Save Asbury’s Waterfront Community Voices – Kerry Margaret Butch

Does Asbury Park really want to harken back to the “good old days” of the 1950’s? In advertising for the new development in the city some ads are showing video images of a 50’s car, and a curated mid-century vibe. But as Kerry Margaret Butch, the writer of this article says, the 50’s was a time when things were decidedly not great at all for minorities, people of color, gay, and women, or the poor.  We can do much better than that in 2019.


PLEASE ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEB 13th. AP High School Auditorium.  Learn about development of the North Beach and share your thoughts in the public comment period.

“Let’s build a pool, but let’s make it public and affordable. Let’s make sure that our kids can enjoy it and that we aren’t creating an exclusive North Beach.” – Kerry Margaret Butch

Not Everybody into the Pool

“On Wednesday, February 13th at 6pm in the Asbury Park High School Auditorium, iStar will present it plans for a membership only Beach Club located on the east side of Ocean Avenue on 7th Avenue. The design is being promoted to be reminiscent of the 1950’s: a beach and bathing club complete with cabanas, restrooms, lockers and a large pool.

Remember the 50’s? Great for a lot of people, but not for all. Not women. Not people of color. Not gay people.

The vast majority of people that live in Asbury Park will not be able to afford membership in the Beach Club. The idea that the City will devote an entire city block of our waterfront to a club for 350 to 400 memberships doesn’t fit with the vision of an affordable, family friendly, diverse, “kind of edgy,” rock n’ roll progressive community.

Let’s build a pool, but let’s make it public and affordable. Let’s make sure that our kids can enjoy it and that we aren’t creating an exclusive North Beach. And let’s not build it east of Ocean Avenue.

Lately, there has been a renewed buzz about saving Bradley Cove – the area of North Beach by the fisherman’s lot in front of the senior building on Ocean Avenue. The beachfront has to be preserved from the slated development of 15 townhomes. Development rights will likely need to be “bought back” using public dollars. Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for an exclusive North Beach, but rather, investing in a public waterfront that is accessible and welcoming to all.

Please attend the meeting on February 13th and articulate the vision of an inclusive Asbury Park. The public is welcome to provide comments on the beach club starting at 7pm.”



YOUR THOUGHTS: Asbury Park Waterfront Development Survey

 iStar, the Asbury Park waterfront developer plans to build a membership-only, walled,  waterfront beach club on the 6th-7th Avenue lots of the waterfront/boardwalk. The city asks for your thoughts on the project.

A walled beach club, street side of the boardwalk at North Beach. (Artist’s rendering from iStar; TRC meeting, 12/14/18 )

iStar North End Boardwalk/Waterfront  Project – City Asks For Public Comments

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition, supporting Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW) suggests these 5 points to consider in responding to the survey:

1)   Oceanfront Preservation:  We want to establish an oceanfront park from 6th Avenue north to the Loch Arbor border.  We want no new development east of Ocean Avenue (with the exception of standard park amenities like bathrooms).

2)   Boardwalk:  We want the boardwalk restored, with a forward-looking vision.  We want the boardwalk restored at least to its old height/width, possibly expanded and/or elevated, up to Deal Lake Drive and the meandering boardwalk to go from Deal Lake Drive to Loch Arbor border. We would like to see the boardwalk moved westward beginning at the sewer plant.  We want a protection system comprised of dunes and bulkhead.

3)   Fisherman’s Lot:  We want a solution that: is environmentally sound (respects wildlife habitat, forward-looking stormwater management plan); that is protective (incorporates a dune system); and is accessible by the public.

4)   Social Inclusion and Public Access:  We want increased, year-round public transportation options that bridge the east side and west side, such as the jitney service and increased, safer bike lanes/paths

5)   Transparency:  We want the reestablishment of the Waterfront Redevelopment Advisory Board.  We seek a well-rounded and independent board of overseers comprised respected professionals and community leaders who will trust and challenge one another, and engage directly with the waterfront developers and City management/governance on critical issues facing Asbury’s Waterfront.

Please note public comment period ends 12/23/18.

If you know anyone who is interested in providing public comment on the North End Boardwalk Project but does not have access to a computer or mobile device, please print out this form which can be dropped off at the City Manager’s Office on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

Take the /survey