By DON STINE
Enforcing a new law that will impound derelict and abandoned cars in Neptune was a subject of debate at Township Committee’s Oct. 5 meeting.
The committee adopted an ordinance that will impound derelict and abandoned cars on Neptune streets or public properties if they do not have current registration or identification markers, or have been parked in a public space or property for 30 days or more.
The owner will have to pay towing and storage fees the get their vehicle back. Police have up to five days to identify the owner and notify them about the impoundment.
The ordinance will now go into effect on a township-wide basis but problems in Ocean Grove are what prompted it. Residents said some people “warehouse” their cars on streets and sometimes even use them for storage.
Some residents said they support the ordinance while others oppose it and questioned how it will be enforced.
“I don’t think it can be done. It’s absurd,” Ocean Grove resident Jack Bredin said.
He suggested the ordinance be tabled and explored a little more.
“Who is going to clock (these vehicles?)” Shark River Hills resident Hank Coakley asked, referring to monitoring the cars and trucks to see if they have been moved within the 30 days.
Township officials said these issues will be worked out with the police department. But both officials and some residents agreed that it will probably be monitored primarily through complaints from other residents.
Ocean Grove resident Annabel Bisset said she is sure the Township Committee will solve the problem.
“I don’t think it is going to be that big of a deal and I think (the ordinance) is a good thing,” she said.
Jennifer Sirois, whose family has owned the Central Avenue House for five generations, questioned why her vehicle will be towed if it is not moved within 30 days. She said that they have always be able to park a vehicle in front of the hotel, at 24 Central Ave., for generations.
“Why are you not providing me that right,” she said. “All I want to do is park in front of my hotel. Is there no other recourse?” she asked.
Township Attorney Gene Anthony said that the law is the law and that her car must be moved once every month or it may be confiscated. He said similar laws have been adopted by other towns.