Feedback: Brigantine Considers Expansion of 4×4 Beach Zones

cove brigantine 4x4 suv beach
Cove Chaos

Letter to Editor from George Breen > I don’t understand the push to expand the 4×4 SUV beach area in Brigantine. Is there anyone who thinks this is a good idea? The elimination of the 1000 license cap has turned the entire south end of the island into a dump. We know that the access road at Coquille Beach has already been expanded for vehicles and air pumps have been installed. Apparently, this is a done deal.

Has anyone had a chance to comment on or consider:

The revenue this brings in is peanuts compared to the taxes the folks are paying that live in that area and who deserve safe, clean and quiet access to the beach they are paying for. It’s a ridiculous statement that if they don’t like it, don’t go. Why do you think they have a condo there in the first place? Why do you think they are paying taxes through the nose?

A Brigantine day tripper who pays no taxes and only shells out $175 for a license has more rights than someone paying $4K in taxes for a 2 bedroom condo? Where are the common sense priorities?

While there are some families, most are party goers who enjoy practically free access for their trucks to a beach. They violate the no-alcohol restrictions with abandon. They believe their vehicle license entitles them to have access to the beach and don’t pay for beach tags. No beach tag checker in their right mind would go there and ask this dystopian group of Mad-Max wannabes for their beach tag. I certainly would want my daughter doing it.

They trash the beaches of Brigantine. They don’t spend a penny in the town. It’s noisy, dirty, and ecologically unsound.

They come in caravans and shuttle people onto the beach using their one truck they are paying for. They displace and inconvenience those tax-payers that are funding and underwriting this very access.

Why, why would someone want more of this? This administration must have such incredible distain for the non-resident tax payers that pay their salaries that they are just struggling with finding new ways to screw them.


I get it. People with trucks want to go to the beach. No other beach on the east coast allows this (for good reason). There are more trucks in Brigantine than the rest of the free world.

So how’s bout this:

  1. Cap the number licenses at 1500. We sold over 4K last year and it’s out of hand. Expanding this without reflection or planning is gross negligence.
  2. Raise the cost for non Brigantine tax payers. $175 for brigantine tax payers, $1500/year for non. That will drop the volume numbers and keep the revenue up. This also reduces the cost of clean-up and policing and starts to bring it back into a manageable situation.
  3. Your license comes with 4 seasonal beach tags. that’s it. we put a guard at the access point and sell them day passes if they don’t have them.
  4. Institute a a strict “You bring it in, you take it out” policy. Make them sign that on the license. They don’t leave the trash in heaps for us to pick up. they take it with them. Install dumpsters at published and accessible locations so they can throw their trash out in a convenient manner.
  5. Enforce no alcohol. First time warning, second time, revoke their license.

Let’s do a LITTLE planning and thinking here folks. And how about throwing a bone at the non-resident taxpayers in the condo for a change?

George Breen

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25 thoughts on “Feedback: Brigantine Considers Expansion of 4×4 Beach Zones”

  1. George, your position makes sense. More sense than anything that’s been proposed so far, ever in the history of this mayor and his corrupt administration.

    Started coming to Brigantine over 45 years ago and sold the homestead last year, mostly for beach reasons you highlight. Why pay such high taxes when a non-resident/non-voter can’t even get the attention of the police when a mini-drug cartel is being run from the house next door?

    We long ago gave up trying to get to the south end on weekends, and it got steadily worse — even during the week, on nice days, it was a challenge not worth confronting. So we packed up last fall. We were sort of late to the real estate market but it now looks like we got out just in time.

    Good luck with your efforts to preach reason to anyone there.

  2. This is the first year in memory that I drove onto the Cove one time only. There was a time when I would drive on every morning to have my second cup of coffee watching the Coasties raise the flag each morning across the inlet. No longer. It has become a zoo.

    I live (and pay taxes as a year round resident) within 400 yards of the entrance road and am totally disgusted with the non-enforcement of rules and regulations. Millennials plus unlimited and uncontrolled booze coupled with a distinct lack of police presence – or at least effective police presence – has made it a combat zone. We have spent a not so small fortune on our property to improve it and expected to enjoy it for years to come. Now? I’m not so sure.

