04 pm on July 24th, 2014:

    Having fished, surfed and body surfed there many times, Bradley Cove (we used to call it North Beach or 8th Ave jetty) is certainly worth preserving. It is one of the premier striped bass fishing locations in the world due to the herring flume and has a nice break depending on sand replenishment.

    My Bradley Cove involvement started after working for years on Maple Cove in Red Bank ( great little kayak park) with now Councilwoman Cindy Burham at the request of Freeholder Curley.

    We discussed “urban parks” and the many mostly smaller towns without Monmouth County Park park acreage. Freeholder Curley asked me to get involved in working with Asbury residents on Bradley Cove on what he considered a great location to have a small county park and run programs. I agree wholeheartedly.

    The ocean-front Ocean Blvd right-of-way should never been contracted to IStar in the first place. Please look into who orchestrated that questionable transaction Mr. DeSeno and Mr. Gallagher.

    If IStar is able to complete their purchase for the construction of townhouses it will create a 450 foot wall of buildings and major conflicts with recreational use of the site.

    Republicans have led the way on preservation and protection of our open space and waterfront access throughout Monmouth County. We need to do more in our densely populated urban areas while we can.

    Bradley Cove is a perfect opportunity to leverage a small property into park programs that would have a significant and regional impact on parks and recreation.

    Asbury Council people Quinn and Moore have been at the forefront of the Bradley Cove preservation efforts. Surfrider member Joe Woerner has dedicated a good portion of his life to preserving the cove. Certainly, the 150 people that showed up at the Freeholder’s Meeting requesting preservation assistance. are the “who” you ask about.

    Here is the “why”

    To: Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders Monmouth County Recreation Commissioners

    From: Recreation Commissioners Mandeville, Peters, Harmon
    Re: Bradley Cove Oceanfront Park (BCOP)

    MCPS Commissioner Mandeville, a resident of Matawan, calls BCOP a “once-a-generation opportunity” to establish an 8-10 acre Monmouth County ocean front park within walking distance of so many residents. Add the adjacent access to Deal Lake and the 158 acre watershed, the recreation and park opportunities abound for this region of Monmouth.

    Commissioner Peters, a resident of Long Branch notes the Freeholders expanded the Recreation Commissioner Board specifically to increase park and recreation opportunities in Monmouth’s more urban areas. Commissioner Peters walks everyday near Seven Presidents Park and Pier Village and sees similar potential for BCOP with the backdrop of Deal Lake.

    We urge the Freeholders and other Recreation Commissioners to move forward on creating a County Park, a first MCPS footprint in this heavily populated area. The proposed park borders five towns currently without any Monmouth County Park within their borders including: Asbury Park, Loch Arbour, Allenhurst, Interlaken and Deal.

    These commissioners and local residents of the more-urban areas of Monmouth are encouraged:
    • On April 26, 2012, the Freeholders introduced and subsequently approved a $21,000,000 Bond Ordinance for acquisition of 1,946 acres of land for recreation, conservation and farmland preservation purposes. Part of the 1,946 acres is a one (1) acre portion of Bradley Cove considered a “Special Use Area” which serves a special purpose or meets a specific public need and is of regional significance”.

    • The Monmouth County Freeholders also heard an impassioned request for Monmouth County creating BCOP by Mayor Paul V. Fornicola of Loch Arbour.

    The four key areas include:
    1. Portion of Deal Lake and surrounding green band and walkway around the lake. We did include two docks or platforms to show potential area for launching kayaks, canoes, fishing, sitting areas or teaching areas.
    2. Proposed townhouse area (designated red perimeter lines) is less than one (1) acre with townhouses stretched out over 400 feet long on old Ocean Ave right-of-way.
    3. Proposed mid-rise area is about 1/2 acre in size.
    4. Current Asbury beach open space (about 7 or 8 acres +-) including 2 jetties.

    Let’s create the Deal Lake Greenway with the anchor of BCOP on the ocean.

    The idea is too expand recreation opportunities and programs in this urban densely populated area:
    • Purchase of at least one acre of Bradley Cove
    • Negotiate the assumption of responsibility, control or access to additional beachfront acres
    • Negotiate the assumption of responsibility, control or access 40 +- acres of Deal Lake for recreation and programs.

    Although we have our own ideas from talking to local residents and supporters, we are interested in other ideas regarding the park and best locations for the necessary elements of the park including: small program center, rest room facilities, parking areas, walkways and trails and recreational areas (e.g. volleyball, swimming areas, possibly a small pool or spray park).

    MCPS is involved in other linear parks, stream corridors or greenways including: Shark River Park, Manasquan River Greenway, Metedeconk Greenway, Crosswicks Creek Greenway, Swimming River Greenway and multiple areas on the Navesink River. Often these river-based parks or greenways link numerous towns and parks. Often the rivers became convenient borders of the towns.

    Proposed BCOP & Deal Lake Greenway – Potential Recreation & Park Activities
    • Add a building for year-round recreation programs, restrooms and showers
    • Retain and improve designated parking area for fishermen
    • Surfing and swimming (+ programs)
    • Kayak, canoe and possibly sailing lessons Deal Lake
    • Surf Fishing (+ programs)
    • Take-a-child fishing day (or surfing or swimming day)
    • Beach walking or running (parking area great start or finish point)
    • Crabbing / kayaking / freshwater fishing – Deal Lake
    • Possible “swan ride” style boats for Deal Lake
    • Walking trail around the lake
    • Volleyball (+ programs)
    • Nature programs, dune planting and shell art
    • Plein Air Painting and photography classes
    • Exercise on the beach, lifeguard school
    • Participate in conservation efforts with Deal Lake Commission

    To be flexible and considerate of other ideas in developing a workable plan, we have scrubbed the site of existing infrastructure and parked cars and using some artistic license divided the 60 acre parcel into four sections. Short of making the entire area a County Park, the decision makers may come up with an alternative that achieves Asbury, IStar, Monmouth County and the surrounding community goals. This “scrubbed” plan is meant to have lines and sketches drawn on it.

    Nearly everyone we have talked to say the townhouse strip is most critical. We have heard at public meetings the development of the townhouse site will negatively impact the existing beach area. This over 400 foot long wall of townhouses would effectively reduce access and a large parking area. The shrinking parking lot and proximity of the potential townhouse residents and beach users would create conflicts. Note the area is often utilized for fishing and beach walking after dark.

    With anticipated successful negotiations, Monmouth County would effectively be able to offer programs on an approximately 50 acre beachfront park and lake.

    Like any park, the more area (acreage) to work with opens up possibilities for better recreation areas. Of course discussion about site management is flexible ranging from Monmouth County assuming construction and management of the facilities to the simple acquisition of an easement (leaving the site as is under current Asbury management). This wide range of possibilities – and those in between – should be examined to determine what works best for both Asbury and Monmouth and the residents of the area.

    With BCOP adjacent to the 158 acre of Deal Lake watershed and miles of tributaries, MCPS Commissioner Harmon sees an opportunity for MCPS to work with the Deal Lake Commission and the seven towns surrounding the lake and its tributaries on recreation programs and conservation efforts. The Deal Lake Commission was chartered in 1974 by the Borough of Allenhurst, City of Asbury Park, Borough of Deal, Borough of Interlaken, Village of Loch Arbour, Neptune Township, and Ocean Township.

    So fellow Rs and Ds. Get on board an support Bradley Cove for DeSeno’s and Gallagher’s future retirement walks.

