Five-Year Renewal Eyed For Beach Permits

Beach parking will still be free for East Hampton Town residents, but they will have to renew them every five years, if an amendment to the town code is adopted. Independent/T. E. McMorrow

The East Hampton Town Code is considering changes in the way it handles beach parking and beach access permits for vehicles.

Currently, a town resident is only required to obtain a permit once for any vehicle they own. Residents are then required to affix the stickers to their vehicle’s windows, for parking, and bumpers, for beach access. There they tend to remain for the life of the vehicle.

The problem is, according to Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, a vehicle’s life may extend over several owners. If a non-resident buys a vehicle with a sticker attached, they can, and sometimes do, take advantage of the sticker that is meant only for residents. Making matters worse, Van Scoyoc has told the board, is the fact that the ink showing the license plate number of the vehicle corresponding with the sticker often fades away, making it hard to prove the permit is no longer valid.

The amendment to the code would change the process. New permits, which will remain free for residents, would be issued over five-year cycles, the first of which would begin in 2020, with the next cycle beginning in 2025. “Resident permits will remain free, as always,” Van Scoyoc said February 12, “but will need to be renewed every five years.” All permits will expire in years ending in either 0 or 5, no matter when they are originally obtained.

Jameson McWilliams of the East Hampton Town Attorney’s office detailed key points on the amendment, which will cover all permits, including those to non-residents.

She told the board that, if approved, the amendment would require that one-half of all funds collected by the town for parking permits issued to resorts and motels for their guests would be placed in a special fund dedicated to the cleanup of beaches, litter reduction, and transportation. The motels and resorts can continue to charge, as is the current practice, guests for use of the stickers, but must provide the town with a fee table. Those permits would be issued to the owner or manager of the resort or motel.

Owners of co-ops will not be able to obtain guest stickers if they are renting out. As is the case with people who rent their homes under the town’s rental registry law, renters or guests would be eligible to buy a non-resident parking sticker, which currently costs $375. Those stickers expire at the end of each calendar year.

More tweaking is to be done, the town board was told, with a public hearing on the amendment scheduled for March 7.

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