Sandcastle building no longer illegal in N.J. shore town

When Matthew Doherty became mayor of Belmar, New Jersey earlier this year, he asked for input from residents on laws they thought might be outdated.   And he got a doozy. “I didn’t believe it, to be honest with you,” Doherty said. “But once I did some research on it, I realized it was true.”Sandcastle building was illegal in the Monmouth County town. The town’s council voted just last week to lift the ban.

“At some point in the past, maybe this ordinance did make sense,” he said. “But it’s pretty clear to me and the rest of the council that today this ordinance does not make any sense.”Wait–this somehow used to make sense? “I don’t know, just trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the people that preceded us,” Doherty said. This revelation was ironic, given that the annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest takes place in Belmar. Doherty says it gets a special permit every year. Beach-goers should take heed, though–sand creations must be destroyed before leaving the beach. But before the demolition starts:”We encourage you to take photos of it and post it to your facebook account,” Doherty said. During the council session, Frisbee and ball throwing were also decriminalized.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal