2014-01-23 / Front Page

Filming of ‘Real Housewives’ may prompt change in local ordinance

By JACK MURTHA
Staff Writer

COLTS NECK — The filming of a new season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” in Colts Neck has prompted municipal officials to consider allowing lengthier production schedules in the community.

The Township Committee introduced an ordinance at its Jan. 8 meeting that would enable major movie and TV studios to shoot in the township for periods that exceed the current six-day limit.

The committee will consider the ordinance for adoption at its Jan. 29 meeting.

“[The ordinance] was engendered by a thing that is ongoing in the town at this point in time, which at least some people are probably aware of,” said Mayor Russell Macnow, who later confirmed the project to be associated with Bravo’s reality TV show.

As of now, no entity is permitted to film in Colts Neck for any more than three consecutive days, according to the municipal code. The producers of a single show or movie cannot film at any one location in the township for more than six days per year, according to the code.

Under the terms of the proposed ordinance, “the six-day limitation may be extended only if the filming requested constitutes a major motion picture or television series.”

The size of the daily fee charged to production companies is up to the discretion of Township Administrator Robert Bowden. He said the going rate for a TV series is about $1,500 per day.

“We may increase that slightly,” Bowden added.

The ordinance would also amend the application fee for a film permit from $50 to $100, he said. That figure comes far closer to covering the township’s costs for the work required to process film permits, Bowden said.

“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” follows a group of women — some friends and some foes — as they navigate contentious social circles, family life and their everyday routines.

News reports published last fall indicated that three Colts Neck residents caught the attention of Bravo staffers. Amber Marchese and twin sisters Nicole and Teresa Napolitano were in line to join the cast of the show during its upcoming sixth season, according to those reports.

A spokesperson for Bravo did not return a request for comment regarding the makeup of the cast or the production schedule before press time.

The ordinance would bring Colts Neck in line with protocols used by most other municipalities, Bowden said.

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