  3. $3.5 mil said at 5:22 pm on July 24th, 2014:

    or, thereabouts, for that small of a parcel of land, that the blasted town already sold away the development rights to, is insane. And, really, how much more does Asbury expect everyone else to do for them, when they already receive more than their share of everyone else’s tax money, to largely fund their their bloated municipal and school budgets every year, not to mention all the public assistance and extra help in social programs of all kinds their residents receive: reality check: it is past time for a few public officials who want everyone to love them and vote for them, and who never want to say “no” to anything, to wake up and grow up, and stop it- period! “Help” is one thing: over-doing it, on every request/ demand, with other hardworking taxpayers’ dollars, is quite something else! If those few folks want that land, they should make the town pay for the app and work for the grant(s), form a charity/ 501(c)3 org., contribute yourselves,and solicit same,from others of like mind! The days of voters expecting, and pols promising, everything we all want, have got to be over, soon! With the smallest percentage of Americans actually working and paying the taxes now, for everyone else, all states will soon be as broke as the Fed is today!

  4. Jim Granelli said at 6:03 pm on July 24th, 2014:

    The trouble with building ANYTHING more in Asbury is that the present developments are hardly selling at all; especially the North End project.

    Why increase supply when there isn’t enough demand?

    As well, having seen the beach from the 15th floor in my Mother in Law’s apartment in the Tower; it’s was really nice just to see nothing but beach there. Besides those town homes will be crammed in there.

    That said, this is Asbury’s fight. I don’t want to see one dime of county money going in to preserve it. Asbury sold the rights away, let them buy them back.

  5. Mike Harmon said at 9:23 am on July 25th, 2014:

    This is not just about Asbury. It is about MC having a small footprint in a strategic location where five towns (without one acre of MC parkland) come together on the beach without buildings (where else is there open access to beach with 158 acre lake adjacent.

    It is a perfect location for a small regional Monmouth County Park mostly since much of the area is already preserved and available. The Deal Lake Commission do an excellent job.

    5 of the towns involved with the Deal Lake Commission (Asbury, Deal, Allenhurst, Interlaken and Loch Arbour) have paid $7 million into the County Open Space tax in the last 10 years and not one acre of open space has been acquired for parkland.

    No one gripes about the 1,000+ park acres in Howell (400 acres for Yellow Brook, Manasquan Res or Howell GC). In fact Rs enthusiastically support these preserved areas. By the way Asbury residents are paying for it too.

    Yet in Asbury 2 or 3 acres of MC parkland and programs causes some ideological outrage. It is time we wake up and remember successful politics is about quality of life where-we-live and Monmouth County is the boat we are all in.

    Message to our kids and adults. Get off your computers and get out into the woods, beaches and parks that make Monmouth special. Go surf, fish, play golf, walk in the woods, skateboard, kayak etc

    I am not suggesting that MC pay $3.5 million for the townhouse strip and told IStar this during a meeting. Remember this area got wacked during Sandy and will again. IStar does not own the property but have a contract to build.

    Proposed BCOP & Deal Lake Greenway – Potential Recreation & Park Activities
    • Add a building for year-round recreation programs, restrooms and showers
    • Retain and improve designated parking area for fishermen
    • Surfing and swimming (+ programs)
    • Kayak, canoe and possibly sailing lessons Deal Lake
    • Surf Fishing (+ programs)
    • Take-a-child fishing day (or surfing or swimming day)
    • Beach walking or running (parking area great start or finish point)
    • Crabbing / kayaking / freshwater fishing – Deal Lake
    • Possible “swan ride” style boats for Deal Lake
    • Walking trail around the lake
    • Volleyball (+ programs)
    • Nature programs, dune planting and shell art
    • Plein Air Painting and photography classes
    • Exercise on the beach, lifeguard school
    • Participate in conservation efforts with Deal Lake Commission

  6. Silly argument, said at 12:27 pm on July 25th, 2014:

    to say that every single town needs it’s “own” County Park: all towns pay into the fund approved by the voters, and all can enjoy all the parks, wherever they are.. Especially dilly since the larger towns simply have the most UNdeveloped land left- so that’s what needs to be snapped up- the older small shore towns are anywhere from 90 -100% developed already! And, the very first parkland acquired was at Shark River, some 50 years ago.. Take the time to go into the county website and listen to Tom DeSeno’s remarks last night at the Freeholder mtg. in Tinton Falls- his usual articulate and astute observations and opinion on this are right on target- this is a ridiculous amount of money for such a tiny scrap, many people want those condos, there definitely will be beach access, and there are plenty of other places one can go nearby, to recreate to their hearts’ content!

