Attention all stargazers and beach boozers, Thursday night Ocean City decided to reinstate their beach curfew.
For decades, Ocean City had a beach curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. But last summer the favorite "family" shore spot dropped the ordinance because otherwise, the town couldn't get any money from the state's beach-replenish program.
The "no curfew" condition was challenged and when the New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled it should not have been enforced, town leaders decided they wanted the curfew back in place.
“There is no reason why we would not go back to the original ordinance,” said Councilmen Scott Ping. “To me this is just going back to what its been my whole life. When the state department first came in and asked to have beaches open 24/7 I wasn’t real comfortable with the change because I know what can happen between those hours and was worried we could have a safety problem,” Ping explains.
Local police support the curfew because it helps them out and Ping says it also protects the city, legally. “It is another level of security for us. We do have regulations that say you can’t have parties or beer on the beach. We also have regulations that you aren’t allowed to have bonfires. By putting the regulation back into force the way it was for decades is just another level of security. And better for law enforcement as well.”
After the public hearing Thursday night at City Hall, the council unanimously voted to reinstate the beach curfew which kicks people off of the beach by 10 p.m. and does not let them back on the beach until 5 a.m. The curfew will go into effect July 29. People caught violating it would face fines. And just remember, not all of OC beaches would be off-limits for nighttime warriors.
“The whole south end, past 59th Street is a county park which will still be open 24/7,” Ping explains.