Toms River Administrator Denies Report Claiming Jersey Shore Cast Not Welcome in Town
Toms River–Toms River Township Business Administrator Paul Shives today said neither he nor anyone from the township government ever said “Snooki and JWOW still not welcome in Toms River”. Yet, that was the title of a report published today in the Asbury Park Press by reporter Erik Larsen.
“The reality is that until we had the request from the MTV production company a few months ago with respect to filming the JWOW/Snookie show in Toms River, since we receive so few requests, we were not aware that our ordinance did not contain a permit procedure,” Shives said. ”At no time did any township official make any statement even remotely resembling what [was] described and the article does not say that we did.”
Shives is referring to a township ordinance passed last night by the township council that introduces a permit process and new guidelines for television and movie film producers who wish to film in the town.
The ordinance was drafted to address potential negative side effects that may arise during the filming process and safeguards the township against incurring security and policing costs and allows residents within 500 feet from set locations to be notified in advance. The ordinance also protects homeowners in residential neighborhoods by continuing to preserve the preexisting ordinance banning commercial filming in residential zones, except for instances of news reporting and items of specific public interest. The ordinance also allows for the filming of documentaries and promotional videos not involving a movie studio or production company.
Shives said that at no time did the township make the statement against Snooki and JWOW, but told the company they must abide by the existing ordinance at the time.
“We advised the production company that the township ordinance did not permit filming in a residential zone, sent them a copy of it, and that was the end of it,” he said. ”The amendments to the ordinance adopted last night strengthen the process by adding a permit procedure and an appeal if the permit is denied. There was never any statement made about the JWOW/Snookie show at any time.”
The process for filming in the town will now require a permit at a cost of $350 and the production company must present proof of liability insurance between $1,000,000 for bodily injury and up to $3,000,000 for any aggregate occurrence.
The producers of the show Snooki & JWOW approached officials in both Jackson and Toms River to film the series. While Jackson officials did not cite any problems with the production, Mayor Mike Reina said he was told the deal fell through because the home in question was not available in time for the production of the show. 495 Productions eventually ended up filming the show’s second season in nearby Manchester Township.