    Our local government seems totally oblivious to who supports this island and it is not the 20 somethings that want to strut their stuff and drive drunk as they leave the beach access road each Saturday and Sunday. I’m sick of it and cannot understand why they don’t cap the beach access licenses at 1500 and charge out of towners at least a small premium over what the residents pay. You cannot allow an unlimited number of trucks to use our Cove, Jetty or North End – there has to be a limit.

    And explain why Harbor Beach and Lagoon are inundated with parked cars while families trek down the access road blocking traffic and putting themselves in danger only to avoid the measly beach tag fees.

    We have an enormous police force for such a small town. What the hell are they doing each weekend? Where are they hiding? Why not post cars – God knows we have enough of them – at the entrance and at least make believe that we mean business. No booze, no ferrying guests with multiple trips, no walk-on beach users without tags.

    1. Maureen Jamgochian

      I totally agree with you. We have lived on the south end since 1974 as summer residents. Because of all the trucks, SUV’s, etc., we drive down to 23rd street to use the beach. It’s a disgrace that we have to do this.

  3. George,

    I agree with your position. Brigantine needs to change the way they charge the non residents for their permits to drive onto the cove. If they want to go to a free beach let them go to Atlantic City. The cove also needs more of a police presence and needs to be cleaned daily. We use to go the the beach at the cove but we no longer do; the crowds, trash and foul language is not a relaxing way to spend the day. We pay our taxes buy our beach tags and buy our parking passes so why do the non residents get better treatment than us taxpayers?

  4. I agree with the sentiments expressed in the previous posts. Non-residents should be charged a fee considerably higher than residents and the beaches at the cove need better patrolling and enforcement of the rules. In fact the city needs to get serious about enforcing all their rules. i.e. no dogs on the frontal beached in season and all dogs need to be on leashes – both a real joke!!!!

  5. If they enforce the non drinking law like they are supposed to,no one would go on the cove.
    Its the same reason we are saddled with a money losing golf course that is the first ward country club. 4 voting members out of seven of council live in the first ward.and refused to let Ron Jaworski take it over
    The Republican Guenther cartel consistently uses the law simply for their convenience..
    Good luck trying to get them to change their mind. They will publicly humiliate you if you speak at the council meetings. The same people have been in power for over 35 years with the exception of a brief period of 2012 to 2016.
    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely

  6. To best of my knowledge… City not allowed to charge more to outsiders. But…they use the early bird discounts to provide discounts to locals…. Since second homeowners won’t drive into brig…. preseason… for that discount.

    1. Sadly – you are correct. Since 1972 the courts have agreed that our beaches are part of the ‘Public Trust’. Note: Borough of Neptune City v. Borough of Avon-by-the-Sea, 61 N.J. 296 (1972)
      Case Highlight: First New Jersey case to enunciate the Public Trust Doctrine holding that a municipality could not charge higher fees to non-residents than to residents for use of its municipally owned beaches, and recognizing that public trust rights include recreational uses.

      In 1972 – the Cove was a deserted stretch of beach and only fishermen would venture there. In 1972, Before that it was the city dump and Sea Point did not exist. It might be time to revisit some of these old rulings. My home probably sold for $125 thousand when it was built in ’84 and taxes were likely $600 per year. Times change. son. So should laws.

      1. I’m sure there’s some way accomplished the same results. E.g. Charge all the same price but offer tax credits to tax payers.

  7. (1) Clearly politicians do whatever they want. 4,000 beach licenses at $175 per equals $700,000. That’s a pretty nice sum. Other towns would do anything to get that kind of revenue. And this, in a town that has a FIVE MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS, but can’t afford $100 per month to stream their Council meetings.

    It was amusing listening to Mayor Geunther explain that the City’s sports teams should be allowed City $$$ because they’re performing a service. Even a layperson can understand the rule that “no county, city, borough, town, township or village shall hereinafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit to, or in aid of, any individual, association or corporation․  ” N.J. Const. art. VIII, § 3, ¶ 2.

