Brick officials have tweaked the township’s special events permitting ordinance to exempt certain events such as block parties, and add some teeth for those who refuse to comply.
The changes, which were unanimously approved by the township council last week, exempt neighborhood block parties as long as the event is limited to 50 attendees or less, and there is no live, amplified music. Any event featuring live music using amplified sound must be submitted to the township for approval under the ordinance.
The ordinance, as a whole, requires individuals or businesses hosting events that are outside the normal use of a home or business to submit an application to the township that will be reviewed by officials to ensure the safety of guests and exemptions from existing ordinances, such as the township’s noise ordinance, if needed.
In addition to the block party exemption, the revised ordinance streamlines the way businesses hosting recurring events will receive approval. Over the past summer, officials had to repeatedly approve outdoor afternoon music at the River Rock Bar and Grille since the restaurant was required to submit applications for each month’s worth of events. Under the revised ordinance, a business would pay an application fee of $250 for up to four events in a three month-long period.
In the revision, the council approved the addition of new language in the ordinance that sets a fine of up to $2,000 for people who do not comply with the ordinance. The reason? Officials say the law carried no penalties for violations previously.
“We actually had somebody this summer who blatantly said, ‘I’m not getting a permit,’ so we looked up the penalty clause and we didn’t have one,” said Mayor John Ducey.