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Brick Neighborhood Gets Relief from Fee Woes

Camp Osborne residents had to jump through hoops under previous zoning laws

Camp Osborne is a unique neighborhood in town – and not just because of its quiet, skinny streets that run from the ocean to the bay.

The neighborhood, just south of Bayview Park and Brick Beach III, is a cooperative, meaning residents own their homes, but not necessarily the land on which they are built. The arrangement works out just fine – until, however, a homeowner wants to make repairs or renovations to their home.

Under long-standing township zoning laws, residents often had to endure an arduous regulatory process to make the simplest of upgrades, such as replacing windows, Councilman Michael Thulen said recently.

"To get a permit, you had to jump through so many hoops, it wasn't funny," said Thulen.

Even worse, when a site survey was required to make a renovation, the entire neighborhood was required to be surveyed, causing financial hardships for many residents.

"It's no big deal if it's your own house or your own lot ... but when it's 100 houses, it's a big cost," said Councilman Dan Toth.

But a new zoning ordinance introduced Nov. 22 aims to make things easier.

The ordinance takes into account a full survey conducted on the entire neighborhood, the cost of which was assessed to the local homeowners. So when one resident seeks to modify his or her home, the township will already have a full survey document on file.

"It may not be perfect, but we're going to try and see how it works, and we'll get more feedback," said Toth. "It's a living document, so we'll be able to add to it."

Since the survey has been completed, residents are already seeing benefits, and the ordinance modification will only make things easier.

"WIth the survey that's already been accomplished, over 30 permits have already been put through," Thulen said. "It will be another way to avoid a cost to the homeowner to get a permit."

The revised ordinance is expected to be approved on second reading at the council's December meeting.

