GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - The state's proposed new beach-access regulations drew fire for the second week in a row, with residents speaking out at a public hearing here Tuesday against a plan that would give towns a much greater say in deciding how much access is appropriate for them.

The state Department of Environmental Protection will decide whether to finalize the rules after the public comment period ends next month.

The state rewrote its rules earlier this year, saying its hand was forced by a 2008 appeals court ruling that struck down more-specific rules requiring public access points every quarter-mile, parking and restrooms near beaches.

Ray Cantor, a top aide to DEP Commissioner Robert Martin, said the new rules aim to provide for local flexibility while maintaining "better access in more appropriate locations."