BRICK – In response to residents’ complaints about large groups of people showing up and taking over township parks and beaches without a permit, the governing body has proposed an amendment that tightens the restrictions to an existing ordinance.
“Our current ordinance precludes groups of 15 or more from being dropped off by passenger van or bus,” explained Mayor John G. Ducey during the July 25 council meeting. “However, these groups are avoiding [getting a permit] by dropping people off several blocks away and having them walk to the park or the beach.”
There have been reports of unpermitted groups exceeding 100 who arrive at the park or beach at one time, and because of their sheer volume, take over the area, Ducey said.
Large groups of people crossing Princeton Avenue, Mantoloking Road and/or Route 35 create an unsafe situation, and the amended ordinance does away with the drop-off provision, Ducey said.
The amended ordinance defines the number of people needing a permit to 15 or more, and does away with the method of how they got there as part of the violation, he said.
“The simple act of a large group taking over one of our parks without a permit is the violation,” the mayor said.
Groups who want to use township parks for events or parties must apply for a permit application from the township Recreation Department.
The law would be enforced by code enforcement or the police, and the fine would not exceed $2,000.
Ducey said that while on the subject of parks, in early July, the township started a new parks security detail, where part-time employees inspect the parks in the off-hours, 4-11 p.m., and on weekends to address any inappropriate behavior.
Also, the township has received a $1 million Green Acres Grant, and in a resolution, the council approved the amount to be inserted into the budget to help fund a multi-park improvement project that includes the renovations at Hank Waltonowski Park, Birchwood Park and Bayside Park.
And finally, Mayor Ducey proclaimed July 26 “Jake Lakatos Day” after the Brick teen participated in the Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem, Israel, and whose team brought home the gold medal in ice hockey.
“The township of Brick has produced a number of ice hockey players who have competed at the highest levels of the sport, and one such player is goaltender Jake Lakatos, who played high school hockey for Brick Township High School and junior league hockey with the Philadelphia Junior Flyers elite team Eastern Hockey League,” he said.
Lakatos, 18, was selected to represent the United States this summer at the Maccabiah Games, which is an international multi-sport event for Jewish athletes that takes place every four years, similar to the Olympics. Over 10,000 athletes competed in 43 different sports, which makes the Maccabiah games the third-largest international sporting event in the entire world, Ducey said.
“Thanks in a large part to Jake, Team USA was undefeated, beat Team Canada three times and became the first ice hockey team from the United States to ever bring home the gold medal from the games,” he said.
Not only was Jake chosen for the team, but he was a starter, and he was named MVP for the gold medal game, the mayor said.
“So it’s an unbelievable athlete we have here in our midst,” Ducey said.
The next council meeting will be on Tuesday, August 8 at 7 p.m.