Township of Toms River, NJ
Ocean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Township Council of the Township of Toms River 12-9-2008 by Ord. No. 4168-08.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bathing beaches — See Ch. 175.
Cleaning of beaches — See Ch. 182.
Beach fires — See Ch. 185.
Beach shelters and tents — See Ch. 192.
Public boat docks and bulkheads — See Ch. 198.
Boat facility and bulkhead construction — See Ch. 201.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Ch. 189, Beach Protection, adopted 7-10-1979 by Ord. No. 1858; amended in its entirety 5-26-1981 by Ord. No. 2015.

§ 189-1 Findings and declaration.

A. 
It has been clearly demonstrated that well-established and protected sand dunes, together with berms, beaches and underwater slopes of suitable configuration and of proper grade and height, are a durable and effective protection against high tides and flooding and against damage by the ocean under storm conditions and are the natural protection of the coastal areas adjacent thereto and that the Township and its inhabitants have an interest in the continued protection thereof and in the right to restore them in the event of damage or destruction.
B. 
Said dunes are vulnerable to erosion by both wind and water, but primarily by wind, since its attacks against the dunes are sustained for substantial and frequently recurring periods of time; whereas, if protected by typical berms, beaches and underwater slopes, the dunes are attacked by water only at infrequent intervals. The best available means of protecting said dunes against wind erosion is by preventing indiscriminate trespassing, construction or other acts which might destroy or damage said dunes and through the use of native plantings, supplemented by sand fencing and other devices designated to prevent the free blowing of sand and by maintenance of the surface tensions, root accumulations, normal contours and other features found in typical natural dunes.
C. 
The immediate dune and beach area is not capable of rigid definition or delineation or of completely firm stabilization, so that particular sites, at one time free of dunes, may, as a result of natural forces, become part of the dune area necessary for the continuation of the protection above outlined. Persons purchasing or owning such property do so subject to the public interest therein.
D. 
It is the purpose of this chapter to define the areas so affected and to establish regulations to assure their continued effectiveness.
E. 
The erosion of the beachfront may create an immediate and imminent threat and danger to the life of persons and to property in the Township of Toms River by reason of the destruction of the sand barriers which protect the Township's oceanfront on both public and private property within the Township of Toms River.
F. 
The interference with or the depletion of the beach and sand dunes tends to permit encroachment by the sea, and the conditions above recited make it imperative that the governing body regulate and control the removal of sand from the beach or dunes or any other interference with or depletion of the protective barrier on the oceanfront of the Township of Toms River.

§ 189-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BACKSHORE
That zone of the shore or beach lying between the foreshore and dune area and normally acted upon by waves only during severe storms, especially when combined with exceptionally high water.
BEACH
The zone of unconsolidated material that extends landward from the low waterline to the place where there is marked change in the material of physiographic form, i.e., dune or bulkhead and includes foreshore and backshore.
DUNE
A hill of sand accumulated along the beachfront, usually by natural means. It shall extend from the backshore to the line where the normal leeward slope intersects the established grade of the hinterland.
DUNE AREA
The area actually or normally occupied by dunes. For purposes of this chapter it shall be construed to include its actual dimensions.
DUNE LINE
A row of dunes, which may blend in with a berm or berms, which blend in with each other, are roughly parallel to the ocean and serve as a protective barrier against the elements.
FORESHORE
The part of the shore, lying between the crest of the seaward berm and the ordinary low watermark, that is ordinarily traversed by the uprush and backrush of the waves.
MEAN SEA LEVEL
Includes the term "sea level" and shall refer to the 1929 Sea Level Datum established by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey or such other datum as may be established by the United States Army Corps of Engineers or other properly authorized agencies.
NATURAL DUNE
A dune created by natural forces, or one that has developed the contours, vegetation, root systems, etc., characteristic of dunes so created.
NATURAL VEGETATION
Includes the terms “native vegetation” or “indigenous vegetation.” Specifically, it shall mean such plants as beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata), dusty miller (Artemisia stelleriana), hudsonia (Hudsonia tomentosa), sea rocket (Cakile endentula), seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) or beach plum (Prunus maritima) which normally grow or may be planted on the slopes of dunes or behind them. No distinction is made as to how such plants are introduced into their locations.
SAND FENCE
Includes the term "snow fence" and may mean either of two types of barricade established in a line or a pattern to accumulate sand and aid in the formation of a dune.
A. 
Bush type: This consists of dead bushes, trees, reeds or similar debris collected in bundles and fixed by stakes or similar means.
B. 
Picket type: This shall be the commercial variety of light, wooden fence, held together by wire and secured by posts.
SLOPE, LEEWARD
The fence or surface of the dune or berm going from its crest or plateau away from the ocean.

