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ARTICLE ID 192421

$1 – MUNICIPAL LIABILITY – COUPLE DISPUTES CONDEMNATION FOR DUNE PROJECT – LOSS OF OCEAN VIEW – LAND VALUE.

Superior Court of Ocean County

In this condemnation case, the plaintiff borough sought to acquire a strip of land for dune construction. The matter was resolved via jury verdict after the homeowners fought the action.

The subject of this action was the $1.7 million oceanfront house of the defendants, Harvey and Phyllis K., in Harvey Cedars, New Jersey. In ________, the Army Corps of Engineers built beaches and 22 foot dunes on the coastline in a measure to protect the coast line from storms. The dune would be one in a line of dunes created by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that will eventually run the length of the ocean side of Long Beach Island. As a result of the dune’s placement, the defendants’ ocean view was partially blocked. The plaintiffs were offered a monetary easement for the seizure of the strip of land needed to construct the dune, but refused.

When the defendants rejected that offer, the borough filed an action in the Superior Court of New Jersey in order to acquire the land. The defendants, Harvey and Phyllis K., disputed the condemnation and further action and asserted damages for their loss of view in excess of the easement offered by the borough. On April 5, ________, a jury returned a finding in the defendant’s favor, awarding them $________ in damages for the loss of their ocean view. That verdict was later upheld by an appellate court, but overturned in the state Supreme Court and sent back to the lower court for new trial.Ultimately, the matter was resolved via settlement for the sum of $1.

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