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LAND USE in a condemnation action brought by the city of Long Branch, N.J., the owners of an oceanfront tract of land were awarded $500,000 by a New Jersey jury on July 15. The city of Long Branch claimed that the 15-acre tract, which included a two-story, 1,400-square-foot residence, was worth $185,000, based on recent sales of Long Branch tracts located from three blocks to a quarter-mile from the ocean. However, Fred and Dorothy Strahlendorf, the owners, valued it at $500,000, based on improvements to the Long Branch beach and prices for oceanfront homes in nearby towns, Long Branch having previously declared its own oceanfront properties blighted in order to drive down prices. City of Long Branch v. Strahlendorf, No. MON-L-3927-02 (Monmouth Co., N.J., Super. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Paul Fernicola, Bowe & Fernicola, Red Bank, N.J. DEFENSE ATTORNEY: William J. Ward, Carlin & Ward, Florham Park, N.J.

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