Possible Solutions to the Ocean City, NJ Teen Problem
Local lawmakers are working on ways to respond to residents' complaints that the teen scene in Ocean City is out of control.
This past summer, residents complained to council members that a large number of non-resident teens were using Green Acres land to throw large, loud, rowdy parties. According to resident James Kane,
"What had been a tranquil, beautiful bayside community has developed into an extremely unpleasant environment during the summer season"
At the center of the angst is land along Bay Avenue. According to Kane, a large number of teens park in the lot overnight, play loud music, and consume alcohol and drugs. Many Jersey shore communities have seen an uptick in quality-of-life issues, as New Jersey's new marijuana laws have gone into effect.
Now, the city council is looking at ways to deal with this problem, before it impacts this family-friendly resort area.
A new ordinance that is being considered, would give law enforcement more latitude in handling quality-of-life complaints by reclassifying offenses such as possession and consumption of alcohol, bicycle regulations, and registration, curfews, litter, misrepresentation of age, noise, graffiti, fireworks, and more.
If passed, this 22-page ordinance will effectively reclassify certain offenses as a "breach of peace" and will enable police officers to take violators into custody. It is hoped that this will act as a deterrent.
The proposed ordinance was passed unanimously by the council. Next up is a second reading, and public hearing which will be held Thursday, January 13th. At that time, the ordinance is expected to become law.