Seaside Heights, NJ tries to control bad behavior
🔴 Teens crowded Jersey Shore beaches & boardwalks during Memorial Day weekend
🔴 Seaside Heights is the latest to implement new rules
🔴 There's one rule Mayor Tony Vaz won't consider
There are some new rules in effect now and coming soon to Seaside Heights in an attempt to tame rowdy crowds.
After a rowdy Memorial Day weekend Ocean City immediately implemented an 11 p.m. curfew for teens and closed the beaches at 8 p.m. for all ages. Seaside Heights was also inundated by large crowds the same weekend but did not immediately take any steps.
That is about to change.
The Seaside Heights Borough Council at Wednesday's meeting adopted ordinances that establish a 10 p.m. curfew for those under 18 and closes the beaches at 8 p.m. except for fisherman and surfers. There is also an exception for scheduled events. Also under consideration is an age restriction for the rental of hotel room, apartments or homes.
"From April 1 to June 30, you must be 21 years of age for short-term rentals," Vaz told New Jersey 101.5.
Shutting down pop-up problems
They also voted to approve an emergency measure that can immediately close the beach and boardwalk if things get out of hand.
"If we see something going on that is unexpected that's going to cause disturbances to the community and the quality of life of our residents and our visitors we have the option of closing the beach and boardwalk," Vaz told New Jersey 101.5.
Such a decision would require approval of the mayor, police chief and emergency management coordinator.
Borough Attorney Jean Cipriani said during the meeting that would be a useful tool to shut down "pop-up parties," according to Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat coverage of the meeting.
The council also established a task force of available police officers and code enforcers from the borough and other communities. A key part of the task force will be undercover officers who can issue summonses on the spot for "bad behavior."
"When undercover we can get them to and say 'hey, your behavior isn't what we want to see here. You have options. Option number one, break your group up. Option number two, we're going to ask you to leave the premises and we're going to issue summonses if you don't.
No backpack restrictions
One measure not on the table is the backpack ban, according to Seaside Heights Mayor Tony Vaz.
"With the number of people we got, not only young people but older people. Let's say a parent came down, didn't know the rules about backpacks. She has a young infant, a year old and she brings diapers and milk or whatever. How do you tell that person that's an adult with their family they can't have a backpack," Vaz said.
The mayor said the measures are necessary to keep the borough moving beyond the partytown reputation it developed during the original run of MTV's "Jersey Shore."
"We have to get tough. We've worked very hard as a community and we've seen the changes and the compliments that we get. We want to be what we started out to be, a family destination. And it was going very, very well until Memorial Day weekend," Vaz said.