Love This City

Asbury Park is is undoubtedly experiencing a “rebirth”.  This renaissance includes thriving music and dining scenes, plus luxury condominiums on the oceanfront, and more to come. Some residents credit developers for “revitalizing” Asbury Park, (although the reality is that timing is everything, and developers knew the time was right, even considering the risk).  At the same time, many good people are focused on serious issues of social justice, “basic functional needs”, like food, housing, jobs, and education.

Besides upscale development, and in addition to the wonderful people helping to make the city livable, what make us really LOVE a city? Are possibly we missing opportunities to promote and enhance the things that would make Asbury Park truly loveable?  Preserving and keeping our incredible waterfront accessible and welcoming to everyone is the first thing that comes to mind…it’s a resource like no other.

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition supports Save Asbury’s Waterfront.


“The 2017 Placemaking conference in Amsterdam opened my eyes to the concept of ‘lovability’, thanks to Dutch placemaker Peter Groenendaal, who encouraged participants to think beyond basic ‘livability.’ This message was recieved with an open heart, as it came only days after the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, passed away. The Mayor concluded his final letter to the citizens of Amsterdam with a call to action: “Please take good care of our city, and of each other.”

Read about how to love a city:

Save Asbury’s Waterfront Community Voices – Kay Harris

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition Supports Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW).  As a departure from our ongoing focus on safe and equitable access to streets, we’re focusing the next few posts on Asbury Park’s North Beach and equitable access to the boardwalk and beaches.

The boardwalk is a thoroughfare through the city, and beaches belong to everyone. Residents and visitors deserve access to the boardwalk and beaches, and we maintain that developers must respect that neither should be privatized in any way.

The contributors in these posts are members of the Asbury Park community, and share their thoughts about development though the lens of social justice.


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.

Preserve the Unique Diversity of Asbury Park’s Waterfront

by Kay Harris

Memories linger in my mind, of being denied access to the Monte Carlo Pool in the 1950s because I am African American. Of course, that would not be the case today in 2019. The new barrier would be based on income, a euphemism for class distinction. Do we really want to be defined as the beachfront which boasts amenities ensuring separation of the “haves” and “have nots”? – Kay Harris

The issue of Asbury Park’s waterfront development has brought about intense discussions within the community concerning the direction the development has been taking, amounting to the gentrification of Asbury Park. What defines the Jersey Shore is the miles of towns running from Sandy Hook to Cape May, each with its own characteristics; Cape May with its pristine beaches and grand Victorian homes, quiet upscale Spring Lake, fun, family amusements of Point Pleasant Beach and then there is Asbury Park.

Since 2005, the boardwalk and entire waterfront have been going through a succession of renovations, with thousands of visitors and residents once again enjoying all that the beach and bustling boardwalk have to offer.
As a boardwalk business owner for 14 seasons, many customers have walked through my store. The appeal of Asbury Park, as shared by these visitors and newly entrenched residents, regardless of income levels has been the edginess of Asbury Park as well as its diversity.

The waterfront master developer, iStar, has shared with the community that they intend to appeal to a cross section of clientele, specifically a high-end clientele at the north end of Asbury Park. Thus, the vision of the north end, is expected to include new townhomes right at the steps of the beach itself as well as a members only pool club. Already nearing completion, however, is iStar’s Asbury Ocean Club, Surfside Residences and Resort, with condo prices near $1 million upward to $5 million. It is located in the center of the waterfront on Ocean Avenue, between Third and Fourth Avenues and includes a members only 65 x 30-foot pool. This means that the north end pool to be built in the near future, would be the second private or members only pool built along our waterfront.

Memories linger in my mind, of being denied access to the Monte Carlo Pool in the 1950s because I am African American. Of course, that would not be the case today in 2019. The new barrier would be based on income, a euphemism for class distinction. Do we really want to be defined as the beachfront which boasts amenities ensuring separation of the “haves” and “have nots”?

I understand that the original plans were to include a public pool, 18 months after the private pool is built. This seems to be backwards to me. If there is going to be a members only pool, why not public pools first, with daily or seasonal admission fees that are affordable for families. Why a members only pool at all unless incorporated within a private development. Perhaps the members only pool club could be built a block or so inland so that the remaining and limited beach front property can be valued as a resource to be enjoyed by all – both residents and visitors.

I absolutely understand that the developers have made an investment in Asbury Park with the intentions of realizing a financial return. iStar has indicated that they want to work with our community, and on January 15, four proposals for the future boardwalk were presented with opportunity for public comment.

