Point Beach Considers Beefing Up Noise Ordinance

Municipal officials to do research in light of new state law lifting noise restrictions


The state says turn on the noise, but Point Beach says not so fast.

during the summer is prompting Point Beach to take another look at its own local noise ordinance. (Click on hyperlink above and view new law in PDF format.)

The Point Beach Borough Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Tuesday night to authorize the municipal attorney, prosecutor and police chief to re-evaluate the local noise ordinance in light of the new state law and see if any amendments are needed to help the town keep noise in check.

Mayor Vincent Barrella criticized state legislators representing Point Beach for voting for the new law.

"The idea that local legislators voted on something like that without asking our opinion is really a problem," he said. "They need to explain why they did that. I haven't heard an adequate explanation yet."

The new law, signed by Gov. Christie on Jan. 17, states that it "shall not be a violation of the Noise Control Act of 1971" for a business to operate a beach bar, amusement park or carnival ride "existing and operating as of Aug. 31, 2011" during normal business hours from May 15 through Oct. 15.

The law was sponsored by a number of Democratic and Republican state lawmakers, mostly from Atlantic and Cape May counties, along with Assemblyman David Wolfe (R-10) and co-sponsored by Senator Andrew Ciesla (R-10),

Senator Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May County, has said he sponsored the bill for the benefit of older amusement parks that have become surrounded by newer residential communities where many residents have complained about noise. Another key sponsor was Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic County), a former Atlantic City mayor.

Municipal Attorney Sean Gertner said after the meeting that although state law typically supercedes local ordinances, there may be certain circumstances where the town can enforce noise levels at oceanfront businesses during the summer.

For example, he said, if a condition of approval for a development or improvement specifies that it cannot exceed a certain level of decibels, the town can likely enforce that.

He said he would be researching the matter during the next two weeks and, if he feels any ordinance amendments are needed, he will report that to council at the Feb. 7 meeting.

Regarding enforcement, the Point Beach police department has not had a decibel reader for at least eight to ten years, said Police Chief Kevin O'Hara when asked after the meeting. He said the department had come to view it as a tool that was not particularly useful since there was often ambient, or background, noise, in addition to the noise they actually wanted to measure.

Marilou Halvorsen, Director of Marketing, said in a telephone interview last week that the new state law will not have any impact on the company's operations of its amusement park or night clubs. Jenkinson's will not seek to keep any of its businesses open later, she added.

Halvorsen said Jenkinson's supported the law because it is a member of the New Jersey Amusement Association, which supported it. She emphasized that Jenkinson's was not trying to address any local issue by supporting the law, but was simply showing solidarity with the association.

Scott Bassinder, owner of , could not be reached for comment.

At the request of Councilman Tim Lurie, Gertner will also research whether Point Beach can establish "zero noise tolerance zones" in its beachfront areas, similar to those in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island.

