Christie Suspends Bergen Blue Laws

Governor says easing Sunday sales restriction will help with storm recovery.

Gov. Chris Christie has signed an executive order suspending Bergen County's Sunday sales restriction, known as Blue Laws. 

"During this time of recovery and rebuilding, our citizens must have adequate access to the supplies they need to help return their lives to normal – particularly those residents who are still without power,” Christie said in a statement Sunday.

“To accomplish this, we are temporarily suspending Blue Laws in Bergen County so that local residents can purchase the essential goods and services they need to continue through recovery period and begin the rebuilding process.”

Christie's decision came after Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan requested the Sunday shopping restrictions be suspended. 

In a conference call Sunday, Donovan applauded the move as a step in helping county residents recover from the impacts of Sandy. 

Officials in several towns, including in Hackensack and Mahwah, said they would not enforce the laws in the aftermath of the storm. 

PeterB November 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
The voting on the Blue Laws should be broken down town by town. You shouldn't be voting on whether the county should have them but rather if each individual town would want them. If the residents of a town vote to lift the blue laws and conduct business then so be it. However, those that live in Paramus should not govern what the rest of the county does.
PeterB November 12, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Why aren't Veterans upset in the rest of the state or in Maryland or VA just outside of Washington, where shopping is going on? What groups are upset? I would love to see your source?! Shopping on Sundays.. What a scandal?! Give me a freaking break!
Who Is John Galt November 13, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Keith H. Sir, you are a hypocrite. You were the very first one to have a negative tone on here. Remember your everyone who's not from Paramus should stfu comment and your learn to read comments. Yeah you really should take some of your own advice and stfu!
Kath H November 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM
I have only Saturday for shopping too as I work in western jersey. I have no problem shopping. And why is people refuse to realize that Paramus has NO power to dictate to the rest of the county at all> The MAJORITY of the rest of the county has VOTED time and time and time again NOT to open the stores on Sunday. The MAJORITY of people who live in Bergen County DO NOT WANT THE STORES OPEN ON SUNDAY I'm done repeating the same thing over and over to people who do not want to listen. And it looks like we're done with having them open anyway - http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/Bergen_County_officials_to_ask_Christie_.html
darlene zecca November 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM
As a single mom of two teenage boys I have to work 6 days a week with sunday being my only day off. It would be nice to be able to shop on sundays in bergen county. Come into the 21st century!!!!
BellairBerdan November 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Why do you think you will continue to have Sundays off if this progresses? Why would you want to take away the Sundays off of others?
TomW November 13, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Paramus does not dictate whether the Blue Law is inacted or not. It was voted on by the County and the last time this was up for vote, the residences of Bergen County voted for the Blue Law. Talk to your district representatives if you would like to change your town's adoption of the Blue Law.
zizi November 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
@john q public: how would you feel if New yorkers say the same thing 7 days a week..... about people from NJ? This is absurd talk....... New Yorkers or anyone else has all the rights to go anywhere in the union....... This is a very narrow minded approach and shows a lack of maturity.....
Tee Smyth November 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Good question, Bellair. I like the law. I find it quaint and necessary. We live in such a go-go-go society. Having one day that kind of forces you to slow down is much appreciated, and heck, well-deserved after the drama of a full work-week. I can think of nothing that I have ever needed on Sunday that was of such a dire emergency that I could not have obtained it at some store in Bergen County. People are acting like Bergen County completely blacks out on Sunday. Nothing could be further from the truth. Relax. What's funny is that I avoid Paramus like the plague on Saturday. It's not worth the hassle or the headache to navigate that nonsense.
Ridgewooder November 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
The Blue Laws should be eliminated. Free markets.
BellairBerdan November 13, 2012 at 05:04 PM
You should work on Ridgewood allowing fast food restaurants in your town first.
