Council introduces ordinance to allow dogs on beaches

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An amendment to current ordinance would allow dogs on borough beaches in the offseason from the first week after Labor Day through the week before Memorial Day. [FILE PHOTO/THE OCEAN STAR]

POINT PLEASANT — Borough Council has introduced an amendment to the borough code that would allow canine companions on the local riverfront beaches in the offseason.

During its meeting Sept. 28, the governing body introduced Ordinance 2020-10, which amends Chapter XV of the borough code, “Beaches, Parks and Recreational Areas,” specifically the “Prohibited Acts” section, to allow residents to take their dogs on the beach, in the water and on the boardwalk area, “from the Tuesday after Labor Day through the Friday before Memorial Day.”

“We have had an ordinance on the books for as long as our beaches have been there that prohibited dogs on our beaches year-round,” Borough Administrator Frank Pannucci Jr. told The Ocean Star.

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“A few residents came to us and asked us to change this, and with the help of Councilwoman [Charlene] Archer, we were able to come up with a fair solution. After final adoption, dogs will be allowed on our beaches in the offseason from the first week after Labor Day through the week before Memorial Day.”

The borough has two riverfront beaches. Maxson Avenue Beach is located on the Manasquan River and located next to Riverfront Park. River Avenue Beach is located one block west of Maxson Avenue and is also on the Manasquan River.

“We researched this with our insurance carrier, and it is too big of a risk management liability to allow sunbathers, kayakers, fisherman and dogs to be on our small river beaches at the same time during the peak summer months, but in the offseason, we were green-lighted from an insurance standpoint to allow it,” Mr. Pannucci added.

Public comment on the ordinance will take place at the governing body’s Oct. 26 meeting at Borough Hall, 2233 Bridge Ave., at 7 p.m.

“Basically, it matches up what our residents are looking for, which is a compromise,” Mayor Robert Sabosik said in an interview following the meeting. “In the summertime, putting a dog on the beach while residents are sunbathing is not really conducive to a happy environment.

“It is an insurance risk, and obviously our insurance carrier did not like that idea, so we came up with the wintertime capability, and this way, all parties are given a chance to partake in the beautification of our parks that we have just completed.

“We have had an ordinance on the books for the last 30 years of no dogs allowed on the beach, but obviously that has been overlooked for some time and is really not indicative of today’s world, because everybody has so many more dogs, so having a split season I think is fair to all. It is a win-win for all parties concerned.”

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