After successfully beating back three bad parking proposals that would limit access in Deal, the town has decided to add lifeguards and expand swimming areas which has implications for others. Here is the statement of Chapter Chair Andrew Chambarry on the subject. 

Swimming in Deal is finally being opened up to the public, at a cost…

The Borough Commission introduced Ord. #1152 that would expand its public beach from Marine Place to Neptune Avenue. Public hearing and a vote will be held on June 7, 7:30 PM, Borough Hall.

The beach fees at Monmouth Terrace will be the same as the borough’s Conover Pavilion: $8 for a daily pass on weekdays, $10 for a daily pass on weekends and $150 for a season pass. Hours for Monmouth Terrace beach would be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beach fees and lifeguards will be in effect from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

If this ordinance is passed, surfing and fishing won’t be allowed during swimming hours at the municipal beach within the “swimming zones” during the summer, but will still be allowed outside of the zones at the new beach. We will be trying to work with the Borough to ensure that the swim zone is a reasonable size. Unrestricted surfing and fishing will remain the same north of Marine, and on other beaches like Deal Esplanade, Darlington, Roseld, Philips and Roosevelt.

It is important to note that these beaches have never been opened to swimming during most of our lifetimes. More people will have access to these beaches than ever before.

Surfers, fisherman and those that wish to walk the beach below the high tide mark and pass through will not be required to pay for a beach badge by law. You will only pay if you are sitting on the municipal beach or swimming in the “swimming zone” under supervision of a lifeguard.

Surfrider feels that this is a victory for public access. We have helped to open up Deal’s southern beaches to swimming, and resisted illegal and discriminatory parking restrictions. However, we understand that some may be frustrated with the addition of swimming beaches in Deal and beach fees. Losing the ability to surf the “swimming zones” is a bummer. To us, it seems almost inevitable thanks to the Army Corps’ replenishment project. Larger beaches will attract more people who want to access those beaches – as is their right – and many of those people will want to swim in the Atlantic. In this way, Deal is following the habit of most other towns in Monmouth County.

This is by no means a compromise. We did not compromise with the Borough of Deal on parking. At every step, they have told us one thing and done another. They have constantly tried different ways to keep us away from the beach. If we did not fight the parking restrictions, then we would have agreed to allow them to continue their pattern of illegal discrimination. If we did not fight those fights, then only residents would be allowed to park on those streets, and there would be nothing stopping them from charging for beach fees and creating a completely private beach. Their current proposal legally grants access to more people than before while maintaining free parking.

We are committed to making sure that policies in Deal, and all shore towns, are consistent with the Public Trust Doctrine and the Beach Fee Statute. We will continue to fight for your rights to access and enjoy the beach.

If you have thoughts and concerns about this Ordinance, as before, we will see you at the meeting on June 7.

There will also be a hearing on Ord. #1153 which will add “Public Access” signs to all public access points in the Borough, a positive move in the right direction.

Pros:

– Opening Deal’s southern beaches to swimming;

– Fishing will be unaffected in non-swimming zones;

– Surfing will be unaffected in non-swimming zones;

– Surfers will not be charged to pass through or access high tide mark;

– Fisherman will not be charged to pass through or access high tide mark;

– No parking restrictions;

– Beach access point signs.

 

Cons:

– No fishing in swimming zones, Memorial to Labor Day 10am-6pm;

– No surfing in swimming zones, Memorial to Labor Day 10am-6pm;

– No plans for ADA access;

– Beach fees to sit on the beach and swim.

 

Questions we still need answered –

Will there be similar facilities at this beach? If the fee is the same the facilities should be as well

Will there be a senior citizen rate?

Will there be accessibility for handicapped?

Will they establish a surfing area within the Marine Place to Neptune Ave beach?

Can we work with them to establish the swimming/surfing areas in the affected area?

Will the Borough be opening up any other public access areas?

Where will daily badges be sold?