This shouldn’t be about regulation for the public interest - but a court deciding who can, or can not legally earn a profit. I see little difference between the business The Atlantic Beach Club does and companies that charter fishing vessels, operate party boats or offer parasailing rentals.
Let me ask you this-where does the beach club property line end? Surely before the beach.
Well, the difference is that the vessel operators aren’t charging admission to an immovable space. They are charging a rental fee for an item.
Personal property is, for the most part, reproducable. You can build your own boat if you like. But real estate is, by its nature, unique. And that’s why there are different laws for real property and personal property.
I guess that’s the question. Is the beach public domain and private property stops at the sand? Or does the property extend to the ocean?
The Court held that New Jersey followed the public trust doctrine, and that the beach was therefore subject to public access.
Because the Court essentially held that the beach had always been public, the Court avoided the related issue of whether the the decision itself was a taking.
Compare, http://www.virginialawreview.org/content/pdfs/90/1487.pdf (pdf)
The only thing I have to say on this whole situation is that in a lot of places, “the waterfront/oceanfront” (geologically speaking) extends to the first line of dunes on the beach, as the dunes are more or less the part that keeps the rest from eroding into the ocean (yeah, I just honeymooned on Long Beach Island, spent a lot of time at the Barnegat Light park reading displays). If there’s an improved breakwater, pier, dock, whatever (as in a private marina), there’s going to be a less compelling government interest in that than in the stretch of beach from dunes to water, because (as I understand it), that 300-foot dunes-to-water beach and that 3’ concrete pierside are serving the exact same anti-erosion function.