New Jersey Beach Town Wants to Crack Down on ‘Butts Hanging Out’

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A popular New Jersey beach town could pass a law requiring visitors to pull up saggy pants, and to wear shoes and shirts when traversing the boardwalk. Officials say the measure would preserve the family-friendly appeal of the resort city of Wildwood.

The city ordinance, entitled “Establishing decency standard on the public Boardwalk,” is up for public hearing on June 12 at Wildwood City Hall.

“I’m sick of hearing people complain about the disrespectful individuals who walk around with their butts hanging out,” said Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr.

If passed, the ordinance would limit the waistband of pants, swimsuits, shorts and skirts to be no lower than three inches below the waist in order to prevent people from seeing skin or underwear. Men would have to wear shirts between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

An added safety measure requires anyone on the boardwalk wear shoes that “adequately protect” their feet.

“I think it's obnoxious with these kids who wear their pants down around their knees,” city Commissioner Peter Byron said.

“I know the social climate's changed and what people think is decent is different than it was,” Troiano said. Other towns like Cape May and Ocean City have regulations on appropriate clothing on promenades and boardwalks.

Terrebone Parish, in southeastern Louisiana, banned baggy pants in April. People will be fined in Terrebone for pants sagging below the waist, exposing skin or underwear, including $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second, and $100 plus 16 hours of public service for each subsequent offense. 

Sources: The Daily Mail, Asbury Park Press