My hope is that the Asbury Park Waterfront developers can be open to input from the community in good faith and just as importantly, come to a meeting of the minds so that it can be a win/win for both the Developers and Community, as well as visitors to our jewel of the Jersey Shore.

Kay Harris

Asbury Park Business Owner

iStar Beach Club Plans + City Survey

City Survey

Please take the City’s survey – it’s only 1 question and your feedback is very important in shaping the future of the waterfront  – The survey ends on 12/23/18!  The survey can be printed and turned in to the City Manager’s office.  (Here is the press release about the survey)  
Comments collected from the online form, as well as the November 8th City Council Meeting, will then be incorporated into draft designs of the North End Boardwalk area and presented at a public meeting on a future date still to be determined (the City expects to host the meetings in January at a venue to be determined). This public meeting will be done charrette-style, where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the designers and provide immediate feedback on designs.

Beach Club Plans

iStar’s TRC application/plans for the pool club (obtained via OPRA).  In a nutshell: the pool is on the ground floor;  it’s planned to be 6000 sq ft of enclosed space and 18,000 sq ft of space open to the sky.  There will be a 2nd floor roof deck that is 5600 sq ft.  The north and east sides will be enclosed with a fence (alternating wood/stucco I think);  the western side will be a ~19ft grey wall eventually covered with ivy (the wall is 15.5 feet high, and there is an incline of ~3.5 feet). I think the south-facing side will also be the same grey wall, though it looks like it will not be covered with ivy. There will be an elevator to the roof deck (in the southwest corner of the building) and the height from the sidewalk to the top of the elevator bulkhead is 31 feet. 

SAW’s top 5 requests/focuses:

1)  Oceanfront Preservation:  We want to establish an oceanfront park from 6thAvenue 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.

TRC Meeting RE: iStar’s Beach Club Plans

The City’s Technical Review Committee met to review iStar’s application for its membership-based pool club on Friday 12/14, and the public was present.  The next step is for iStar to submit the plans to City Council;  Council will then refer the plans to the Planning Board;  then the plans will go back to Council for final approval.  We do not foresee iStar presenting plans to Council (for the first time)  until a  January meeting.  We will make an announcement when we know the date.  

**Please note that one of SAW’s top priorities is Oceanfront Preservation – NO NEW DEVELOPMENT EAST OF OCEAN AVENUE.  We believe a membership-based beach club is not a good social or environmental fit for the City, and we also don’t understand how it will provide a worthy ROI to iStar.  Our goal is to get our City and developers to evaluate  and renegotiate the outdated parts of the 2002 WRP to initiatives that will suit our City’s future!    


Asbury Park’s boardwalk is a thoroughfare through the city north to south. It must be (and feel) safe and accessible for everyone, from the residents of the senior tower to the children from every neighborhood in the city. We’re confident that iStar realizes that they are partnering with the city for the long term, and will foster a good relationship going forward by being engaging and transparent throughout the development of the waterfront.

An excerpt from a letter to iStar from Save Asbury’s Waterfront:

Like iStar, Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW) supports a planning process that will provide a community-based vision for the redesign of the public improvements at the north end boardwalk area, Fisherman’s parking lot and Bradley Cove.   Specifically,  SAW seeks to foster and encourage appropriate development along Asbury Park’s waterfront that will:

1. Maximize social inclusion and provide access for all residents and visitors

2. Recognize current coastal development guidelines and practices

3. Be sensitive to biodiversity, wildlife habitats, pollution and other environmental concerns

4. Be transparent during all phases of planning and implementation


Read about it:



Save Asbury’s Waterfront Update And Council Meeting Video

City Council meeting November 8, 2018

APCSC members attended the Save Asbury’s Waterfront press conference and city council meeting on Thursday night. We saw a wonderful, shared commitment among Mayor Moor, city council, residents and visitors who love AP to keep our beaches accessible to the public and protected from harmful environmental impact. Whether or not you were able to attend the meeting, I recommend watching the video from 11:00 when iStar’s attorney speaks, through Mayor Moor’s remarks beginning at 51:45. Public comments afterward were a variety of informative, angry, frustrated, and even humorous remarks. No matter the delivery, we’re unified in preserving Asbury Park’s waterfront.  The city ordered iStar to cease and desist. Now it’s time to harness the positive energy and get back to the table to discuss an alternative to the existing plans. This is what community is about.
Press conference in front of Asbury Park Post Office 11/8/18

Please see attached Save Asbury’s Waterfront Press Conference 11.8.18 held by the coalition Save Asbury’s Waterfront, prior to the Nov. 8th Asbury Park City Council meeting at which iStar Financial, Inc. presented its Phase 5 Infrastructure plans for the City’s northern waterfront. 

