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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEP VS. NORTH BEACH 1003, LLC, ET AL. A-3393-15T4/A-3396


STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEP VS. NORTH BEACH 1003, LLC, ET AL.
A-3393-15T4/A-3396-15T4/A-3397-15T4/A-3398-15T4/A- 3399-15T4/A-3727-15T4/A-3770-15T4/A-3771-15T4/A-3781- 15T4/A-3782-15T4/A-3783-15T4/A-3786-15T4/A-3787- 15T4/A-3789-15T4/A-3790-15T4/A-3791-15T4/A-3792- 15T4/A-3958-15T4/A-3960-15T4/A-3965-15T4/A-3966- 15T4/A-3967-15T4/A-3969-15T4/A-3970-15T4 (CONSOLIDATED)

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These consolidated appeals present the questions whether the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has the authority to condemn private property to take perpetual easements for shore protection purposes and whether the easements can allow public access to, and use of, the areas covered by the easements. We hold that the DEP has such authority and the easements that allow for publicly funded beach protection projects can include public access and use. Thus, we affirm the trial court's final judgments finding that the DEP properly exercised its power of eminent domain and appointing commissioners to determine the value of the takings.