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Municipal Public Access Planning>Implementing Municipal Public Access Plans>Fees and Financing

Fees and Financing

Fees that are charged for public access and direct amenities are regulated by the public access rule. Municipalities must submit proof to the Department that their fees comply with the rules.  


N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11(y)
A fee for use of bathing and recreational facilities and safeguards, such as lifeguards, toilets, showers, and parking, at publicly or privately owned beach or waterfront areas, may be charged in accordance with (y)1 through 6 below. However, no fees shall be charged solely for access to or use of tidal waterways and their shores. The fee schedule and documentation of compliance with this paragraph shall be submitted to the Department by the permittee and its successors in title and interest upon request.

  1. Fees shall be no greater than that which is required to operate and maintain the facility, taking into consideration basic support amenities provided, such as lifeguards, restroom/shower facilities and trash pickup. This requirement applies to facilities and services, directly associated with using the tidal waterways and their shores, and does not apply to additional amenities such as cabanas, pools, or restaurants;
  2. Fees shall not discriminate between residents and non-residents or on any other basis, except as allowed by this rule or other law;
  3. Fees shall not be charged for children under the age of 12 years;
  4. Badges or passes must be available for sale at times and places that are reasonably convenient for the public. Badges and passes shall be offered for sale in person at the beach or waterfront area during the hours that the beach is staffed. In addition, if the entity that owns or operates the beach or waterfront area offers private memberships, public badges or passes must be offered for sale to the public in the same manner, times and places as private memberships;
  5. Weekly, monthly or seasonal badges or passes shall be transferable at the discretion of the badge or pass holder; and
  6. Public access to and use of tidal waterways and their shores may not be conditioned upon providing identification or signing or otherwise agreeing to any waiver or similar disclaimer of rights.

Prohibited Restrictions
N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11 ( v)
Activities that have the effect of discouraging or preventing the exercise of public trust rights, as described at N.J.A.C. 7:7E-3.50, are prohibited. These activities include, but are not limited to, requiring photographic identification, requiring a liability waiver, requiring the purchase of drinks or food from a specific vendor, or prohibiting bringing beach equipment such as blankets or beach chairs.


There are many different ways to finance the acquisition of public access lands or easements and their improvements and amenities. Municipalities should consider all the options available to them to determine which may be most effective in each circumstance.

Financing Public Access
Waterfront Public Access: Design Guidelines provides assistance in understanding, developing and implementing public access to New Jersey coastal waters. It was prepared in 1989 by The Fellows Read Organization at the request of the Division of Coastal Resources, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.


Funding Sources


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Last Updated: January 26, 2017