Strathmere group responds to appeal denial

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STRATHMERE – Citizens for Strathmere and Whale Beach, the group that petitioned Upper Township in 2007 to let Strathmere secede and join Sea Isle City, responded to the state Supreme Court’s decision not to hear its appeal.

The group appealed a state Appellate Divison ruling from August. The state Supreme Court was its last chance for a favorable decision. With the court declining to hear the appeal, Upper Township officials said the de-annexation attempt was over.

 

“On behalf of every property owner in Strathmere and Whale Beach, we are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision not to hear our appeal,” said Ed Tettemer, a spokesperson for Citizens for Strathmere and Whale Beach. “By all accounts de-annexation would have improved the quality of life for the residents of our seashore community.

“The de-annexation initiative brought people from all walks of life together in Strathmere for a common purpose. In many respects we became a much stronger community, able to take on the unique everyday challenges that come with living on a fragile and unprotected barrier island.”

Tettemer said the de-annexation initiative helped secure many improvements to Strathmere’s infrastructure that may never have been undertaken.

“Our efforts secured the most recent beach replenishments, which rebuilt the north-end natural area that had been completely washed away, endangering dozens of homes on the north end,” he said. “The sands were replenished along Whale Beach, at the south end of Strathmere, for the first time in 60 years. Our beach was brought up to FEMA standards for perhaps the first time in history.”

Tettemer said those projects helped protect Strathmere and Whale Beach from total devastation during Hurricane Sandy. For that reason alone, the de-annexation was worth the time and investment, he said.

He said Strathmere will re-start with a clean slate with the Upper Township municipal government, and work to proactively manage the beach and bay front in a responsible manner.

“We will help the mainland municipality understand what is required to maintain the integrity of the island community in order to protect the value of what Upper Township calls its ‘most prestigious community,’” Tettemer said.

“We were proud to go through the democratic and judicial process in order to highlight the historic tensions in the relationship between Strathmere's residents and Upper Township's government,” he said. “We believe both parties have benefited from this effort, no matter the outcome.”

 


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