Photo: Wayne Parry, AP

NJ - Jersey Shore town may have to raze structures, restore dunes

NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A popular New Jersey shore resort may have to tear down some oceanfront buildings and restore 8 acres of sand dunes and wetlands that the state says the city illegally demolished.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection says North Wildwood removed mature, densely vegetated dunes containing freshwater wetlands and critical wildlife habitat without legally required permits and approvals from the agency.

It also determined that North Wildwood installed an oceanfront bulkhead without required permits or the engineering reviews conducted by the agency to ensure public safety and environmental protection.

Furthermore, the agency says the city and a private contractor built multiple buildings on the city's Seaport Pier boardwalk entertainment complex, including a restaurant and Tiki bar, and extended sewer service to the developments, all without DEP review or approval.

The agency took the unusual step of announcing its stop-work order to the city on a Saturday. The violation notices give North Wildwood 10 days to respond, and threaten that any work that does not receive approval from the agency must be torn down and the dunes restored to their natural condition.

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