Using the spirit of compromise and a touch of the wisdom of Solomon, Monmouth County's Board of Recreation Commissioners devise a way for dog owners and petless visitors to use the Fisherman Cove beach simultaneously - separate sections

Fisherman's Cove (Monmouth County Park Commission)

The Manasquan nature preserve had become a hot-button issue when the Board earlier decided to restrict dog-run hours for the summer months, keeping them off the beach between 10 AM and 4 PM each day.

The regulation was meant to broaden accessibility for visitors regardless of pet preferences. Dog owners had been accustomed to unrestricted beach access for their furry friends.

Last night, the commissioners voted instead to divide the beach, according to spokesperson Karen Livingstone. "The east side, or front portion, will be for dogs. The west side, which is a conservation area, will be dog-free," she said.

The revised regulation allows the beach to be "accessible to all users, with as few restrictions as possible," and will take effect in two weeks, Livingstone said.

Until then, the 10-to-4 rule remains. At their June 22 meeting, commmissioners expect to determine how to divide the beach in the most efficient, minimally-invasive way. "Whether that involves simply signage, or even a split-rail fence," are some of the ideas under consideration, Livingstone said.

She also reiterated that leash regulations still apply. Dogs must be on leashes in the park, all year 'round.

The meeting takes place in the Visitors' Center at Thompson Park in Lincroft.