Ken November 13, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Absolutely. Bergen County's Blue Law is a quality of life issue. It's one day a week residents get a reprieve from traffic congestion, retail employees have one day they can spend with their kids and the rest of us get some peace and quiet. Basic necessities are available and if one so chooses they can travel somewhere else to make other purchases. There are numerous examples of quality of life laws on the books nationwide. Closing times for retail establishments, noise regulations, zoning restrictions, aesthetic regulations -- Vermont banned large billboards (I'd love to see the rest of the country go that way). It's really very simple. If the residents of BC wanted to change the law they could. But most of us don't.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I agree, that comment was thoughtless at best. I would amend it to concern with too many cars on the roads, whether local, from NY, Penn., Conn., or California—or anywhere else! Whether Bentleys (Bentlies? to be whimsical), VW vans, Hummers, Smart Cars, Chevy Novas, Ford Foci, you name it—we need better mass transit. Then we can talk.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Kelly, should have picked up on your comment earlier: please provide details of improper hiring, explain how that relates at all to Sunday closings, or stay on topic; it will help us all have a better discussion.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM
minckey, in total agreement about billboards; the new lighted ones, especially with changing photos are especially bad—I even wonder if they have been shown to distract drivers and cause fender-benders? Anyone have any information?
zizi November 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Kath: Relax....... take deep breaths... now we know why you need Sunday off...
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Have you seen any detailed study that supports your comments about traffic? Judging by Monday of this week, after the stores WERE open on Sunday, there would be little if any difference. About 4:30 my parents picked me up in Woodcliff Lake, drove me to Staples on 17 S and then to the Garden State Plaza to return an item. (A friend would meet me there later and we would go together to a meeting in Maywood.) It took us well over an hour—actually, it was almost 6:00 when we got there; the stop in Staples was maybe 5-7 minutes. I thought it was holiday traffic; never expected that volume BEFORE Thanksgiving. AAARRGH!
Ridgewooder November 13, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'm too lazy to actually affirmatively do anything about any of this but for what it is worth I do disagree with Ridgewood stance on food establishments as highlighted by the Red Mango vs. Quiznos debacle.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Not really; see my response to her. Granted a single experience, but not an improvement. If there have been detailed studies done, I would like to see them, but the indications are just more mall trips. (This is why many retailers prefer to do their business in 6 days, rather than 7; not enough more business expected to justify increased costs.)
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Actually, the county administrator told me they would be requesting a return to normal this week.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
If Monday was an example, it made no difference at all—the trip across Paramus, 17S to Linwood, to Paramus Road, to Garden State Plaza took from 4:30 p.m. to ~6:00 p.m., with about 5-7 minuntes at Staples along the way. Could have been December. AAARRGH!
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:09 PM
The suspension should happen this week. The crisis is reduced enough to restore shopping hours.
Ridgewooder November 13, 2012 at 07:11 PM
What is the big deal anyway. The vast, VAST majority of the nation doesn't shut down on Sundays.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Brian, Another suggestion that would help you is better mass transit. The roads are incredibly clogged at “rush hour” (crawl hour?); we need incentives for people to take buses and trains. The last gasoline tax increase was some 14–20 years ago; since then, there have been FIVE fare increases for buses and trains. That is creating incentives for just the sort of behavior that we want to discourage—single-occupant cars. The EZ Pass system has a little known carpool option, not widely known, that can decrease carfare to as little $3.50 (though one must register for the program ahead of time and go through the cash lane). We need more programs like that one.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Best Buy at Garden STate Plaza has a sign of Nov. hours listing Nov. 18 and 25 as closed, as of Nov. 11. Please cite sources and stay on topic.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Monday in Paramus—outrageous. Single anecdote, of course.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Troll Her name is Kath, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you. Her negative tone was in response to yours, so do not discuss hypocrisy or learning to read.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Tee Smyth, As a long-time Paramus resident (now in Woodcliff Lake), we used to say “be home by noon on Saturday or forget it”. Still avoid the malls pretty much, certainly on Saturday.
Sally G November 13, 2012 at 07:24 PM
BellaireBerdan, I understand the rationale for your comment, but was mad as anything when the landlord of The Fiesta Hut on Rte. 17 in Paramus refused to extend their lease after 27 years and put up a big McDonald’s instead. For years I would not eat in a McDonald’s; have NEVER stepped foot in that building since, wince when I go by. There are more than enough fast food places around; love Ridgewood’s great restaurants, even if I cannot afford them nearly as often—prefer to eat at home/brown bag and save up for a restaurant treat.
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