  7. Mike Harmon said at 1:37 pm on July 25th, 2014:

    Never said every town needs a county park. What I said was here are five towns (Asbury, Interlaken, Allenhurst, Interlaken and Loch Arbour) that meet at Bradley Cove and the lake across the street.

    Indeed county parks are for everyone and it is also appropriate to serve the most densely populated area with county parks as well.

    Putting a county park where many people live is not a silly idea….it is a brilliant idea.

    The $3.5 million is not a real issue. No one has proposed spending anywhere near that amount.

    The idea is having a county footprint in a densely populated area, surrounded by 5 towns that do not have a county park but do have a 158 acre open space and lake which can be used for programs which I have listed.

    This is perhaps the most logical and efficient location for a county park of all that we have. Don’t have to own much land, sea and lake as it is already provided.

    The townhouse wall will ruin a regional park opportunity and the uses currently there.

  8. Joe D said at 4:27 pm on July 26th, 2014:

    Mismanagement and near incompetence has paced Asbury Park in the position the are in. When you elect unqualified, incapable or down right incompetent people as they do over and over, this is what you get. Now the rest of the County has to “bail them out” because of this neglect and mismanagement. How about the savior of the area, Congressman Pallone? Where is he? He has no capacity to help? The leadership in Asbury Park needs to step up and own the or the intersecting communities who all apparently feel connected can develop a strategic, inter-connected plan and come up with the resources to fix the issue. Open space preservation is not drive our of desperation or to fix someone’s self created problem. It is based on a sound strategic evaluation. The residents of Asbury Park need to rise up and elect competent, qualified people to lead their town — I’ll be this issue is just the tip of the ice berg over there in terms of mismanagement. Yet I’ll also bet that Pallone, Booker and other partisan D’s get swept back into office and continue their march towards escalated mediocrity.

  9. Mike Harmon said at 7:57 pm on July 26th, 2014:

    Exactly what the plan is – a strategic (perhaps the most strategic County Park) we could have on the shore. Adjacent to five densely populated towns without a nearby county park. This is not just about Asbury Park. Not even close. I know many surfers, fishermen who use Bradley Cove. Other people like to sit, eat their lunch and watch the waves roll in. As I have said the area adjacent to 158 acres of open space and miles of beach has regional significance.

    These Deal Lake Commission towns have kicked in $19 million in open spaces to the County over the last 10 years without one acre of County parkland being acquired within their borders during that period. In fact the five adjacent to Bradley Cove (Asbury, Loch Arbour, Deal, Interlaken and Allehhurst) have no county park acreage.

    The first person that I knew that spearheaded preservation efforts in Asbury was former Mayor Carl Williams, a Republican and good man. He served as a Recreation Commissioner and was a good friend of Freeholder Ted Narazanick who was and is a big supporter of more parks. As is Freeholder Curley who faced off with the D machine in Red Bank on the same issues.

    The democrats you mention talk the green game but never deliver. In fact it was their machine that sold off the natural assets of Asbury and other towns. Same thing happened in Atlantic Highlands until the Rs took over with campaigns of protecting our natural beauty and assets.

    Being a a good steward of our natural resources is as conservative as it gets. Rs need these young people to recognize this and know that Rs are the real deal.

    Monmouth County Rs have led the way on preservation of our great county. Today we have some folks elected in Asbury who have now started to recognize that the quality of life improves with open space, access to the waterfront and programs for the kids which get them out of the house.

    If you think that Monmouth County Parks do not inspire economic development….drive around 7 Presidents Park….an economic boom surrounding the park….same thing can happen in Asbury and the 158 acre adjacent area. People like living next to parks and open space, particularly County parks.