Bev Fantini January 25, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I have been at other communities where they have local noise ordinances and it has been very successful. Definitely our community should investigate it with these beach towns. We lost the vote about on the street parking and closing bars earlier so let's see if we can at least accomplish this for the beach residents.
A Resident January 25, 2012 at 01:19 PM
What your missing is that the new state law makes those ordinances invalid now. State law supercedes local ordinances.
Beach_N8iv January 25, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I'm happy to know that those "officials" that were elected to serve the population east of the tracks are on the job. When I left my house this morning there were eight, EIGHT commercial vehicles parked on my street, that's just ONE BLOCK! Every driveway has an obstructed view because of this. But we live west of the tracks so we don't count. Rest assured, Town Fathers, that when (not if, WHEN) someone gets creamed coming out of their driveway I will make it my personal business to see that the victim(s) understand the legal definition of contributory negligence.
common sense January 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Do these officials realize the new state law excludes beach bars, amusement parks, and carnival rides from noise restriction ? They can ask the attorney to look at the current ordinance until he becomes a pumpkin but any state law overrides a local ordinance. They are wasting money asking the lawyer to look at this.
Opinionated January 25, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Boy, Point Beach must get a really great deal on its legal bills. They seem to live to go to court. We'll all say a prayer for you, but not at your town meeting. Too bad they don't go after some of those firetraps in their town.
Spooner January 25, 2012 at 04:34 PM
...Gee isn't it a coincidence that the key bill sponsor is none other than Andrew Ciesla. . .whose family came under attack by Mayor Barrella last year over their parking lot in town. . .not to mention the firing of Reid's campaign manager from the Planning Board, who is a good friend of Ciesla. . . and we won't mention the long term relationship of the Storinos, the Mayor, and Ciesla. . .Mayor your fighting wind mills. . . and using the peoples money to bat?
pointman January 25, 2012 at 04:41 PM
The noise law for seashore amusements and bars was but in place for established businesses. It is there to eliminate people who move into this type of area and start complaining of ride and music noise. In most cases this types of noises ( beeping,clanging,chinging,bells and some screams ) have been the sound of the Jersey shore for 80 yrs. Just like the people who move into a new development who complain about airports,race tracks ect that have been there for years. It takes it out of the local politician hands who dont have the nerve to tell the new complainer it been there for 80 yrs and you should of thought about the noise before you brought in that neighbor
circus-circus January 25, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Pointman I can see what you're saying superficially, but here's what you're missing. I own a house on the Boardwalk and didn't buy it 13 years ago thinking it would be quiet, but here's what's happening just in case you're not aware and it's getting worse by the season. Look at last 4th of July weekend. Gangs, thugs, all having the free run of the town. I witnessed gangs 20 feet in front of my house doing crack cocaine on one of the benches. Sure I called the police, but the time they got there, the trash was gone. Anytime after 12 midnight (mostly in season), there's hundreds of young adults coming down the Boardwalk drunk, stoned, and whatever, cursing, swearing, fighting, peeing, and no one stopping them. I've got grandchildren now and the reason I bought here 13 years ago was because it was a "family place." My grand kids are awaken by loud cursing 2, 3 and 4 in the morning," I'm not against tourism. I'm against thugs taking over the town. As a first step, I agree with a noise ordinance, particularly on the Boardwalk. I've said it over and over again. There's going to be a serious situation, a stabbing, a shooting or whatever on the Boardwalk just like in N.Y. Real Estate values will plummet 40%, and then people will wake up. Start by placing security ( Police ) on the Boardwalk when it's needed. Midnight to 4 am. It's nice to see police on the Boardwalk during the daylight hours but half are not necessary. Who's going to start problems with 100's of witnesses?
pointman January 25, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Rick your right on a lot of what your saying but the bottom line is people respect for others and property has gone down the toliet. It's everywhere in the country and as you witnessed its here too. The only way this can be corrected is by sending out a message early in the season that this behavior will not be accepted. They need to lock up or fine any creeps who think they can do as they please . Bottom line is they need more police patroling the area which didnt happen at the begining of last year. Looks like they hired more speciasl to fix the mistakes of last year. One problem is will they be out in force (like you pointed out ,times when really needed) because there are not enough regular police to supervise such a large group of special police. They also need to go after these realtors who rent to large groups and hold them respondsible for their tenants actions
Laura January 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Rick, I'm old enough to remember the drunks on the Boardwalk in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. I remember thinking in the 80's someone would have to be crazy to want to live on or near the Boardwalk in the summer unless they were on a perpetual vacation. That is not to say it hasn't gotten worse but I remember the Pagans and Nomads and a skirmish or two they had on the Boardwalk years and years ago. There are always going to be trouble makers. It comes down to how much of your tax dollars do you want to spend on Specials? I think less inflammatory rhetoric, less politics and more level-headed common sense discussions are needed. With that said, I try not to enter the Beach on summer or holiday weekends. It's a ZOO!
bayboat January 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Bars aren't responsible for how loud people are after they leave. You get all types at the boardwalk....nature of the beast.
Mike Corbally January 26, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Beach_N8iv, I have spoken with the owner and police department. Did you call the police department? The commercial vehicles will not continue to park if ticketed. Please call the police when the problem exists so they can do something about it. I know they will respond quickly.
Beach_N8iv January 26, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Thank you, I'll do that.
John Wayne January 27, 2012 at 03:29 AM
@bay, they are when it is 2:00/3:00 am., tourist who visit the BoardWalk do not stay and play games and go on the kiddy rides at that time... get real!
Vince Barrella January 27, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I get your point, but how about someone who bought a house in 1990. When they bought their house the surrounding area (beach and boardwalk) was subject to the State Noise Control Act of 1971. Now that area is not for amusements, carnivals and beach bars in existence in 2011. The Legislature has changed the rules on everyone by making something that was applicable (noise restrictions) when they bought their house, inapplicable now. Any business owner who bought his business after 1971, certainly knew that the 1971 Noise restrictions were applicable to them, now they are not and they certainly had to be aware that new developments might come into the area and that those developments would also be aware of the 1971 noise restrictions.
Spooner January 27, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Mayor Barrella; the 1971 law stated: between 7AM and 10PM, any continuous noise level at or above 65dBa. . . and from10PM and 7AM any continuous noise level at or above 50dBa at resident property would be in violation. . .My question is: can you document issuance of violations as defined under NJSA 13:1 G-1et seq. since 1971 to Broadwalk businesses using criteria sound level measuring instruments as required under that law? That would make a better argument here. . . http://www.envsci.rutgers.edu/org/rntac/pdf/nj-state-code.pdf
Tony August 13, 2012 at 06:49 AM
All of you were teenagers and "20 somethings" at one point and yes, you were all loud and obnoxious at some point during your own PARTY YEARS, remember? Well, now that you're old and gray, mature, thoughtful, conscientious, dear old grandma's and grandpa's, you want to "check" everybody elses "fun." Now everybody ELSE is a "thug" "trash" "gangsta." They're having their fun, the same way you had your fun. Their choice of vice may be different but not much different. Are they disrespectful? sure. Are they obnoxious? sure. Are they middle-aged? no. Things are different, but things are the same. If there are some people causing noise problems, call the police.... PERIOD - DONE, just like people did in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, etc. etc. you get the idea i'm sure.
Katheryn September 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Tell does this sound familiar, I have provided a link to a story on the Temecula Patch. Please read the story and watch the video in the story. Add this to all your facebook accounts, get the word out. http://temecula.patch.com/articles/citizen-reader-shares-mining-sounds


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