Deal to officially table ordinance that sought to restrict parking near beach

    Surfers checking conditions at a Deal Borough beach entrance in an undated photo. (Photo: Russ Meseroll‎ Photography)

    Surfers checking conditions at a Deal Borough beach entrance in an undated photo. (Photo: Russ Meseroll‎ Photography)

    After two days of conflicting reports whether a controversial parking ordinance in Deal would proceed to a public hearing this Friday, an attorney leading the opposition says the borough will officially table the legislation.

    “Victory! It’s official! Ordinance #1124 will be ‘tabled without date’ at the Town Hall meeting tomorrow morning. I just received word from Deal’s attorney, who spoke with the mayor and council this morning,” Andrew L. Chambarry wrote this morning in the Facebook group Citizens in Opposition to Deal Ordinance #1124.

    The Deal Board of Commissioners was set to consider the ordinance at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow in the municipal building at 190 Norwood Avenue.

    The ordinance sought to limit parking to only borough residents on six oceanfront streets between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. from May 1 through October 31.

    According to Chambarry, the borough mayor agreed that the ordinance would limit public access in the wealthy community, agreeing to work with the public “to find better solutions to any ‘issues’ that the town may face regarding the beaches.”

    “However, the fight is not over. We must all stay vigilant and raise awareness so that this will never happen again,” he wrote. “We will still be attending [the meeting] tomorrow to thank Deal for tabling the ordinance, but also show our strength and concern over their actions.”

    Chambarry argued against the ordinance, calling it unconstitutional as it would place a substantial burden on the public’s ability to access the beach, which he calls a “traditional public forum,” since it limits access to non-residents.

    The Jersey Shore chapter of the Surfrider Foundation said that the ordinance would restrict beach access even through federal government just finished a nearly $40 million beach replenishment project in the municipality and Long Branch. 

    “We find it interesting that Deal just got millions of dollars of free sand in the form of beach replenishment. This is in a town where there is no swimming except at the Pavilion, where there are lifeguards,” the chapter wrote in a blog post. “We warned officials that this would happen: that once there are wide sandy beaches, that the taxpayers who paid for those beaches would want to get to those beaches. Getting to those beaches requires people to park.”

    petition against the ordinance has received over 3,000 signatures. 

    Chambarry says that a borough representative will notify him if municipal leaders plan any future action on the ordinance. 

    “Congratulations to all those who have supported this cause. It is a true victory for the local community and proponents of unrestricted beach access,” he wrote. 

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