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Appellate ruling means Union Beach crane will come down

UNION BEACH – The crane is coming down.

In a decision released today, an appellate panel ruled that the Union Beach Planning Board has to approve the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority’s site plan in order to install and operate a wind turbine.

The authority had unsuccessfully argued that the state, through its CAFRA permit, had exclusive jurisdiction and was not subject to local zoning ordinances.

The authority started construction, installing the turbine’s foundation despite a warning from the state Department of Environmental Protection that it was proceeding at its own risk while the matter was in litigation.

A crane was erected July 18 on the authority’s property, and turbine parts were expected to be trucked through Monmouth County, with assembly to start the following Monday.

But on July 18, a temporary restraining order on transportation and assembly of the turbine was granted by the Appellate Division of Superior Court in Trenton.

Now, it seems, the order has more teeth. The authority’s next meeting is Monday night, and the commissioners will then decide what to do next.

“In the interim, we will be removing the crane and taking other steps to minimize the costs to the users,” said Robert C. Fischer, executive director.

Read more in Saturday’s Asbury Park Press.