The following are a collection of notes from the Boardwalk Committee Meeting of July 10, 2019.
Captain Rudy Lushina – ACPD Tourist District:
- At the time of the meeting there were 26 Level II officers assigned to the tourist district. 20 more will be added Wednesday, July 17.
- Current working hours are 10AM-8PM. That will change to 6AM-1AM on the 17th.
- Bike issues were addressed. Riders will be asked to walk their bikes after hours. Warnings will be issued according to the ordinance. If they are a continuous hazard, a summons will be issued.
Other Boardwalk concerns were brought up by those in attendance.
- Tram problems. Illegal cars on the Boardwalk cause congestion.
- Serious parking regulations all over town. Especially beach blocks .
- Mercantile issues from numerous stores on the Boardwalk. Licensing and Inspections need to be contacted by ACPD Officers.
- It was suggested that officers fill out summons in advance to speed up the process of issuing.
- Captain Lushina will try and get in touch with Mercantile to see if PD can help enforce law.
- Tim Boland will be contacted about incident near Central Pier and Resorts. It caused congestion on the Boardwalk between a Tram and illegal vehicle. Tram attendants getting rude.
ACPD does not have enough officers on the Boardwalk on a consistent basis to deal with bicycles.
- The Boardwalk is not structurally sound to handle police cars from Resorts to Trop.
- Suggestions followed: Can the LED Monitors make announcements when bike riding hours are over?
- Councilman Kurtz asked if the cameras on the Boardwalk could be used more often to catch serious bike rider offenders?
- Kurtz has introduced an ordinance to outlaw motorized bikes, scooters and skate boards on the Boardwalk. After its 2nd reading , City Council will pass and forward it to the Governor. The Governor has 10 days to sign it.
- Mobility aids will be permitted. Bike regulations need to be enforced. Public needs to be educated. If rider becomes a threat to public safety, the bike should be confiscated.
Out Reach Program – Officer Jose Gonzalez has been working with the Homeless for 4 years. He works with all the social services in the city and area. They can’t force anyone to get help since it is not a law.
Officer Narokee has sent some to detox and has even driven some to a detox program. Other counties drop homeless off at the AC Mission. Homeless can be given a bus ticket out of town. Some refuse.
Officers have gotten homeless clothes, food and talk with them. They have gotten in touch with their families if possible and have even gotten some an airplane ticket. Some have been taken to jail or given community service. They work closely with the courts and Judge Woerner. Councilman Kurtz suggested that the state level Mental Health Laws need to be changed.
No Smoking on the beach was brought up. Law was signed by the Governor. Issues of enforcement have occurred on the beach.
Supposedly, lifeguards are to be notified and then police called if necessary. Lifeguards and police are busy. What is AC’s Policy?
Very hard to enforce since there are no signs or notices anywhere. Can city put up signs? Can announcement be put on LED screens. Other towns have put announcements on their Facebook pages. AC needs to do something before it escalates and causes confrontations/problems on the beach.
Jesse Kurtz- 6th Ward City Councilman
The city is eligible to get money from the state for Boardwalk replacement by tapping the Transportation fund with the Governor. Capital Equipment (Transportation and Infra- Structure) Could possibly come from CRDA.
Short Term Rentals – Locally we need to change our short term and long term rental laws. AC is breaking the law with a seasonal rental permit. We need to keep the pressure on and revise the consent decry which is 15 years old. Regulations need to reflect what is happening today. Very difficult to enforce numerous problems for neighbors with out of area owners. Supposedly Jim Johnson is meeting with solicitors about this issue.
Group Rehab Homes – The state has changed regulation and laws with treatments and reimbursements to property owners. It is exploding and has become more profitable to lease it out than rent it out as an air b&b, etc.
A lot of out-of-area owners are taking advantage of this. American Disabilities and Fair Housing Acts state that occupants have to be treated equally and you can’t zone against this homes. Neighbors do not have to be notified that these homes are coming. Jesse has researched this issue that had happened in Florida too. (Delray Beach Study) Florida is 10-15 years ahead of us. They put a limit on numbers in a buffer zone. Clustering exploits disabilities.
Atlantic City is the first town in the state that now has a 600 ft. linear zone in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy. Unfortunately, Oxford House, Serenity House and the Hansen House, all in the 6th ward, don’t have all their permits and co’s. Move-in was without permits. Supposedly, Director Finch has issued violation notices.
Discussions followed. How do we get these houses to have proper permits or closed if they do not? We need to go to court and challenge the law. We need to be proactive. AC shouldn’t be the only place to help people for treatment, needles, opiods, etc.
Consent Decree must be addressed and revisited by city attorneys. Solicitor’s office needs to reach agreement of obligations between city and landlords. Difficult, since we can’t discriminate against summer rentals.
Extended invitation to Matt Doherty, CRDA Executive Director, to come to next meeting.
Impactivate Issues (LED screens). They took care of turning the LED screen’s sounds down during all of the CRDA free entertainment shows that are in front of Boardwalk Hall . They are also willing to work with us to make a recording about bike hours. on the boardwalk
Notes respectfully submitted by Sherrie Kendall , Boardwalk Committee Vice Chair/Liason