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Businesses Of Sea Bright Will File Suit Against Borough For Purchase Of Paid Parking System

SEA BRIGHT: The Businesses of Sea Bright (BSB) have always said they are against paid parking in the borough, and now that it is coming to fruition, the group of business owners have told the borough they will be filing a lawsuit to oppose it.

Ron Gasiorowski, the attorney hired by the BSB, announced at the May 12 Sea Bright Council meeting that his clients were filing the lawsuit to oppose ordinance 8-2016, which was adopted on April 5 and authorized the borough to purchase and install a paid parking system for the 2016 summer season.

"One of the bases for our challenging the ordinance will be that I believe it is in violation of what is known as the Public Trust Doctrine," Gasiorowski said. "The Public Trust Doctrine deals with a federal and state statute with regard to access of beaches."

He said the statute states that municipalities must provide beach access and that the ordinance which will make people pay a fee to park at the beach on top of paying to access the beach. He said case law does not allow this when the monies collected for beach parking will go into the general fund and are not earmarked for beach maintenance.

The Sea Bright Council did not discuss the lawsuit publicly and elected to go into closed session to discuss it. The council was also slated to vote on a resolution authorizing the activation of the parking revenue system, but decided to carry the resolution to its May 17 meeting.

Decisions on the length of time the paid parking will be in effect, the process by which 30-minute parking for businesses will be enforced have also not yet been decided. However, things such as a $1-per-hour parking fee and locations for the parking spaces have been decided.

Councilman Brian Kelly has said here are currently 600 spaces in the municipal, Anchorage and borough hall lots that can be utilized in the paid parking system but that the first row of the municipal lot will include a combination of 30-minute free parking spaces for businesses-goers and free parking for residents with parking passes. Residents who live on Ocean Avenue who rely on the parking lot will also be able to get the parking passes.

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