    In summary, and a summary is needed since half the people (including the Myor) don’t bother to read:) YOU CAN GIVE MONEY TO REAL NON-PROFITS. THEY NEED TO SUBMIT RECEIPTS AND GET REIMBURSED. YOU CAN *not* HAND OUT MONEY AND NEVER RECEIVE RECEIPTS FOR WHAT IT WAS USED FOR.
    If the “free money/no questions asked” is going to stay in place, then may I request funds for my Kids Pottery Club? And some for my Kids Beach Yoga club? And some for my “Kids Let Parents Sleep Late on Saturdays Club?” After all, it’s all in the name of the kids”…never you mind what I spend it on…

    1. If you limit the number of permits, they become more precious and you can charge more to yield the same revenue without the zoo

      1. I agree 100%. There needs to be a limit on the 4×4 permits. And the people who pay taxes in Brigantine should have first crack at them, discounted or not. Paying Brigantine taxes should have some benefit. Shouldn’t it?

  8. I believe that all servicemen now get a FREE 4×4 permit. I’ve heard some say how the vehicle is their siblings and they just use it to gain access after the sibling gets his or her permit FREE??? Is this true and able to happen? I buy mine just to fish and forget that in some spots. Too many trucks and people.

  9. Bill, I do know of one case where the son is a jr, or 2nd, and in the service. And the father claims he is using this to his advantage to get a free pass. I know it’s hard to do with proof of registration, insurance ect. but people will try anything.

    I’m in favor of a cap. and Tax payer first come first serve early bird pass.

  10. I HAVE VACATION IN BRIGANTEEN FOR 59 YRS BACK WHEN THEY HAD THE OLD TWO LANE WOODEN BRIDGE , I WOULD TAKE MY CHILDREN THERE TO FISH, VERY QUIET, CLEAN, SAFE A GREAT PART OF OUR VACATION. IT’S SAD TO SEE THE WHITE TRASH ROWDY’S THERE TODAY, I DON’T TAKE MY GRANDCHILDREN THEIR TO DAY FOR THE REASONS MENTION. I AM A RETIRED COMBAT MARINE VETERAN , IF I WERE TO GO THERE NOW I KNOW I WOULD GET IN A ALTERATION WITH SOMEONE SO I STAY AWAY. THEY WOULD PROBABLY SEE A 69YR OLD MAN AND SAY SOMETHING STUBIT ONLY TO FIND OUT I HAVE A BLACK BELT AND SOMEONE WOULD GET HURT AND I DON’T MEAN ME. PROBLEM BEING I WOULD BE THE ONE ARRESTED. I WAS GOING TO PURCHASE A HOME THEIR A WHILE BACK BUT WITH ALL THIS GOING ON I’LL RENT. BRINGANTINE STARING TO GO TO THE WHITE TRASH. NO I AM WHITE!

  11. Thank you for your insight and suggestions for change George. A little bit of simple common sense goes a long way. Your proposals are well-thought and you revised as info was posted with workable alternatives.

    We are also not full time residents and have no say in the working of the Island in spite of paying about $80,000 in taxes. Our life savings was invested in Brigantine and we are watching it dwindle as Real Estate prices continue to drop (as they rise on other area Islands).
    The conditions on the South end will most certainly add an additional cause for a drop there.

    Since different rates cannot be charged, I say raise the cost to $1500 for nons and allow a FREE vehicle pass for each Brigantine taxpayer… I am paying for mine already- for sure.

    As for veterans scamming the vehicle tag system, that is sad. But we see people do the same with Handicapped Parking hang-tags. You can’t legislate integrity. Some people have none- even veterans fall into this category at times. Their are thieves in our midst. Perhaps the Vet Freebie should be removed and adjusted to be “Tax Payers”

    I would supp0rt your efforts with my vote- BUT I don’t get to vote- I just get to pay $80k. Didn’t we have a Tea Party because of this?

    Good Luck- keep up the good fight!