§ 189-3 Construction on beach.

A. 
Within the foreshore and backshore area. No construction of any sort shall be allowed within the foreshore and backshore area except the following:
(1) 
Protective works undertaken by the Township with the approval of the Department of Environmental Protection of the State of New Jersey and/or the United States Army Corps of Engineers, as applicable.
(2) 
Beach maintenance performed by the Township, private beach associations or landowners under an approved beach maintenance plan as described in § 189-11.
(3) 
Sand fences to encourage the accumulation of sand.
B. 
Within the dune area. No construction of any sort shall be allowed in the dune area except the following:
(1) 
Sand fences to encourage the accumulation of sand.
(2) 
Construction of authorized walkways and steps as described in § 189-4.

§ 189-4 Access.

Access to the open beach in this zone shall be obtained across street ends or along properly constructed and authorized walkways and steps designed to protect dune grass from trampling. Where boardwalks and steps are constructed in a street and its extensions, access shall be across such boardwalks and steps, controlled by appropriate fencing. No access shall be constructed by a private owner without a permit described below.

§ 189-5 Fencing.

The Township or private beach associations or private landowners may erect fencing along the westerly limits of the backshore and dune areas and provide suitable markings to identify the same. Persons may enter such areas only to carry out the purposes of this chapter. Where walkways or boardwalks cross dunes or berms, they shall be suitably bordered with fences to prevent damage to said dunes or berms.

§ 189-6 Permits.

No individual, firm or corporation shall authorize or participate in any manner in the moving or displacement of sand within the dune area prior to obtaining a permit, except to perform beach maintenance under an approved beach maintenance plan, as described in § 189-11. In cases where the moving or displacement of sand within the dune area is to protect improvements adjacent thereto or to restore such improvements to prior condition, the requirements for obtaining a permit may be waived by the Township Conservation Officer or Township Engineer. A permit, when applicable, shall be obtained pursuant to an application to the Township Conservation Officer or Township Engineer which shall contain the following information:
A. 
The name and address of the applicant.
B. 
The location of sand to be moved or displaced.
C. 
The nature and purpose of the proposed moving or displacement.
D. 
The proposed method by which the applicant desires to move or displace the same, including a description of the equipment, machinery or other apparatus to be used.
E. 
An estimate in terms of cubic yards as to the quantity of sand to be moved or displaced.
F. 
Such other information as may be reasonably required by the Conservation Officer or Township Engineer.

§ 189-7 Standards for issuance of permit; fee.

A. 
No such permit shall be issued without a determination by the Conservation Officer or Township Engineer based upon an inspection of the area involved and a report thereon by the Township Engineer that such removal will not create or increase a danger or hazard to life or property. No permit will be granted if the proposed moving or displacement will:
(1) 
Adversely affect the littoral drift of the dune area.
(2) 
Result in a reduction of dune protection and of the dune area as defined in § 189-2 of this chapter.
(3) 
Interfere with the general configuration of the dune area, of the subject property or of neighboring properties.
B. 
No permit will be granted and it shall be unlawful for any individual, firm or corporation to authorize or participate in:
(1) 
The removal of sand from the dune area.
(2) 
The removal or destruction of natural vegetation within the dune area.
(3) 
The building of groins or any other tangential construction which arrests the littoral drift, preventing sand from supplementing the dunes.
C. 
Permit fee. Each application for a permit under the provisions hereof shall be accompanied by a fee of $100, which sum shall include payment for inspection by the Township Engineer and the processing of the application for a permit. However, the property owner shall be responsible for the retention and payment of his own professional engineer for the filing of the application in conformity with the requirements of the application for a permit under the terms of the provisions of this section.

§ 189-8 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person, partnership, corporation, public agency or other entity who violates any provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per violation or not more than 60 days in jail, or both, and each day in which such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation or offense.
B. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, the Conservation Officer and/or the Township Engineer of the Township of Toms River is/are empowered to pursue such equitable and legal relief as may be necessary to abate any violation of the within chapter. In the event that the violation involves either the movement of or disturbance of sand or conduct in violation of any permit issued hereunder, the Conservation Officer and/or the Township Engineer is/are hereby empowered to issue a stop-work order in addition to pursuing any legal or equitable remedy hereunder.

§ 189-9 Bonding.

A cash or surety bond equal to the cost of restoring the area to its original condition, as determined by the Township Engineer, shall be posted by the applicant at the time of issuance of a permit. Such cash or bond shall be refunded upon the Township Conservation Officer's/Township Engineer's approval of the work which has been done. If the work has not been done in compliance with the specifications contained in § 189-10 hereof, the Township shall have the right to have the work done as so required, charging the cost thereof against the cash or bond. Any portion of the deposit remaining unused for such purpose shall be returned to the applicant. No interest will accrue on funds deposited as a performance guarantee.

§ 189-10 Moving or displacement of sand.

Specifications for moving or displacement of sand shall be as follows:
A. 
The applicant or the applicant's contractor shall, in the process of performing work on the dune, maintain the elevation of the dune as established by the Township Engineer.
B. 
The applicant shall preserve the existing dune grass. In no case will the coverage of dune grass be less than 12 inches on center in any direction. All new plantings are to be fertilized with a suitable fertilizer.
C. 
The applicant shall place a one-inch mat of salt hay over the entire area of the portion of the dune which has been disturbed during construction.
D. 
The applicant shall install new sand fences along the center line of the dune and position the fences so that they are perpendicular to the direction of the prevailing winds.
E. 
The applicant shall notify the Township Conservation Officer and the Township Engineer 72 hours prior to the start of any construction or work.
F. 
The applicant shall submit a plan (in triplicate) to the Office of the Environmental Commission, which will detail the work to be done, the measures which will be taken in order to protect the dune during construction and a construction timetable which shall include the project completion date (the final day on which work will be done).
G. 
The applicant will be notified within 15 work days from the date of application or when a completed application is submitted, whichever is later, as to whether a permit will be granted or denied.
H. 
Where, by the action of high winds and/or tides, sand is blown or washed upon the lands, including street ends, lying westwardly from the dune line, such sand shall be placed only on the back beach area.

§ 189-11 Beach maintenance.

A. 
Private beach associations or landowners may perform beach maintenance on property owned or leased by them after approval by the Township Conservation Officer and/or the Township Engineer of a beach maintenance plan. The beach maintenance plan must be submitted to the Township Conservation Officer and/or the Township Engineer, and the approval of the plan will waive the requirements for obtaining a permit. The plan shall include the following:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The location of the property where maintenance will be done.
(3) 
A description of the method to be used for beach maintenance.
(4) 
When the work will be performed.
B. 
The plan, once submitted and approved by the Township, shall be in effect and require no further submissions or approvals until such time as any association or applicant desires to revise its plan, at which time a new plan shall be submitted and approved by the Township Conservation Officer and/or the Township Engineer before being implemented.

§ 189-12 Appeals.

A. 
Whenever the strict application of the provisions of this chapter results in undue hardship to the owner of any lands affected by the provisions of this chapter, attributable to the cost or the practical difficulty of compliance with such provisions, the owner may, in his discretion, submit a written application to the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Toms River for a waiver of the strict application of any such provision. In its consideration of an application for a waiver of strict application, the Board of Adjustment shall follow the procedure established by law for granting variances from zoning ordinances, pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, P.L. 1975, c. 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.).
B. 
Any interested party may appeal the decision of the Board of Adjustment pursuant to § 189-12A of this section to the Township Council by following the procedure established by Section 8 of P.L. 1975. c. 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-17).