The Jersey Shore Chapter is once again fighting illegal and discriminatory practices in Deal, New Jersey. On January 24, 2017, the Mayor of Deal admitted publicly that certain beachfront residents are being given special treatment at their municipal beaches. While the general public is being forced to pay to access the beach pursuant to Borough Ordinance #1152, a select few beachfront residents have been given a free pass. Mayor Cohen told News 12 New Jersey that the free beach access only applies to a handful of homeowners who already have private beach entrances.
Chapter Chair, Andrew Chambarry, wrote a cease and desist letter to Deal on their illegal tactics. In the letter he wrote:
“The public trust doctrine mandates that the beach be open to all on equal terms without preference. In Neptune v. Avon, the Court cited the public trust doctrine to overturn an ordinance that restricted the sale of beach badges to residents, resulting in a higher fee for non-residents. 61 N.J. 296 (1972). The Court held that municipalities may validly charge reasonable fees for use of their beaches but may not discriminate in any respect between residents and nonresidents. Id. at 310. Similarly in Slocum v. Borough of Belmar, the Court adopted the reasoning of Neptune and invalidated beach fees that discriminated against nonresidents. 238 N.J. Super. 179 (Law Div. 1989).”
“The Borough’s practice of allowing certain beachfront residents to pass freely onto the municipal beaches is clear evidence of discrimination. This is simply a way for the beachfront residents to bypass the requirements set forth in Ordinance #1152. Not only is this unfair to those who are not fortunate enough to live on the beach, but it is illegal. The Borough should cease this practice immediately and re-evaluate their discriminatory practices.”