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South Amboy Council Meeting, July 18, 2012

City Attorney John Lanza (C) consults with Mayor Fred Henry (R) *photos by Jennifer Lilonsky

NJ Tidelands Program Questioned.

Lighthouse Bay Residents Concerned

By Jennifer Lilonsky

SOUTH AMBOY – Lighthouse Bay’s involvement with the New Jersey Tidelands Program had property owners seeking answers at the South Amboy City Council meeting on Wednesday, July 18.

Residents of the waterfront community are concerned about how the pending approval a riparian grant from the Bureau of Tidelands Management will affect them as property owners.

Lighthouse Bay falls under a category known as riparian lands or tidelands, which are areas that become submerged due to the high tide of a natural waterway either currently or in the past. Tidelands are owned by the state unless it is sold in the form of a riparian grant, According to the Bureau of Tidelands Management.

It is this transfer of ownership from the state to the city that is troubling those who reside on the tidelands. Lighthouse Bay resident Lori Papernik addressed the council and expressed concern that the riparian grant is presenting issues for the community.

“The bottom line is that a couple people have lost their sales of their houses because of this problem,” Papernik said. “We can’t get title insurance and there are liens on our houses.”

Council attorney John Lanza said that he is unaware of anyone losing the sale of a house because of the riparian issue. Lanza went on to explain how it could be possible to attain title insurance because he knows of people who have successfully acquired it in the past based on the riparian issue.

Lanza went on to stress that tidelands residents must send in their deeds to the city so they can be named in the grant before it goes to the Bureau of Tidelands Management for approval in August.

Mary Riley speaks before the Council about 17 year problem on corner of North Stevens Avenue and Macedulski Terrace.

“I want to make sure that the people out there are fully protected and are properly named in the riparian grant,” Lanza said. “If you’re not properly named on the grant then you won’t get the benefit of the grant.”

If all the deeds are collected and property owner records are updated then the Bureau of Tidelands Management will be ready to review and approve the grant next month, According to Lanza.

The council also addressed the concern of resident Mary Riley who said that she has been complaining about deteriorating road conditions on the corner of North Stevens Avenue and Macedulski Terrace for 17 years.

“17 years I’ve been coming and going. That road is shot. The road doesn’t meet the curb. There is no curb,” Riley said. “We have to do something about it. I am a patient woman no longer. Somebody’s got to get something done.”

Riley said that she is finding it difficult to maintain her own property because her neighbors and the city are not doing their part.

Business administrator Camille Tooker assured Riley that the municipal engineer, Mark Rasimowicz, would visit the property the next day to assess the situation.

“When Mark goes out there he’ll look at all the deficiencies,” Tooker said. “The one between you and your neighbor, the ones on the city property and then he’ll bring a report back and then we’ll go from there.”

All council members were present for the meeting.

The next City Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15 at 7 pm.


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