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Ocean Township looking to offer rec discount for vets

Staff Writer

OCEAN TOWNSHIP — As a thank you to local veterans, the Ocean Township council is considering expanding an ordinance waiving various fees for veterans.

Mayor Christopher Sicilliano said during the Feb. 25 Workshop meeting that he’d like to see many of the fees Ocean levies on residents waived for local veterans.

“We spoke about something we can do for those guys, something maybe at the golf course, pool and other things for these guys,” he said. “Anything fee-related we can cut them some sort of slack.”

Township Manager Andrew Brannen said there is currently an ordinance waiving pool fees for active-duty military members.

“It was something that the county had encouraged everybody to do and we got on board,” he said.

He also said the township currently waives various fees, including animal permit fees and zoning board application fees for first responders, which could be used as a template for the veterans ordinance.

The council also introduced an ordinance during the meeting clarifying regulations regarding entertainment at restaurants.

“We’ve had three applications in the last 18 months of people seeking to have entertainment in what is essentially a restaurant,” Brannen said.

“We’re trying to amend the ordinance so they can have entertainment within certain limitations.”

Brannen said the ordinance clarifies the three types of restaurants: restaurants, restaurants with entertainment and fast food restaurants.

He said under the proposal, restaurants and restaurants with entertainment could forego board approval if they meet the definitions established as well as the parking regulations.

However, the entertainment can only be classified as an accessory use.

“Restaurants with entertainment must only have entertainment as an accessory to the restaurant operation and have full food service at all times,” Brannen said. “We had that once where after about 10 o’clock they went from a restaurant to a night club.

“You can’t shut down the kitchen and bring in the entertainment.”

Restaurants are also prohibited from charging a cover charge and having a stage or a dance floor. They may also only have one type of entertainment at a time and no more than three entertainers performing at a given time.

During the meeting, the council also introduced an ordinance eliminating smoking at various recreation facilities.

If adopted, all tobacco products, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco would be banned at all playgrounds, athletic fields, tennis courts and trailways. Exceptions to the new rules would be made at designated picnic groves and the festival grounds at Joe Palaia Park.

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