Colts Neck officials will take action to update loitering ordinance

COLTS NECK – Public hearings on two ordinances that will update Colts Neck’s municipal code will be held tonight, June 12, by the Township Committee. Following each public hearing, the governing body may adopt the ordinance.

One ordinance will amend the municipal code as it relates to loitering.

The section of the code originally read as follows: “No person shall … loiter on any street … or other public place … and no person shall, on any street … or other public place … utter any loud and offensive or indecent language or make offensive remarks to or upon any person or persons passing (on the street) … or obstruct or interfere with any person or persons …”

The updated ordinance states that “no person shall loiter in a public place in such a manner as to create … a danger of a breach of the peace; create … any disturbance or annoyance to (any person); obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles … This includes unsolicited remarks of an offensive, disgusting or insulting nature, or which are calculated to annoy or disturb the person to whom, or in whose hearing, they are made.”

In addition to the conduct described, the throwing of stones, snowballs or other objects at any person or vehicle will be considered a violation.

And, the ordinance states that “no parent or guardian of a minor under the age of 18 shall knowingly permit that minor to loiter … Whenever any minor under the age of 18 is charged with a violation … their parent or guardian shall be notified … If at any time within 30 days following the (notice), the minor to whom such notice relates again violates (the ordinance), it shall be presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary that the minor did so with the knowledge and permission of their parent or guardian.”

Municipal officials said they wanted to prepare for the future as Colts Neck continues to develop.

“Freehold Township introduced a similar ordinance a few years ago targeted at parents who were dropping off their child at Freehold Raceway Mall and leaving them around, (having) the mall become a babysitter for their children,” Committeeman Russell Macnow said.

“We would not have a problem like that due to not having a comparable place in Colts Neck. At the same time, we would like parents to be responsible for their children and to be responsible for themselves for the purposes that are not lawful purposes,” Macnow said.

The second ordinance will update the municipal code as it relates to peddlers, canvassers and solicitors.

Township Administrator Kathleen Capristo said the ordinance would include a section that provides a “no knock” registry for residents.

According to the ordinance, the municipal clerk will prepare a list of addresses of property owners or tenants who do not want to be disturbed by peddlers, canvassers, solicitors and door-to-door sales enterprises. Residents will be able to complete a form at the clerk’s office and be placed on the “no knock” registry.

Peddlers, canvassers and/or solicitors will be responsible for having the most up to date “no knock” list. Violators may be fined $1,250 and they may be subject to a permanent revocation of any license issued.

In other business, committee members announced they are seeking to hire a new municipal clerk. Beth Kara, who is Colts Neck’s municipal clerk, will retire on Aug. 1. Interested individuals may visit for additional information.