By SARAH KLEPNER
Sea Bright’s borough council voted Thursday night to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection on turning the Anchorage Apartments into open space after a group volunteered to make up for the town’s lost tax revenue.
The council made clear, though, that it would not support any parking on the property, which is located across Ocean Avenue from an ocean beach owned by the state and maintained by the borough. The governing body also insisted local control in its resolution of support, which is non-binding on the state.
About 40 residents and a handful of visitors turned out for a special meeting held before the regular council meeting, at which the DEP’s director of Local Government Assistance, Cindy Randazzo, spoke briefly and took questions.
Homeowners adjacent to the property and others raised a series of objections, including safety, loss of revenue, and quality of life.
But the standout moment came from John Grossarth of Ward Avenue in Rumson, who said he represented a group that was committed to making the borough whole on property taxes that would be lost in converting the site to a park.
Grossarth said the group, whose members he did not identify, would pay the borough portion of the tax, totaling about $14,000 a year, for five years. The group would also cover the cost of landscaping and support gardening efforts on the site, for a total outlay estimated at $105,000, he said.
Grossarth told redbankgreen afterward that group that is concerned about making the entrance to Sea Bright a “beautiful gateway that will benefit residents as well as tourists.”