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Residents Say Defunct Santo Marina Site Should Be Fined For Numerous Code Violations

Township, state have allowed dangerous conditions on the property at the mouth of the Toms River to remain for far too long, some in neighborhood say

Watch your step.

The grass is 2 feet high in some places. The warped docks, once home to powerboats and sailboats, now tilt crazily in the afternoon sun. Crooked pilings stud the mouth of the Toms River. Abandoned boats, some in dry dock, some still moored to the docks, are everywhere.

This is the way the old Santo Marina on Williams Street looks today and has looked for several years. And the residents in this quiet neighborhood close to the Ocean Gate border are tired of asking for something to be done.

"This is a beautiful neighborhood, once you get rid of the eyesore," said local Ann Schuld, who lives on nearby Cove Road.

Schuld and a number of area residents plan to attend the May 23 Board of Adjustment meeting in Town Hall to protest a developer's plans to build 19 single-family homes, a marina, parking lot, cafe and store on the site.

But for now, they want something done to eliminate the dangerous conditions on the property.

There are no locks on the battered office building or several trailers on the site. The office has an asbestos tile floor and broken windows. There are no warning signs, nothing to keep children away from the site.

And aesthetics, or the lack of them, are not the only problem. Day and night, people comb through the buildings and boats, looking for anything to steal and sell.

"We've caught guys pullling electrical wire out of the water for the copper," said resident Patrick Filan.

The vandalism increased after marina owner Paul Santo sold the marina to a Staten Island developer almost two years ago. Residents say the township code enforcement office and the state Department of Environmental Protection have yet to cite the new owner with any violations.

They hold the municipal and state agencies responsible for allowing the conditions to continue.

Township Council President James J. Byrnes came to the site yesterday afternoon to speak with the residents about the potential plans for the site and the current conditions.

"I think there should be a red sticker on everything," said Byrnes, who was appointed to the council in January. "It's a safety hazard. It's a health hazard. It's obscene."

Byrnes said he planned to call the township code enforcer Friday night to take action on the numerous violations.

"If I can get him out here tomorrow, I'll get him out here tomorrow," he said.

Keeping whats mine May 12, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Just look at the Beachwood shopping center, its the first DUMP people see when they enter town. Did you expect anything more?
Susan Applegate May 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM
beachwood shoping center is in Beachwood not Bayville. Try again.
Patricia A. Miller (Editor) May 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Just for clarification purposes, the Beachwood Shopping Center is actually in Berkeley Township. Why they called it the Beachwood Shopping Center is anybody's guess.
help us May 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM
TEAR DOWN BEACHWOOD PLAZA
Maggie Magoo May 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Santo's Marina has been a dump for years....Should have corrected it before it was sold. Probably a lot of ground contamination going on there also! Shame Shame Ocean Gate....you should have nipped it in the butt years ago!
Dennis Schmieder May 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM
It was meant as a sharp stick in the eye of Berkeley officials way back when by Jimmie Johnson, the original owner.
Berkeley Guy May 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM
For the record , "beach wood plaza" is Berkeley as pat says. True story. Try again Susan.
Mike May 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Dennis is correct. There was no love between the Johnson family and Berkeley Township so they named it Beachwood Plaza instead of Berkeley Shopping Plaza.
Patricia A. Miller (Editor) May 13, 2012 at 03:36 PM
You're right, Mike. The property actually is in Berkeley. It's right next to the border with Ocean Gate.
Mike May 14, 2012 at 10:20 AM
What happened to my comment?
Robert C. Parzanese May 14, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I have lived in the Santo marina area for years and would love to see it developed in to a nighborhood of up scaled houses and a nice marina with sailboats and motor boats. Not! New York style housing and (44) jet ski slips and (44) boat slips. And parking lots next to existing homes. Remember May 23 at Town Hall Zoning Board meeting@ 6:30pm. Bob Parzanese
Robert C. Parzanese May 15, 2012 at 12:03 AM
If there is any body out there that can help our cause on the Santo Marina development mess please write back
WhyohWhy May 17, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Why go after the new owner of the property NOW? If you all were so concerned why not go after the one who sold the property to the new owner? And if it was so bad why did the sale go thru without it being cleaned up first, making it a sellable piece of property??? You don't want the new construction BUT you want it cleaned up ? If you were so concerned why have you waited this long ? Ann Schuld, you are a Realtor in town... why didn't YOU buy it and clean it up? You people crack me up....It took years for it to look this way BUT you want it cleaned up BC NOW its an eyesore ? UGH!

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