    1. I’ve seen the ‘veteran scamming’ comment more than a couple of times. I am not sure how this can happen. I thought that you had to bring a valid DD 214 to prove veteran status – at least I did when I applied after God knows how many years that I never took advantage of the perk. (But then again – I never took advantage of the senior benefit for 10 years either. Oh, well.) Riddle me this, Batman: why doesn’t the city INSIST that a valid proof of veteran status is supplied at the time of application? And that the veteran’s beach tag is pegged to the 4 wheel drive vehicle’s registration by having the clerk write – in indelible ink on a space provided on the permit – the vehicle’s license plate numbers on it. This stops the possibility of tags being swapped among multiple vehicles (which we all know is happening). It stops it, that is, if the police (not 19 year old recruits or summer part-timers but real police) check randomly when they patrol the beaches. Which they do not do now…

      1. Thats just it. Veteran comes home. Gets a tag. Its applied to truck. The whole family and close friends use the truck. It is a great gesture to be free for vets. But very easily abused. In many years I have had a permit, not once has anyone checked my vehicle. or my tag. And yes the license plate should be written on the front of tag easily seen.

        1. Bill – this is ALL about enforcement. We have a police force that rivals cities five or more times our size in manpower strength and vehicle numbers. This is a serious quality of life issue and should be front and center on the police blotters in the summer months. There is no reason that personal IDs and registrations should not be checked at random by uniformed police EVERY weekend. If your personal ID doesn’t match the records, tough poop – you’re gone. If you appear inebriated – you’re really gone. If you are a resident, sir, you know that we have state of the art technology in our police vehicles. How do you think that they catch so many ‘wants and warrants’ by scanning tags as they come over the bridge? This laxity is political bullcrap because if the mayor and council wanted it changed – it would be changed. Instantly.

          1. Yes BrigLifer, just a few measly random checks each day would go a long way. Many would not do the things they do if there was even a small chance of getting caught and checked. It wouldn’t take much to stop the majority. I do own a home i use and don’t rent out there. .

  12. Instead of just venting online, what can we do? Is there a town meeting or petition or anything we as Brigantine residents can do to stop or limit the SUV’s. as well as control the situation.
    Let’s all get together and fight this cause!

    1. I agree 1000% with Hope..

      I made my first and last visit this Summer to the Cove..
      Beer flows freely along with smell of Pot and trash and babies swimming with
      jet ski’s.

      Our supposed Police Force does nothing but write parking tickets.
      Big deal

      Daytona Beach here we come.

      Petition should be for a recall election if Mayor doesn’t wake up
      to his distasteful comments.

  13. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret… many City of Brig employees especially “FOOTS”, if you’re familiar with the term, do the “3 meals” at the cove on the weekends. If your not familiar with the term “foots” or the phrase “I ain’t no foot”, its a not so nice way of identifying someone that doesn’t reside in Brig (which coincidentally/ironically is many Brig municipal welfare recipients). As a bonus those at the cove like to brag about having “3 meals” there, breakfast lunch and dinner, as evidence of how much they enjoy the cove and how long they eat, drink and be merry.

  14. The ACIT party at the Cove on Sunday was a disgraceful action on the part of the administration. It clearly shows a glaring example of how little they actually think of the town, the businesses and the citizens that they claim to represent. I saw the tents as I drove over the bridge and NEVER would have guessed that it was hosted for ACIT (headed by our never-ending mayor) and probably with a portion of the cost paid at our expense and with our tax dollars. This is a city – not a fiefdom – and the mayor and council do not own Brigantine. Unless they passed a resolution suspending the no alcohol law for the day and can prove that it used NO city services – this was an illegal gathering. The sign that clearly states that there is to be NO alcohol on the beach is a mere 400 yards from my front door. Where were the police and why were they not enforcing the law? Maybe we need a protest group like Brigantine Landowners Matter. With an acronym like BLM – maybe that would help. The we could protest and the national media would show up. But here I’m serious: Isn’t the mayor potentially guilty of misappropriation of funds if city services were used to support this stuff? (Man, I REALLY did not want to type ‘stuff’…) As they say – “Enquiring minds want to know”, Brigantine Now. Get us an answer.

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