Seaside Heights has submitted a plan to have residents returning to their homes starting January 7 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the borough, Mayor William Akers said on Wednesday night.
The borough will start taking applications for certificates of occupancy for single family and two-family homes on January 2, Akers said at the Seaside Heights Borough Council meeting, which was held at the Ocean County Library in Toms River. The borough will move to approving larger structures after that time.
Residents will need a certificate of occupancy to return to homes after Hurricane Sandy struck the community in late October. Any plans to repopulate Seaside Heights will require state approval.
Akers said restoration of utility service is progressing with natural gas service restored to 70 percent of the borough.
The borough, which is nationally reknown for its nightlife after "MTV's Summer Beachhouse" 12 years ago and the hugely popular "Jersey Shore" program, also adopted a temporary business curfew starting Jan. 7, allowing businesses to be open only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Akers said the curfew would be in effect until the council revokes it.
An individual, who said he owned Hemingways, disagreed with the Council's plan and urged them to reconsider the curfew for weekends.
"Every day that I close at 10 p.m., I lose money," the man told the Borough Council. "We all have our property taxes and our mortgages, but we had to sit idle. I understand the need about security. I have spoken with other business owners in the same situation. It is further adding to a devastating situation for all of us."
Akers said his request was reasonable and was something that he and the Borough Council would be willing to revisit.