After 2.5 hours of public comment requesting iStar to stop construction on the northern waterfront, the City Council ultimately passed a resolution forcing iStar to cease and desist construction and demanded that iStar “come to the table” to amend the 2002 waterfront redevelopment agreements.  
We sincerely thank the City Council of Asbury Park for listening to the concerns of its community.  
Audience reaction to order to iStar of cease and desist.
Watch the City Council meeting and iStar presentation:
For more, check out Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition on FB and on Instagram @asburyparkcompletestreets

SAVE ASBURY’S WATERFRONT *MEDIA ADVISORY*: Invitation to Cover/Photo Opportunity

MEDIA ADVISORY: Invitation to Cover/Photo Opportunity

Tonight, Thursday, November 8th at 5:00 p.m.

ABOUT: Save Asbury’s Waterfront is a grassroots coalition of citizens, businesses and organizations that seeks to foster and encourage appropriate development along Asbury Park’s waterfront. That development will: maximize social inclusion and provide access for all residents and visitors; recognize current coastal development guidelines and practices; be sensitive to endangered species, pollution and other environmental concerns; and be transparent during all phases of planning and implementation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Media interested in attending the event can contact Kerry Butch at 732 982-6942,, or Kathleen Mumma at 908-642-6859,


WHAT: Save Asbury Park’s Waterfront is a broad coalition of citizens, environmental and civic organizations such as Clean Ocean Action, Surfrider Foundation, American Littoral Society, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition, and others who want to preserve and protect our oceanfront land from inappropriate development.


Confirmed speakers and their topic of interest include:

Kathleen Mumma, Host – Welcome

Dr. Madeline Monaco, President, 1501 Ocean Association – Public Access

Kay Harris, Historical Society & Business Owner – Open Public Space

Joyce Grant, Founder, Citizens for Oceanfront Preservation – North Beach Preservation

Reverend Gil Caldwell, Civil Rights Activist, The Dialogue Group – Social Inclusion and History

Pam Lamberton, Asbury Park Complete Streets – Transparency & Access

Diana Pittet, Surfrider Foundation – Public Access and Environmental Concerns

Avery Grant/Kerry Butch, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance – Environmental and Social Justice Concerns

Don Brockel, Chairman, Deal Lake Commission – Environmental Concerns

Capt. Paul Eidman, Anglers Conservation Network – Fish & Wildlife Conservation

American Littoral Society – Environmental Concerns

Cindy Zipf, Clean Ocean Action – Environmental Concerns

Senator Vin Gopal

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling

WHEN: Thursday, November 8th at 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: in front of Asbury Park Post Office, 801 Bangs Avenue @ Main St. Asbury Park, New Jersey

PARKING: There should be parking in the municipal lot located at 1 Municipal Plaza as well as street Parking on Main Street. There is no need to pay for metered parking during the press conference.

ABOUT: Save Asbury’s Waterfront is a grassroots coalition of citizens, businesses and organizations that seeks to foster and encourage appropriate development along Asbury Park’s waterfront. That development will: maximize social inclusion and provide access for all residents and visitors; recognize current coastal development guidelines and practices; be sensitive to endangered species, pollution and other environmental concerns; and be transparent during all phases of planning and implementation.

SAVE ASBURY’S WATERFRONT MEDIA ADVISORY_ Invitation to CoverPhoto Opportunity

News and Info About Save Asbury’s Waterfront

APCSC Support of Save Asbury’s Waterfront

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition supports city development and initiatives which make every part of the city livable and accessible to everyone.  Our goal in support of the Save Asbury’s Waterfront campaign is to maintain the character of this part of the waterfront and boardwalk so that it’s completely open and welcoming to residents and visitors, and to protect the natural environment of the area.  The financial burden in the initial goal of the campaign will be daunting.  It is to stop the bulldozers and bring the developer Istar and the city back to the table to reexamine the plans (see below).  We have faith that the mayor and city council are listening and considering our agenda as described in the the Asbury Park Sun and on the ABC 7 news report.

Please come to the City Council Meeting on Thursday, 11/8:  5pm press conference; 6pm Istar plans; 7pm public comment.

For more information:

AP master plan 2017Redevelopment plans on our Resources page.