Enforcement of the new, controversial District 4 parking plan is scheduled to begin on June 22.
The plan restricts parking from midnight to 6 a.m. on residential streets in District 4 to residents and taxpayers who need to have parking tags hanging from their rear view mirrors.
The ordinance governing the plan states it goes into effect on "the Monday before Memorial Day weekend." However, it is starting later to give the town time to order and post signs and to have a week of warnings only before enforcement starts. The plan will be enforced through Labor Day.
The ordinance is in effect only for this summer as a pilot program and will then be re-evaluated. If the mayor and council want the plan to be in place in the future, they would have to introduce and adopt the ordinance again.
District 4 extends from Manasquan Inlet on the north to the middle of Arnold Avenue on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the railroad tracks on the west, according to a copy of the parking plan ordinance.
Signs posting information about the parking plan are scheduled to be installed by June 15, said Point Beach Councilman Michael Corbally.
Those who live in or own property in District 4 will get letters about the plan next week, Corbally said.
Starting the parking plan involved ordering 250 signs and 200 poles for $6,075 and 8000 placards were ordered at a cost of $770, bringing the total cost to $6,845, according to an email from Point Beach Business Administrator Chris Riehl.
Each taxpayer in District 4 will receive five free parking placards to be used in their cars from midnight to 6 a.m. in District 4.
A narrow majority of councilmembers voted at Tuesday night's meeting at Borough Hall to revise certain parts of the plan. Corbally and Councilmembers Kristine Tooker, Bret Gordon and Mayor Vincent Barrella voted for the revisions.
Counclimembers William Mayer, Tim Lurie and Stephen Reid, who have consistently voted against the parking plan, voted against the revisions on Tuesday night.
The parking plan quickly spawned lawsuits from Jenkinson's and Martell's against the town and a separate suit against Corbally in particular.
Corbally, who was served with the lengthy lawsuit at Tuesday night's meeting, should never have voted on the parking plan ordinance because as a Realtor who sells and rents in District 4, among other areas, he stands to financially benefit from the parking plan, so he has a conflict of interest, according to the lawsuit.
The revisions to the parking plan passed on Tuesday night include:
- There will be free parking in Little Silver parking lot from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and signs announcing that will be posted at the lot's two entrances and on the parking machines.
- All business owners will get tags for employees who work past 11 p.m. The names of the businesses will be on the tags, but not the names of individual employees, so that they can be transferred.
- The parking tags for homeowners will have the home address, but not any information specific to a certain car, so they can be shared among family members in that household.
- The forms to apply for parking tags will be at Borough Hall and on the municipal website.
The original ordinance states that no one is allowed to reproduce, copy, create, sell or distribute parking tags to those who should not have them.
"Any person found violating the provisions of this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand ($2,000.00) dollars and/or imprisonment for not more than ten days and forfeits the right to receive or use a parking pass under this section for a period of three years."
Extra passes for those that are lost or needed for additional family members will be provided for free, Corbally said.
Mayer asked if the new parking plan will be enforced on county roads and Corbally replied that no, signs will not be posted on county roads.
He said that's because there is an unwritten county policy that all county taxpayers, who subsidize the county roads, should all have equal access to driving and parking on those roads.
Barrella said just before voting on Tuesday night that he has asked Freeholder Director Gerry Little to reconsider.
Barrella said Municipal Clerk Maryann Ellsworth researched how a local parking program is implemented in Seaside Heights and discovered that "on 80 percent of the county roads in Seaside Heights, residents are allowed to purchase or lease a parking space and no one else can park there.
"This raises some serious questions about who is running the county and why they can't allow the parking plan on at least two of the county roads here that run through town, but they can allow Seaside Heights residents to lease spaces on county roads there," Barrella said. "The freeholders have some serious questions that need to be addressed. My vote is yes."
When Block was asked why Seaside Heights is allowed to run a parking plan affording preferential treatment to its residents on county roads, he replied that he did not know if that was the case, and, when questioned about it by Barrella, he researched that and could not find any record of the county approving any such residential parking program in Seaside Heights.
He said he had asked Seaside Heights Business Administrator John Camera several days ago to research the town's parking plans and get back to him on whether any of them involve preferred parking for its residents and property owners.
"I told him that if they have any parking plan where their residents are the only ones who have access to certain spots, they have to stop it," Block said. "We have to treat all 33 towns fairly and equally."
Camera has not returned a phone message left by Patch on Monday afternoon. Late Thursday afternoon, Block said he had also not heard back from Camera and was going to write to him again.
Calls to Little and Frank Scarantino, county engineer, were referred to Block who called Patch.