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.