Judge rules beach can be seized for new dune project

Posted: Updated:
BERKELEY TOWNSHIP -

A judge says the state of New Jersey can seize a privately owned beach with big sand dunes to make way for a protective dune project designed to be smaller than what is already there.

Superior Court Judge Marlene Lynch Ford ruled in favor of the state on Friday after it said it would not to shorten any of the dunes that are taller than what is called for under Republican Gov. Chris Christie's plan for protective measures along most of the state's 127-mile coastline.

Residents of Midway Beach in Berkeley Township went to court trying to block the state from seizing the land - even though in many places the existing dunes are taller than those that are planned.

The residents tell News 12 New Jersey that their dunes saved nearly 400 homes when Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey.

The Midway Beach dunes stand 27 feet tall. The state initially wanted to cut the dunes down to 22 feet, which is the size of the dunes the Army Corp of Engineers is building all along the shore. But Assistant Attorney General David Apy pledged the state won't shorten any dunes.

The residents tell News 12 that they are considering appealing the decision.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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