POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The borough’s new beach rules have been in place for about three weeks now and according to borough officials, preliminary signs are looking good.
The borough adopted an ordinance in early August tightening rules aimed at curtailing misbehavior along the beaches. The motion brought opposition from several members and a threat of litigation from the owners of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.
The new changes ban coolers larger than 13 inches in height or width, and also require cooler checkers to be over the age of 18.
The ordinance sets the beach closing time to 7 p.m.
The ordinance also limits excessive noise by restricting loud music on the beach and boardwalk. The restrictions will “crack down on the people who walk up and down the boardwalk playing their own personal theme music,” Mayor Paul Kanitra said.
“I’m not somebody who’s going to declare victory prematurely or anything like that, but I can tell you that since the ordinance has passed, we have seen a sharp decline in borough ordinance violations,” the mayor said.
Mr. Kanitra believes this decrease has a lot to do with the new changes in place along the beach.
“The closing times, the coolers, the tents, the music, all of the components that led to some rowdy behavior,” said the mayor. ‘I think that the early results are positive.”
The ordinance approval was dampened by Jenkinson’s Boardwalk after the council received a memo from Ron Gasiorowski, representing Jenkinson’s owners, the Storino family, hours before the ordinance’s approval Aug 4.
The memo outlined the family’s opposition to the ordinance and stated their intention to file litigation if it was passed.
Mr. Gasiorowski said Jenkinson’s will file within the allotted time to fight the ordinance, but according to New Jersey courts, no action has been filed.
In his memo, Mr. Gasiorowski said the ordinance takes away the private rights of his client. He specifically mentions the requirement of having 18-years-and-up beach badge and cooler checkers, as well as making these checkers “criminally responsible,” he says, for the actions of beach patrons.
Despite the opposition, Mr. Kanitra believes the changes are working for now and hopes violations will continue to drop.
“We think it’s going to take a year or so or longer to have the reputation as a family-friendly place,” added the mayor.
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