Members of the Lakehurst Borough Council agreed to hear publicly the concerns of Cedar Street residents who content that an annual winter gathering of hunters at a nearby home creates a disturbance.
A petition signed by 33 residents was presented to the council weeks ago asks that the mayor and council define the acceptable amount of hunters who can gather at a private residence and the parameters for hanging the day's kill there. Cedar Street resident Janie Baranyay told the council during its Thursday night regular meeting that she objects to the issue being discussed by the governing body during a Sept. 20 closed session.
"I'm gravely disappointed in the council," she said.
The meeting agenda stated that the closed session would be used to discuss personnel matters and contract negotiations. The discussion of the petition request "does not meet any of the exceptions for that meeting," Baranyay said.
"I protest it and think it was wrong. I think it was done because the council didn't want to have an open discussion about this issue," she said.
Baranyay and others are concerned that a gathering of hunters — many of whom are not borough residents — on their street the first week of December for the past about four years is a disturbance.
"This isn't a backyard barbecue. This is a gathering of about 25 to 40 people or more, every night for six nights with open fires and deer hanging in the yard," Baranyay said. "When is this disturbing my peace and the peace of the neighborhood?"
In response, Mayor Harry Robbins said that the council will hear the concerns in an open forum.
"We will put it on the agenda for the next meeting," he said.
Baranyay and others have said that they are not opposed to hunting or hanging the day's kill at a residence so long as it is done in a way that is not a disturbance to neighbors.
"But when you're disturbing other people it's another story," Robbins said after the meeting.
A letter from Borough Attorney Sean Gertner addressed to the petitioners states that the hunters must stay within existing nuisance ordinances and police should be contacted if a resident feels they are in violation.
The hunters who typically gather at the Cedar Street home are invited to the council's next meeting on Nov. 1 to discuss the issue with the council and neighbors.
"I'm hoping it's something they can work out," Robbins said.