Thursday, June 21, 2012
BOROUGH OF HARVEY CEDARS V. HARVEY KARAN AND PHYLLIS KARAN A-4555-10T3
BOROUGH OF HARVEY CEDARS V. HARVEY KARAN AND PHYLLIS
Plaintiff condemned an easement across defendants'
oceanfront property and constructed a huge dune that partially
blocked the previously unobstructed ocean view from their house.
Affirming the trial court, we held that construction of the dune
conferred a general rather than a special benefit on defendants'
property. The resulting protection from storm damage was the
object of the dune project and was not different in kind from
the benefit conferred on the island as a whole, even if the
benefit to defendants' land might be somewhat greater than that
conferred on houses located further inland. The trial judge
correctly held a N.J.R.E. 104 hearing to determine whether
plaintiff's proffered evidence could establish a special benefit
or only a general benefit, and properly barred plaintiff from
placing before the jury evidence of general benefit. We declined
to disturb the verdict, which was based on defendants' claim
that, by blocking their ocean view, the dune diminished the value of their house. (*Approved for Publication date) 04-04-12