By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Ocean Metropolis already prohibits cigarette and cigar smoking on the Boardwalk, seashores, at metropolis parks, playgrounds, athletic fields and different public locations.
Now, one other sort of smoking will likely be banned in the identical areas: Smoking or vaping marijuana or cannabis won’t be allowed in public below a proposed new legislation.
Voting 7-0, Metropolis Council launched an ordinance Thursday evening that may successfully make all public locations within the resort city a no-smoking zone for marijuana, together with the Boardwalk, seashores, playgrounds and different fashionable areas.
The ordinance may even ban marijuana smoking or vaping at different locations that fall inside the public realm, Metropolis Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson stated. They may embody highways, waterways, outside occasions and outside eating areas.
In stark language, the ordinance warns of the “inherently dangerous behavior” of smoking. It additionally cites the necessity to defend youngsters from publicity to marijuana, hashish or cannabis.
Council has scheduled a public listening to and ultimate vote on the ordinance for its Might 27 assembly.
Simply final month, Council gave ultimate approval to a different ordinance that bans the sale, distribution or manufacturing of marijuana in all the metropolis.
On Feb. 22, Gov. Phil Murphy signed three payments to legalize pot in New Jersey for adults 21 and older and to decriminalize it for folks below 21. Adults are allowed to smoke hashish of their properties or on personal property. They don’t seem to be allowed to smoke marijuana in public locations, in response to state legislation.
From the beginning, Ocean Metropolis officers have objected to New Jersey’s legalization of leisure marijuana. Council members have repeatedly expressed considerations that town’s family-friendly status may very well be harmed if marijuana is bought on the town and other people merely start smoking pot in fashionable vacationer areas, such because the Boardwalk.
The brand new ordinance emphatically states that marijuana smoking won’t be allowed in any public place. Penalties for violating the smoking ban will embody fines starting from $250 to $500 for the primary offense and between $500 and $1,000 for a second offense.
In different enterprise, Council launched a $3 million bond ordinance to assist finance a mission that may elevate a condominium complicated within the south finish of city above flood ranges.
The Federal Emergency Administration Company has agreed to fund all the $3 million mission on the Ocean Aire condos and can reimburse town for the fee. Nonetheless, town is approving the funding upfront to get the mission began, Metropolis Finance Director Frank Donato defined to Council.
The Ocean Aire rental complicated consists of seven buildings and 52 models on West Avenue at forty third Avenue. The bayfront condos are sometimes swamped by flood waters that may rise as excessive because the home windows on the primary ground.
In line with plans, all seven buildings will likely be lifted off the bottom after which positioned on high of huge concrete cinder blocks to boost them above flood ranges. The mission is anticipated to get underway later this 12 months.
Metropolis Council President Bob Barr, whose Fourth Ward Council district consists of the Ocean Aire complicated, stated the rental homeowners have been ready for a very long time to flee from the flooding.
“They’re on the road to relief,” he stated.
Barr referred to as the mission a chief instance of a number of ranges of presidency working collectively for a much-needed mission.
In one other matter, Council unanimously launched a brand new ordinance that may require refuse containers similar to trash cans and rubbish pails in business areas to be coated to stop them from leaking into the storm drains.
As well as, the ordinance may even require development dumpsters to be coated in a single day and at different occasions when they don’t seem to be getting used, except they’re empty.
The measure is scheduled for a public listening to and ultimate vote on Might 27.
In one other vote, Council gave ultimate approval to a zoning ordinance that may exclude senior citizen housing from the Boardwalk zone. The vote was 6-1, with Councilman Peter Madden the lone dissenter.
Council stated the zoning change will shut a loophole that might have allowed senior citizen housing developments to be inbuilt areas of the Boardwalk that needs to be reserved for family-oriented leisure.
“This Boardwalk zone is for family entertainment. That’s why they come,” Councilman Keith Hartzell stated of Ocean Metropolis’s vacationers.
Madden, although, wished to desk the ordinance to provide town’s Planning Board extra time to conduct a complete evaluation of the Boardwalk zone, together with among the deteriorated buildings.
He referred to as it a “knee-jerk reaction” for Council to contemplate the ordinance earlier than the Planning Board may examine the problem.
In response to Madden’s feedback, Barr stated the zoning change would defend the Boardwalk from haphazard growth.
“We have to be very careful to maintain the character of our Boardwalk as it currently stands,” Barr stated.
Barr and different Council members who voted in favor of the ordinance repeatedly stated that it didn’t unfairly “single out” senior residents. They famous that builders who could wish to construct senior citizen or age-restricted housing in different components of Ocean Metropolis have the best to carry their proposals earlier than the planning or zoning boards for evaluate.