TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court has overturned the award in a lawsuit over the impact of protective sand dunes on a beachfront home.
Harvey and Phyllis Karan were awarded $375,000 for ocean views that were lost when a protective sand dune was built. The Harvey Cedars home at the center of the case survived Superstorm Sandy last October.
The court says a new trial is needed, at which the protective benefits of the dune need to be weighed against the value of the lost ocean views when calculating the entire market value of the property. In the original trial, the jury was instructed to only consider whether the lost views were worth money, and not whether the added protection was worth anything.
The case was being closely watched, in part, because New Jersey wants to build a dune system along its entire coastline.
In Mantoloking, five property owners have yet to sign an easement that would allow dunes to be built there.
Resident Jean Bonsee considers the ruling a step closer to getting the dunes built. "It really should be majority rules, one or two should not be able to stymy what the majority would prefer," Bonsee says.
There are plans to build a dune system on the entire 127 miles of New Jersey's coastline.