POINT PLEASANT BEACH — After weeks of tension over the legality of its off-season beach closures, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk has opened several of its beach access points to the public, Point Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra announced via social media Saturday afternoon.
“Attention residents and guests,” the mayor wrote in a post to his Facebook page, “Jenkinson’s main pavilion gate, inlet pavilion gate and Forman Avenue access points [are] now all open to the beach.”
A representative from Jenkinson’s could not be immediately reached for comment.
A protest had been announced for Sunday, Oct. 1, in an attempt to rally against the beach closures by Jenkinson’s, which owns a majority of Point Pleasant Beach’s shoreline. It was announced by Larry Schwartz, a candidate for borough council in Point Beach.
“It’s a victory for the residents,” Mr. Schwartz said Saturday afternoon. “It proves that if residents unite, their voices can be heard and have an impact…We think that all the gates should be open.”
“We’re happy they opened three gates, but we feel that all the gates should be opened,” he said. “The rally is still on. We’re still going to gather to enjoy the beach and express our desire that all the gates be open.”
Jenkinson’s has remained quiet on the issue since the second week of September, after which access points were blocked off and signage was posted instructing boardwalk-goers to stay off the beach. This measure was seen by some as a response to several fatal drownings which occurred along Jersey Shore towns over that holiday weekend. Jenkinson’s has not responded to repeated requests for comment, both over the phone and in-person.
A spokesperson for the DEP, which has notified Jenkinson’s by letter that the beach closings are illegal, declined to comment on the status of the situation on Thursday.
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