Quality of Life at the Center of Pt Pleasant’s Alcohol Ordinances
Loud parties, public drunkenness, urinating in public .... those are some of the quality of life issues Point Pleasant Beach officials are hoping to curtail this summer in their residential areas with some of the steps they've taken and are considering taking.
Tonight borough Council members are voting on two ordinances aimed at controlling the serving of alcohol at local bars and restaurants. One ordinance calls for licensed establishments to stop selling and serving alcohol past midnight. The second, would allow them to continue to serve alcohol until two a.m. if they pay the borough a $60 per person fee based on their maximum capacity.
In April, Borough Council Members passed a pilot parking ordinance that was originally scheduled to take affect today, May 15th and run until September 15th. The ordinance prohibits nonresidential parking in the northeast quadrant of the borough from midnight until 6 a.m. However, Police Chief Kevin O'Hara says they're still waiting for signs to be made and sufficient public notice before the ordinance can be enforced.
O'Hara says, "residents who live there will be given a hang tag to hang from their rearview mirror. So, when the officers are patrolling, they'll just be checking the vehicles for the hang tags. If they don't have a hang tag, they'll be issued a violation." He says if the council members like the way the parking ordinance went they schedule a vote to make it permanent.
Council Woman Kristine Mecuro Tooker says they're not anti-business ... they're just hoping to create a balance where the residential community and business patrons can peacefully coexist. "We are very interested in restoring our quality of life. Things got so bad last year so we just wanted to give relief to our residents and keep it a town that everybody loves to come to."
Chief O'Hara agrees and says 2011 was a difficult year in terms of quality of life. He attributes it to the lack of special police officers on the streets. He says this season they've stepped up the number of Special Police Officers. "We're putting more officers out into the residential areas to hopefully not only act as a deterrent just by there presence but to also have more eyes and ears out there to issue violations."
However during tonight's council meeting, sources close to the politics say the council is sharply divided over the town's alcohol beverage control ordinances. There's word half the council is pro-boardwalk and the other half is pro-resident... which means the final decision could rest in the hands of Mayor Vincent Barrella to cast the deciding vote.