North Jersey town considers saggy pants ordinance
Another New Jersey town has decided to take on saggy pants. This time it is in North Jersey in the town of Newton.
The Town Council considered a three-part decency ordinance at their meeting Monday night which would require the waistbands of pants and skirts to be at least 3 inches above the hip bone. The ordinance is part of a "public safety" effort to improve the perception of the Sussex County town.
Violators would not be arrested for only violating the decency standards but could be ticketed between $25 and $100 for a first offense and also possibly receive community service, as well. Violators could also be asked to immediately change their attire or be "removed" from the street.
"I think it's a valid discussion. Newton has lived with a perception problem for a long time, and I think shoes and shirts is not an unreasonable request in the business district," Mayor Kevin Elvidge told NJ.com. "It's not Belmar. It's not Point Pleasant. I think it's proper to have attire of some kind."
Approval of that part of the code may not be a sure thing. "I'd like to see more data on other towns and how they enforce it. I agree, if our vision of a vibrant downtown is to come to fruition, we gotta set a higher standard," Councilman Wayne Levante told the New Jersey Herald.
Wildwood passed an ordinance on the Jersey Shore in 2013 after complaints from visitors who were offended by “obnoxious attire” and refused to return to the resort town. The Borough Council in Penns Grove also passed a similar ordinance in 2013.
The other parts of Newton's decency ordinance, which the Council is considering as a "public safety" issue, would require the wearing of footwear on the street and T-shirts would have to cover the pectoral or breast area.
Dino Flammia contributed to this report
- Newton hears pros, cons of 'droopy drawers' law / New Jersey Herald
- Pull those up! Newton may bar shirtlessness, saggy pants / NJ.com