Belmar bans future summer use of beach tents and canopies

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BELMAR — The borough council Tuesday night approved a summer ban on the use of tents and canopies on the beachfront, an idea that officials say many residents support.

The ordinance, which takes effect in 2018, will prohibit tents and canopies on the beach from the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.

Mayor Matthew Doherty, Councilman Thomas Brennan and Councilman Mark Walsifer voted for the ordinance, which was approved, in a 3-2 vote. Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay and Councilman Brian Magovern voted no.

The measure is aimed at what Mayor  Doherty referred to as “beach spreading” — groups of beachgoers creating lines of tents, depriving others on the beach from a clear view of the shoreline.

The ordinance is modeled on a similar measure adopted by Avon-By-The-Sea.

“We designate certain dates and it is really for the summer time only,” Mr. Doherty said, when the measure was introduced. “Tents you see in people’s backyards or parks, things like that, which are tailgating even-like — that doesn’t seem to work well.”

Complaints had been reported from many residents who say their views of the ocean are blocked by tents throughout the summer.

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Jennifer Ortiz
Jennifer Ortiz is a Reporter at The Coast Star. She can be reached at jortiz@thecoaststar.com or at 732-223-0076, ext 23.