Posted on October 2, 2023
Chains and locks put on the beach gates by Jenkinson’s Pavilion is a violation of the company’s coastal permit and must be removed, state officials told the company on Tuesday.
The state Department of Environmental Protection issued a warning letter to Jenkinson’s on Tuesday, saying it had inspected the site and that the beach closure violated the conditions of its permit under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act.
The letter from Robert H. Clark, region supervisor of the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement, said DEP officials visited the site on Thursday and saw the chains and locks, which it cited as violations. It also cited signs posted that say “beaches closed”, “beach entrance closed” and “beaches closed, no swimming or wading” as part of the violation.
“The Permittee cannot limit vertical or horizontal public access to any dry sand area covered under this permit nor interfere with the public’s right to free use of the dry sand for intermittent recreational purposes connected with the ocean and wet sand,” the letter said. “If a permittee undertakes any regulated activity authorized under a coastal permit, such action shall constitute the permittee’s acceptance of the permit in its entirety as well as the permittee’s agreement to abide by the permit and all conditions therein.”
A request for comment from Jenkinson’s officials was not immediately answered on Tuesday. The company has not commented on the closures amid complaints over the last two weeks, dating back to Sept. 5, when the company closed all but the Arnold Avenue entrance.
Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra speculated that the closure by Jenkinson’s was in response to a lawsuit filed in 2021 by the family of a man who drowned in the surf at an unguarded beach in September 2020.
That lawsuit, filed by the family of Anthony Timpanaro, who was 69, alleges Jenkinson’s failed to provide enough warnings of the dangerous surf conditions and says the company should have shut down all beach access.
Point Pleasant Beach has permitted access on its borough-owned beach at Maryland Avenue.
The NJDEP warning letter comes on the heels of its violation notice Friday to Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which has been fighting a battle over its Sunday morning beach closures that have been in place for decades.