victory-park-boathouseA derelict house on the site, adjacent to Victory Park, is to be demolished and replaced with a boathouse. (Click to enlarge)


Rumson is one step closer to the demolition — and possible reconstruction — of a boarded-up house resting near the banks of the Navesink River.

The house adjoins Victory Park and was acquired by the borough thanks in part to a grant from Monmouth County’s Open Space program in 2008.

The borough’s governing body received permission from the state Department of Environmental Protection to preserve the footprint of the building after it is demolished. This was a necessary step because according to Coastal Area Facility and Review Act guidelines, any new structure would have to be constructed 30 to 40 feet farther back from the river banks than the current structure, town officials said.

Now, the building’s footprint is preserved for five years. The borough can apply for an extension if nothing is built there after the five-year period, Mayor John Ekdahl said at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Although the borough has received permission to grandfather the footprint into the park, it will not be responsible for re-building there. They proposed a three-story building on the application “simply because that’s whats there, so it gives us options in the future,” Ekdahl said.

The borough’s main candidate for re-building on that land is a boathouse for RFH Crew, the mayor said after the meeting. This recreational rowing group provides Rumson and Fair Haven residents from middle school through their twilight years with lessons on the sport, as well as opportunities to compete.

“This was the first step, to get the building down and get the footprint preserved,” he said. “We’ll see what transpires from there.”

The building could be demolished within the next month, said Ekdahl. After that, the ball is in RFH Crew’s court as far as fundraising and planning for a new structure.

The borough does not have an agreement in writing with the recreational organization regarding the use of the property, but it has control over the property any building placed there would be accessible to the public.