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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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N. Wildwood Updates Outdated Liquor Ordinance

North Wildwood Logo
North Wildwood Logo

By Christopher South

NORTH WILDWOOD – North Wildwood, like a lot of other towns, must update its ordinances from time to time. 

Still on the books, according to City Clerk Scott Jett, are “No horses, mules, pigs, cattle, sheep or goats can run at large in city limits,” established May 26, 1899; “No horses or mules in the ocean,” recorded May 26, 1899; and “No raising of pigs in the city,” effective Dec. 7, 1915 – the original day that will live in infamy. 

Not all the obsolete laws pertain to animals. The town created a Board of Assessment Commissioners April 3, 1923, that no longer exists. The city also banned the spreading of “fish pound” nets in the city July 1, 1919. 

“Until 2017, North Wildwood had a law on the books prohibiting the wearing of shorts on the Boardwalk,” Jett said after the May 2 City Council meeting. 

At that meeting, the council introduced Ordinance 1904 to update the city code regarding restaurants serving alcoholic beverages in Boardwalk restaurants, which was codified in May 1994.  

Mayor Patrick Rosenello said the ordinance is a little outdated now, as it only allows alcoholic beverages to be served in restaurants that serve “complete dinners with soup, salad, main entrée, vegetables and dessert.”  

In addition, the current code says, “The restaurant shall not use paper, plastic or other disposable plates, dishes, cups, containers, knives, forks, or spoons, for the service or consumption of food or alcoholic beverages.” 

“The current ordinance says you have to use glass for drinks, serve soup, and so on,” Rosenello said. “The ordinance was enacted 30 years ago, and the Planning Board recommended we update it.” 

Rosenello said the ordinance would affect three liquor license holders in North Wildwood. He said the ordinance update would make North Wildwood consistent with the City of Wildwood Boardwalk regulations and with other zones throughout the city. Wildwood, he said, has six liquor licenses on the Boardwalk. 

Ordinance 1904, as introduced, replaces the conditions established in 1994 with a few notable changes. No more than half of the municipal liquor licenses shall be permitted within the Pier and Boardwalk zones. The number of seats required is being reduced to a minimum of 50 from the previously required 100 seats. 

The hours for permitted sales of alcoholic beverages – currently 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. – would change in the ordinance to read that the sale of alcoholic beverages “shall only be permitted between the hours of 7 a.m. and 12 a.m.,” with the consumption of alcohol ceasing a half hour later.  

The 7 a.m. starting time would allow restaurants to serve breakfast drinks containing alcohol, such as a mimosa or bloody mary. 

All other regulations would remain in effect. 

The ordinance will be scheduled for a second reading and public hearing after the city receives a Planning Board recommendation.  

Contact the author, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com. 

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