A recently passed town ordinance would have forced the bars to close at midnight starting July 1st. The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control granted them a stay, pending a hearing before the Office of Administrative Law to ensure that the ordinance is legal and that the town is acting in good faith in their attempt to limit the bars hours.
At issue was Point Pleasant Beach's status as one of New Jersey's most popular family resorts. City officials and many residents worried that continued instances of fighting, public urination and defecation, vomiting and screaming by tipsy bar patrons in the wee hours of the morning will drive away family tourism.
But the bars note their economic contribution to the town, and say they feel the town wants to take advantage of them financially.
Earlier, both sides tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an agreement to voluntarily fund the beefed-up patrols, even as the bars appealed to the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to block the midnight closing and the extra fees, calling them "extortion."
Last summer was widely considered to be the worst in years in terms of early-morning neighborhood disruptions here. One woman called police after someone defecated on her front porch. Trash-strewn streets were common sights following weekend nights, with beer bottles and other debris littering lawns and curbs.
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