If it was a monument that everyone liked and agreed on, well, it wouldn't be New Jersey, would it?
The Asbury Park Press reports an ominous New Jersey monument to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which locals are calling "Shorehenge," is in trouble for violating state regulations. The local town is demanding it be removed.
The beachfront monument was a gift to the coastal town of Highlands, N.J., from the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, a nonprofit industry trade group. It replaced a gazebo on a public beach in Highlands, but no one would ever confuse the brutalist, open-air structure for a gazebo. The concrete canopy alone weighs 346,000 pounds, according to the Press.
Locals began to complain about the structure almost immediately after it was unveiled in October. Residents took to a town Facebook group to complain they had heard nothing of any monument until work began on the structure and that it spoiled their waterfront view.
Officials must have been listening, as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sent notice to Tilt-Up that the monument did not comply with the state's Coastal Area Facilities Review Act. The state issued a warning and a request to discuss getting the proper permits, but the Press reports the town now just wants the monument gone. That decision is a bit of a reversal, as the local council unanimously approved the project last January.
"The borough demands that Tilt-Up immediately and unconditionally remove the structure," a letter from Highlands's attorney to Tilt-Up states, according to the Press.
Tilt-Up has yet to comment on the request, or on residents who are not fans of the monument. In a July post on the association's website about the monument, it seems pretty satisfied with its philanthropic contribution.
"First and foremost, this program is about giving back," said Tilt-Up Executive Director Mitch Bloomquist. "The [Tilt-Up Concrete Association] and its members are providing material, products, professional services and labor at absolutely no cost to the community."
More than 147 people are believed to have died as a direct result of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy, while thousands of others were injured, suffered property damage, or lost their homes completely. A monument is not a bad idea, but maybe check before dumping a few hundred thousand pounds of concrete on a beach in Jersey.