June 29, 2016 6:04 PM
DEAL, N.J. (CBSNewYork)– There’s a battle over public parking at a beach in New Jersey.
Beach access points are bustling in Deal and the parking nearby is open, for now.
“It’s actually really helpful when I can park right here near the beach,” Oakhurst resident Stephanie Stout told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.
Stout hits the beach daily, but worries an ordinance being introduced at borough hall Wednesday evening could change her carefree lifestyle.
“The ordinance would restrict public parking to one side of the street Thursday through Sunday and on holidays,” she said.
The other side would be for residents with permits only. The ordinance applies to some, but not all roads that lead to the beach.
It seems to be an exclusionary tactic and Red Bank resident Bill Brooks has a big problem with that.
“All the beach you see beside me was replenished after Sandy with federal funds,” he said. “Quite frankly everyone in this country helped pay for this new beach.”
Sean McDonough with Citizens In Opposition to Beach Restrictive Access, or COBRA, helped stave off a similar ordinance introduced in October. He said it’s starting to feel like public money has been used to create private beaches.
“We just want to be able to use the ocean – we feel it’s the right of all us,” he said.
The mayor said they are not restricting beach access in any way. In a statement he wrote, “We are looking to give the residents that are located in the immediate vicinity of the free beach access entryways, some relief in the way of parking by allocating 50 percent of the spaces for residents and 50 percent for visitors.”
A homeowner, who didn’t want to go on camera, told CBS2 she wishes the borough would take it a step further and restrict parking to residents only. She claims there are too many strange people coming in and out and feels that parking should only be there for whose who pay the taxes.
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