New Jersey News
Court: New Jersey beach club must open entire beach
TRENTON, N.J. -- A state appellate panel has ruled that a central New Jersey beach club must open its entire beach to nonmembers.
In their 23-page ruling issued Friday, the judges said the public cannot be shut out because the beach in front of the Sea Bright Beach Club was created through beach replenishment funded by taxpayers.
The Star-Ledger of Newark (http://bit.ly/Qx2l1Q) reports the ruling invalidates a 1993 agreement between the state Department of Environmental Protection and the beach club, which allowed the club to prevent nonmembers from sitting on the sand there.
The state had reached that agreement with the nine beach clubs in Sea Bright in exchange for easements along their oceanfront properties for a beach replenishment project that transformed Sea Bright beaches from a narrow strip to a wide sandy field. The general public was allowed to walk through only a 15-foot-wide path just above the water line, but couldn't set down beach chairs or towels and couldn't stop to fish, swim or surf.
The state sued the beach clubs in 2006 seeking to revise the 1993 agreement to allow the public full use of the beach, and eight of the clubs eventually settled. However, the Sea Bright Beach Club held out, contending the wide beaches wouldn't have been possible if the beach club hadn't granted the easements.
A state judge voided the 1993 agreement in 2010. But while this appeal was pending, the state and the beach club reached an interim pact giving the general public access to an 80-foot stretch on the club's northernmost border.
"We are pleased that the court vindicated the public's right to access these beaches, particularly since public funds were utilized to re-build them," state Division of Law Director Christopher Porrino told the newspaper.
David Apy, the beach club's attorney, said a decision on whether to appeal the appellate court decision to the state Supreme Court will be made after he reviews the ruling and discuss it with beach club officials.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered
new jersey, beach access, new jersey news
- Fire at Red Carpet Inn in Elmwood Park, New Jersey 2 min ago
- AccuWeather: Sharply Colder
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- DISH Network signs on for WATCH ABC app
- 4 dead, 280 missing in South Korea ferry disaster
- Bronx sweep nets suspected gang members
- Rare spring snow coats cars, slicks roads
- Photos: Spring snow around New York area
- Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on "The View"
- Sketch released of suspect in East Village sex assault
- Boston police destroy 2 backpacks at marathon site 20 min ago
- Teen clerk beaten in Astoria deli robbery; $30,000 stolen
- Camera catches Bronx home invaders using victim's card
- College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT
- Boston police destroy 2 backpacks at...
20 min ago
Eyewitness News Links
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos