By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — The city is giving permission for a project on Brighton Avenue to place pilings and support under the city-owned sidewalk.
At the July 23 City Council meeting, council passed a resolution granting 131 Brighton Avenue LLC the right to shore up their foundation with a wall located in the Brighton Avenue right-of-way. In return, the developer of the property, the former West End post office, agrees to indemnify and hold the city harmless for any work done.
The site plans for the new building go right to the sidewalk, so structural work under it is required to keep the building sound.
Long Branch Planning Director Nick Graviano said that the work is underground, and will not be visible from the street. But he said it was a “necessary structural element.”
City Attorney Louis Rainone said that officials wanted to make sure that the developers had permission so it could maintain a claim on the right-of-way. “There’s a concept in the law called adverse possession,” he said.
An example, he said, is if a neighbor builds a fence that’s actually on your property. If this goes on long enough and you don’t challenge it, you lose the land the fence is on. However, if you had given him permission to build the fence there, you maintain the rights.
Graviano said that in the future they’ll be asking any future potential plans that abut the sidewalk to step back a bit.
“As people come in and speak to me about potential projects, I definitely tell them there is a desire to walk the buildings back,” he said.
The space between the two could be used as a streetscape, or for tables for outdoor cafés, he suggested.
City seeks grants
The city is applying for three grants from the NJ Department of Transportation, two in the Transit Village area.
City Admnistrator George Jackson said that the first is for $730,000 of work on the sidealks and roadway on Third Avenue, between Morris Avnue and Lowden Court. The second is $537,000 for similar work along Lowden Court.
Both of these areas are in the transit village area. The goal of the state’s transit village designations is to create pedestrian friendly areas to encourage commuting.
Both of these grants are considered fairly competitive, and the city is not sure they’ll receive them on the first application.
Neither of them requires any match from the city.
The final grant is seeking road improvements, seeking to mill and pave Woodgate Avenue from Park Avenue to the Overlook Avenue bridge. That is for roughly $729,000.