The price of a non-resident beach parking permit in East Hampton Village is jumping from $500 to $750 for the 2023 season — a massive, 50% increase that has ruffled some local feathers and isn’t likely to make it easier for non-village residents to snag one of the most coveted prizes on the East End.
Each year, the total number of non-resident beach permits available for sale is capped by Village statute at 3,100.
The math is daunting for the many thousands of homeowners in the Town of East Hampton who find it tough to envision a summer without unfettered vehicular access to EHV’s world-class beaches. But the village has a plan.
There is a modicum of good news this year for local beachgoers, providing they or someone they know can show up in person at the EHV firehouse on Friday, January 27 with proof of East Hampton Town residency.
From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. this Friday, a total of 1,500 permits will be made available to East Hampton Town residents who appear in person at the firehouse.
And those permits will be sold at last year’s price of $500. Quantities will be strictly limited to one permit per person, according to East Hampton Village Mayor Jerry Larsen.
“We’re listening to people’s complaints,” Larsen says. “We think this program is going to help year-round local residents. We’ve never done this before, so we don’t know what’s going to happen. But I expect to see a lot of people at the firehouse on the 27th.”
On Wednesday, February 1, the official online permit sale begins at 9 a.m. at the full $750 price. Last year, it took less than a day for all 3,100 permits to sell out.
The village’s approximately 1,500 residents are guaranteed a free permit for every registered vehicle they own, but those are in addition to the 3,100 permits set aside for non-residents.
When asked about the magnitude of the price hike, Larsen acknowledges that it was designed, at least in part, as an attempt to tamp down demand for permits. But he also points out that East Hampton Village does not receive tax revenue from non-EHV residents for its beach improvement and maintenance projects.
“I get complaints from town residents that they can’t get a sticker because they sell out in no time,” he says. “I understand their frustration, but [non-EHV residents] have to remember that they don’t pay taxes in the village.”
We’ve increased services at the beaches,” Larsen adds. “That’s expensive. We’re doing more beach-raking, we’re doing nighttime garbage pickups, we’re hiring more lifeguards… and we’ve done major work at Georgica Beach.”
After the EHV in-person permit event on January 27 and the online sale that begins on February 1, the effects of the village’s price hike and its one-day discount program will become clear. Whether or not the plan frees up more permits and results in fewer disgruntled residents remains an open question until then.
East End locals and visitors know that navigating beach parking permit rules can be a frustratingly labyrinthine experience. Picture a young couple planning to spend a summer weekend hitting some of the South Fork’s best beaches.
The couple’s journey begins at Rogers Beach in Westhampton, with stops at Quogue Village Beach, Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays, Coopers Beach in Southampton, Havens Beach in Sag Harbor, Main Beach in East Hampton, Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett and Ditch Plains in Montauk.
By the time the couple makes it to Montauk, they’ll have had to procure no fewer than seven separate parking permits — and spent a king’s ransom along the way.
Since East End towns and villages rely on parking permit revenues to keep their budgets above water, non-residents shouldn’t expect to park at their favorite pristine slice of ocean real estate without a significant cash outlay anytime soon.
HAMPTONS BEACH PARKING PERMIT PRICES AT A GLANCE
At press time, East Hampton Village was the only East End governing body to have committed to a beach parking permit price increase for non-residents in 2023. Here’s what local officials said about their plans (note that some towns and villages offer discounts for seniors and charge significantly more for approved long-term renters):
Town of East Hampton: Free for residents; $500 for local non-residents; no price increases expected for 2023.
East Hampton Village: Free for residents: $750 for local non-residents; a $250 increase over 2022 except for single-day in-person registration on January 27, when non-resident permits can be purchased for $500.
Town of Southampton: $50 for residents; $400 for local non-residents; a $10 increase over 2022 for residents; no price increase for non-residents expected in 2023.
Southampton Village: Free for residents; $250 for local non-residents; no price increases expected for 2023.
Sag Harbor: Free for residents; $100 for local non-residents; no price increases expected for 2023.
Quogue: $120 for residents; $300 for local non-residents; decision not yet finalized about price increases for 2023.
Westhampton Beach: Free for residents; $495 for local non-residents; no price increases expected for 2023.
NORTH FORK BEACH PARKING PERMIT PRICING
Shelter Island: Free for residents; $125 monthly or $250 for full season for local non-residents; no price increases expected for 2023.
Riverhead: $20 for residents; no non-resident beach parking permits issued; decision not yet finalized about price increases for 2023.
Southold: $10 for residents; $40 for local non-residents; no price increases expected for 2023.