mcconnell propertyDenholtz Associates Eliminates Beach Access

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Residents of Atlantic Highlands were stunned to learn last week that the developer of a waterfront parcel on Sandy Hook Bay would no longer provide public access to the beach.

“This latest iteration of the Denholtz development scheme is an insult to the entire community ,” said Tara Shah, a resident of Atlantic Highlands. “Mr. Denholtz claims to be listening, but clearly he is not. We don’t want development on this last piece of waterfront, especially development that blocks public access and instead creates a private beach.”

Denholtz Associates presented a revised subdivision plan for the McConnell tract at a special meeting of the Atlantic Highlands planning board on November 27th. The plan includes 16 single family homes, a new road, a sewage pump station, and an armored shoreline revetment.


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The development will displace the local youth sailing program and remove access to the Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club, a unique facility located on the neighboring bay beach.

“Denholtz is the Grinch who stole open space!” said one frustrated resident. “Atlantic Highlands deserves better.”

Hearings for the Denholtz subdivision plan have been held at the local elementary school due to overflow crowds at the Borough Hall. The latest plan reduces the number of homes from 21 to 16 and it re-configures the lots and layout to better comply with the local zoning requirements. However, the plan also removes all public access to the property, including the beach front portion.

David Schutzenhoffer,, an Atlantic Highlands resident, highlighted the open space needs of the community: “The last thing we need is another developer trying to privatize the waterfront and cram 16 homes onto this seven acre lot. A park would be a much better asset to our community.”

“Two things are common knowledge on the Jersey Shore,” said Robert OConnor of Atlantic Highlands, “you can’t block beach access and you don’t build in flood zones–especially after Sandy. What is this developer thinking? The Planning Board and the State should simply reject this proposal.”

Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to preserve the last remaining available waterfront on Sandy Hook Bay for all to enjoy. Visit the website at:

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...