Seaside Heights considers new rules to make beaches family-friendly

Beachgoes in Seaside Heights may soon need beach badges until 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Beachgoes in Seaside Heights may soon need beach badges until 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
SEASIDE HEIGHTS -

Seaside Heights officials are expected to vote Wednesday on new rules that they say would make the beaches more family-friendly.

One proposed rule would extend beach hours until 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays, which would mean that visitors would be required to pay for a beach badge for that time. Beaches previously closed at 6 p.m. but people would still come to the beach afterward.

“They show up, usually with large coolers and tents… and usually those are the people that bring glass bottles and they leave a mess,” says Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz. “We’re trying to deal with that.”

Beachgoers would be required to purchase a beach badge before the cashiers close at 6 p.m. The ordinance also calls for beaches to be cleared after 9 p.m. and the gates locked.

Some visitors were not very happy with the proposed ordinance.

“What a shame. I would take my son after 5 p.m.,” says Kayla Caffrey. “We would always go in the evening. That’s when it’s the best time to go. You know, the Bennies leave.”

Other proposals include a ban on e-cigarettes and large tents. The boardwalk would also be closed between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Vaz says that police won’t chase away anyone who is on the boardwalk for a morning jog or to take pictures of the sunrise. He says that it is meant to deter any problems that may arise after bars close.

Others say that they are hopeful that the changes will bring back a family atmosphere.

“When you look at it overall, it does protect the family,” says Whiting resident Pat Conti. “It makes it more family-friendly.”

Officials are expected to vote on the new rules at the City Council meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m. The public is encouraged to come voice their opinions on rules.

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