The executive director of Save Barnegat Bay – Brick's once-partner in the Traders Cove redevelopment project that ended up opposing the township in court – came to the Jan. 17 council meeting and thanked council members for to build a spray park at the site.
But Willie deCamp, a Lavallette resident, told council members he was against large boat slips at the site and the ability for boat owners to park near the entrance to docks on which their slips would be located.
"The most important thing going forward, to Save Barnegat Bay, is how intensive the marina portion is going to be," deCamp said. "My great caution would be that an application not be put in for a giant marina."
The issue over boat slips, as well as control over certain aspects of the redevelopment project, was the focus of a lawsuit brought by Save Barnegat Bay against the township, which was eventually dismissed by Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grasso in 2009.
Following a joint lawsuit against a developer who wanted to build condominiums on the site, Save Barnegat Bay transferred its rights to the property to Brick when the township closed on it in December 2005. But a redeveloper's agreement – which eventually was abandoned – was the focus of a lawsuit between the organization and the township. That lawsuit also concentrated on the number of boat slips the marina portion of the park would hold. Save Barnegat Bay was in favor of reducing the number of boat slips at the site.
"They wanted control and approval over the development process," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, adding that the court battle cost Brick $15,000.
"What we don't want to see is a park that looks like one giant marina," deCamp told council members Tuesday. "I really think that keeping an eye on the size of those boat slips, and the number, will be the thing we most need to look at going forward."
In his view, deCamp said, public view of the bay could be obstructed by too many slips designed for large boats or the availability of parking near the slips where boaters could leave their cars while out on the water.
Acropolis said the marina portion of the park is part of the township's plan to generate revenue from the site, and the price of slips there will be raised to market price for a non-full-service marina once the redevelopment effort is complete.