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Corinthian Cove Residents Pressure Red Bank to Dump Shoreline

The high-end town homes sit next to the Red Bank Public Library and its failing bulkhead.

The residents of Corinthian Cove are willing to do anything they can to protect their property from flood damage, even if that means taking legal action against the town.

At Tuesday's Environmental Commission meeting, borough officials discussed the challenges of converting the 's existing , an idea proposed by environmentalists to add additional public access to the Navesink River. In addition to a from replacing the bulkhead with a shoreline, residents of the adjacent high-end condominium development lodged their complaints against the idea, too.

"If something happens to our property as a result (of the conversion)," Corinthian Cove resident Michele Ciganek said during the meeting, "then you, the borough, will be held responsible."

Corinthian Cove is sandwiched on Front Street between , which has a bulkhead, and the library, which also has a bulkhead. Corinthian Cove, with units that , also has a bulkhead in addition to its private boardwalk, dock and Navesink River view. Ciganek and other residents are concerned that removing the bulkhead from the library could cause flooding or significant enough erosion that it could impact their property.

While residents of the complex are fine with the responsibility of maintaining their own bulkhead, and dealing with the consequences when storms and flooding cause the Navesink to rise above it, water coming in from adjacent properties will not be tolerated.

Commission member Stephen Mitchell tried to assuage Ciganek's fears about tidal flooding as a result of an elevated bulkhead being replaced with a shoreline. The living shoreline, he said, would likely not pose a risk. Flooding of the Corinthian Cove property happens when the river rises to a high enough level and the library property can neither protect the residential complex or harm it.

Similarly, Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, said shorelines are naturally resistant to erosion compared to bulkheads, which generate significant amounts of energy and displacement of river ground by blocking waves.

Ciganek was not convinced.

"Are you giving me a guarantee," she asked. "If there's a guarantee that (flooding won't happen) and it does we'll come after you or the town."

In addition to a stern warning, at least one resident of Corinthian Cove is willing to give the borough a little sugar with its medicine. Ciganek said fellow Cove resident Rosemary Salow is willing to help Red Bank defray the cost of replacing the library bulkhead should it go that route.

It's unclear how much of a contribution Salow is willing to offer or if Red Bank is willing to, or able to, accept.

Andres Simonson July 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Guarantees? The homes were built/purchased in an obviously flood prone area. Besides, we all know the saying, the only two guarantees in life are death and taxes. Incredibly though, the Corinthian Cove Board’s stance is that public taxes should go towards an engineering control for their private land. That’s not how I want my tax dollars spent. Regardless, I’m still shaking my head at the dismissive and uncooperative stance of the group. Why not wait for a design (that can show equal if not better shoreline protection) before dismissing an idea in the public good? When did we skip due diligence? Nobody is proposing to jeopardize your wonderful piece of property, that’s just sensationalism. Rather, the proposal enhances the entire area. It would have been nice to work cooperatively with Corinthian Cove, as a good faith neighbor, towards a win/win situation.
Cindy Burnham July 11, 2012 at 06:28 PM
What I thought was very telling, was the fact that RB is not only going to bulkhead the library, but it will bulkhead 94 Front St. (the lot next to the library & where we wanted to put the community garden). This is more evidence that RB is getting ready to sell these lots as soon as Hovnanian can unloads his 2 lots that abutt 94 Front & Maple Cove or sells them to another developer. Sickels showed me the beautiful color drawings of the Bluff like townhomes that are suppose to go there. Mark my words Maple Cove will be next. As for good faith neighbors... the RB Library was against the Community Garden being next to them. How short sited & ignorant.
S Talarico July 11, 2012 at 07:01 PM
You live on the water and you want a GUARANTEE that it won't flood? Millionaires. Can't live with them, can't shoot them.

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