8 navesink ave 0901148 navesinkA riverfront mansion in Rumson may put a new spin on the concept of real estate teardowns. The 12,000-square-foot house at 8 Navesink Avenue, with eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, was razed recently. The property was the subject of a live auction in July, 2013, when it failed to attract a single offer at the minimum bid of $2.6 million. Four months later, however, it sold for $5.6 million to Dennis and Marshall Lynch, according to Monmouth County records. The Lynches won planning board approval in April to build a new residence on the 1.9-acre site. (Photo above by Michael McMahon. Click to enlarge)



c-zipfCindy Zipf, right, shows residents photos of her neighbor’s property, which she says was clear-cut of its trees. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


The quest by a Rumson couple to prove that local officials negligently allowed the “murder” of numerous trees on a residential building lot drew a packed house of lawyers, experts and crestfallen neighbors to Monday night’s planning board meeting.

With their appeal of tree-removal permit granted by Frederick AndrĂ©, the borough’s tree conservation officer, Clean Ocean Action founder and executive director Cindy Zipf and her husband, Rick Jones say they hope to win an acknowledgment that mistakes were made and stricter enforcement of a tree-protection ordinance.

A lawyer by their side, Zipf and Jones paged through a sheaf of documents showing, they argue, that the property next door to their home at 37 Navesink Avenue was the site of a “murder of trees” that violated the ordinance.

The alleged slaughter could have been prevented had AndrĂ©, who is also the planning board’s secretary, properly done his job, they say.

“The tree conservation officer failed to implement basic procedures. The tree conservation officer allowed a clear-cut at 35 Navesink Avenue,” said Andrew Provence, a lawyer with Ansell, Grimm and Aaron. “What happened at 35 Navesink is plainly a clear-cut. To call it anything else is an insult to this borough, this board, my clients and the people of Rumson.”

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