    Or build some condos, wall off the beach and wait for the next big storm…..

  10. Middletowner said at 9:37 pm on July 26th, 2014:

    Nobody from out-of-town would ever want to go to a park in Asbury unless they want to get shot or at least mugged

  11. Tommy De Seno said at 11:30 pm on July 26th, 2014:

    Mark Harmon you state there is no “county” park nearby. What difference does it make if a park is owned by the county or not. There are lots of nearby parks. Notably, 2 blocks from the Bradley Cove proposed site is a HUGE park. 6 City blocks long. Two lakes. A beautiful island. How can you claim a “need” for this 35 foot strip of land to be a park when that huge park is within eyesight of it?

  12. Tommy De Seno said at 11:31 pm on July 26th, 2014:

    Sorry Mike I didn’t mean to call you Mark. You must get that because of the actor often enough.

  13. Mike Harmon said at 9:37 am on July 28th, 2014:

    Middletowner…people from Middletown go to Bradley Cove everyday. I was living in Middletown when many friends and I discovered this great location. The point of the park is to provide safe and natural atlernatives .

    To Mr. DeSeno.
    I honestly do not understand your opposition. These folks kick in much money to open space fund and maybe don’t visit Yellow Brook (400 acres) or don’t have the $50 to play golf at Charleston Springs. AP residents rose up and voted in people who put preserving Bradley Cove at the top of their campaign list.

    Just note how quiet the other side (the democrat machine is). They all now support preservation….why…because that is what the people want… Or, maybe because Rs have strangely picked up the “develop the beach” banner.

    Mr. DeSeno, I ask you. Who is the AP person and official who is the architect of selling off Ocean Blvd? I can tell you every dirty deed and who was behind it in my town.

    This whole drama sort of reminds me of the shenanigans in Long Branch where the democrats were doing the dirty work of stealing homes from long-term multi-generational owners to turn over to cronies and donors.

    Proposed BCOP & Deal Lake Greenway – Potential Recreation & Park Activities
    • Add a building for year-round recreation programs, restrooms and showers
    • Retain and improve designated parking area for fishermen
    • Surfing and swimming (+ programs)
    • Kayak, canoe and possibly sailing lessons Deal Lake
    • Surf Fishing (+ programs)
    • Take-a-child fishing day (or surfing or swimming day)
    • Beach walking or running (parking area great start or finish point)
    • Crabbing / kayaking / freshwater fishing – Deal Lake
    • Possible “swan ride” style boats for Deal Lake
    • Walking trail around the lake
    • Volleyball (+ programs)
    • Nature programs, dune planting and shell art
    • Plein Air Painting and photography classes
    • Exercise on the beach, lifeguard school
    • Participate in conservation efforts with Deal Lake Commission

  14. Tommy De Seno said at 11:37 am on July 28th, 2014:

    Mike Harmon,

    I don’t understand bringing party politics in to this. Asbury Park is a non-partisan town and the council has traditionally been a mix of registered Republicans and Democrats. There is no party issue when it comes to redevelopment.

    Also there were no “dirty deeds” nor dirty people when it came to devising the plans in Asbury Park. The people of the City were very involved in the planning stage. These condominiums are what they want.

    No one uses the are where these condominiums will be built. It’s a 35 foot strip that will be partially in the current Ocean Avenue.

    All those things you mention you’d like to do there in your comment above – you can still do them. These condominiums won’t stop you from doing any of it. That’s why I don’t understand your opposition to the condominiums.

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  16. Mike Harmon said at 8:56 pm on August 2nd, 2014:

    Support for preserving Bradley Cove

    Straight Ahead
    Don’t Turn Around
    Don’t Back Up
    Don’t Back Down

    http://asburyparksun.com/freeholders-endorse-bradley-cove-application/

    http://www.moremonmouthmusings.net/2014/06/27/overflow-crowd-urges-freeholders-to-save-bradley-cove/