Betty Ann December 01, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Sean thank you for the fine comments about the conditions in the area previously called "camp osborn". We do not allow parking on our streets except for loading and unloading. Daniel Nee Just to clarify, it is Osborn, not Osborne. Never was called Osborne. As an additional clarification to those that talk about leased land properties: This community consists of 3 separate entities. Camp Osborn Condo Association: 9 homes on the oceanside which was formed in 1989 by Elsie Tice (an Osborn). Then, 78 homes/units are called Osborn Sea-Bay Condo Association, formed in 1999 thru the Sea-Bay Associates, LLC. Both entities own the land under our homes, and the rest is common or limited common areas of each respective association. The final entity is Robert Osborn, a decendant of the original Osborn family who owned this historical section of Brick since the 1920's. He is the landlord to approximately 31 homes/tenants. I have lived here with my family since 1951.We are proud of our heritage and our community. In fact, I have an air view photo in black/white of what this entire area looked like in the 1930's in case anyone would like to see. We survivied a multitude of hurricanes and nor'easters. We look forward to upgrading our homes without paying the sizeable costs that sometimes went up as high as $30,000. This was a work in progress over 4 years in the making. Have a great Holiday!
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 01, 2011 at 02:54 AM
Betty -- I've seen it spelled both ways. I went by the spelling provided by the Brick Twp. Historical Society's website: http://www.bricktwphistoricalsociety.com/hist/hist.htm On another note -- Thanks for the history lesson! Camp Osborn(e) is, personally, my favorite neighborhood in town, and should I ever be in the market for a home, it's where I'll start my search!
Betty Ann December 01, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Daniel thanks for the nice note. This past summer, I checked with the grandson of one of the original Osborn's. He told me that he has no idea why the "e" started appearing on their names in any historical information. Their name was always "Osborn". BTW, there are a few homes for sale in our area. Sean Yep the crazy train did cut thru where rt 35 south currently exists. It went all the way down to seaside. The picture i have hanging on my wall shows absolutely no dunes in this area. It also shows a home that also was destroyed during the '62 nor'easter. Currently standing is the old Thunderbird Hotel, now called the Ocean Club Condos. And no, no connection to Ozzy.
Betty Ann December 01, 2011 at 01:04 PM
Daniel, just went on the historical society website. the black/white picture you see is the exact 2x3 picture I have on my wall. Only difference is, mine says, "airview of Camp Osborn and Sea Bay Park N.J." If you look at the house on the beach sitting alone, that is where the Ocean Club is. The home directly to its right (part of the Osborn Sea-Bay Condo Association" was the one destroyed and disappeared. Thanks again.
Betty Ann December 12, 2011 at 12:00 AM
where did the other 2 comments go?
Betty Ann January 13, 2012 at 03:51 PM
It was mentioned by Councilman Michael Thulen that at least 30 permits have been applied for, when this was approved on 2nd reading. What kind of renovations, etc. were applied for? Total demo? Inside out renovation? or minor upgrades such as siding, windows, electric. Can anyone clarify?
Don Smith February 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM
This is great. To do anything now I understand I just have to demolish my home and build it over as it is cheaper than moving it 3 feet. Was this supported by the builder's lobby? Talk about retaining charactor. Or was that character of politics?
Betty Ann February 14, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Don, you are on East Marion ..... this was given the ok by your landlord, Robert Osborn. you have other options besides demo'g your home. Make an appointment with the people @ town hall. I can provide you with names. Don't listen to what people say you can do or not do. A survey was completed last year by Birdsall Engineering. Every piece of decking and addition is on it. The problem that has occurred in our community is that people have throughout these years, did winter renovations, no permits, etc. etc. We all know that. Now that people want to bring their homes up to code, the Twp has taken a stand that some rules must apply before people do what they think they can. Some folks fail to realize that they only own their homes on the leased land property, and the rest own only the land beneath their homes (excluding decks). This excludes the tice 10 people (actually 9 homes) who in fact, do own land around their homes. Going forward, permits are required for items that others in this town have to get, we are not the exception in this town. And many now realize that code enforcement sits in the middle of the highway nearly every day, just looking for opportunities to give citations to those that still choose not to follow the rules. Letters from the associations as well as the landlord must now accompany all construction requests, except like for like permits such as windows, siding, etc. Hope that helps.
Oscar Wilde February 14, 2012 at 04:34 AM
if you do not own the land , who pays the property taxes on it......and why would you updgrade the structure if you do not own the land ???? do you pay land rent in place of property taxes and then who gets a rebate for taxes????
Betty Ann February 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Oscar, this is the most unique community in Brick. Its history goes back to the 1920's. Those of us who have the opportunity to live here as summer and/or full time families have very fond and historical memories. Withouth going into its history that is noted in the book of Brick Township as well as the Brick Historical Society, currently there are now 3 entities that comprise this community that extend from the Ocean to the Bay. There is one condominium association of 9 detached homes, and another condominium association that consists of 78 detached homes/units. All of those members of the two associations pay their own taxes to Brick Twp. The third entity, which is still owned by a son of one of the original Osborn's has approximately 31 tenants with homes on his leased land. He pays the taxes to Brick, and charges back taxes and other fees to his tenants. What he charges is between him and the tenants. There is no question that all of us who call this home always need to upgrade their homes like everyone else in this town. Why wouldn't any of us NOT want to upgrade our homes as needed, regardless of whether one owns their land or not. Hope that answers your questions.
Susan Shufelt February 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM
I have spoken to the Township (Zoing/Building) about adding an approximately 4 !/2 by 14 addition to my Camp Osborn house. There is over 21-feet between my house and the next house on the side I want to build the addition. In addition I have space for 3 cars in front of my house. The Township tells me I can build my addition only if I move my house diagonally-- a few feet east and a few feet north--because of the new setback requirements. Also the addition would have to be a few feet higher than the existing house, or I can raise the whole house. Moving my house as the Township requires would eliminate parking spaces and would require the addition to have stairs (thus, be larger). I discussed the issue with a builder who said under these conditions the addition makes no sense: considering the costs involved, for a little more money I could tear down my house and build a new 2-story 2 bedroom house on the lot. However, I try to imagine walking the mostly narrow Camp Osborn streets lined with new 28-foot-tall houses, and it doesn’t seem like a pleasant experience. We would lose a lot of light and air. I really don’t want to contribute to that kind of change to the community and I don’t want to tear down my house--but I am very reluctantly considering it…I am not happy about my choices!!! Am I missing something???
Betty Ann February 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM
@ Susan. Hopefully when you met with twp officials they showed you the survey that was provided to the owners. If you did see it, there is a line in the center of each road. That is the dead center portion of each street. All streets must be 20' wide for safety purposes. If a home is within that area, whatever portion of a home needs to be either moved or cut back in order to make that additional space (i.e., 10' on your side and 10' on your northern or southern neighbor. In addition, did you receive a copy of the ordinance itself? If not, the landlord would have received it. In any case, when you met with twp officials, they showed you the ordinance. There is also a 10' setback from all boundaries (perimiters) of the entire community. The Township professionals are the best people to explain any and all requirements. We have been asked when it was approved that all questions be directed to them, in order to obtain "accurate" information vs hearsay. All homeowners and unit owners have been invited to several meetings. If homeowners are on the leased land, the land owner was provided with a letter as well as a copy of the survey. In the end, everyone is also required to provide a letter from either their association board or land owner giving the OK to do what one wants to do. Osborn Sea Bay Condo Association has a Buildings & Grounds Committee that plans must be submitted to first. Hope that helps you.
Don Smith November 30, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Crazy as it is Bob pays the taxes and gets the deduction on the moneys I pay. Now that the land is cleared and it is new moneys going in likely we will need a more modern arrangement. This was started in 38' when Dad spent $50 on a bungalow. It was a wooden tent in the camp.
Don Smith November 30, 2012 at 04:31 PM
And she would have had to fix all the overhead lines on the Osborn track. Well we got those out of the way.

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