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Feb 12, 2019 4:45 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Beach Permits Renewals May Be Required For East Hampton Town Residents

A strip of beach in Amagansett known as
Feb 12, 2019 5:03 PM

East Hampton Town lawmakers are one step closer to requiring town residents to get new beach parking permit stickers in addition to beach driving permits for their 4x4 vehicles in 2019—and every five years after that.

Officials said retiring old permits and issuing new ones on a regular basis will allow the town to keep a more accurate tally of how many vehicles that are currently on the road have the stickers, as well as to eliminate the unwarranted use of old stickers.

The issue of the beach driving permits came up in 2016 in a lawsuit by Amagansett property owners who sued the town for allowing vehicles on the ocean beach in front of their homes in summer. The plaintiffs pointed to more than 30,000 permits that had been issued since the town started requiring permits for vehicles to travel on the beach. However, the town noted that many of those permits are no longer on locally owned vehicles, or on vehicles that are on the road at all.

“There are thousands of resident permits out there—and there are not as many residents,” Jameson McWilliams, assistant town attorney, said on Tuesday after reading aloud the proposed legislation at a Town Board work session.

“If someone moved to the city their permit would still be valid,” she explained. The new law would go into effect this summer.

If the Town Board adopts the change, permits would continue to be free to town residents, but it would be the first time the town has required regular renewal. Ms. McWilliams noted that other municipalities such as East Hampton Village and Southampton Town have always required residents to renew their permits.

In addition, Ms. McWilliams said that the town clerk, Carole Brennan, brought to the board’s attention the observation that the license plate numbers often wear off the stickers within a few years.

Residents would be required to renew their permits each year that ends in a zero or a five, with the permits set to expire on December 31 of those years. If the law goes into effect this summer, all residents will be required to renew in 2020, and the permits will be colored differently once the current ones expire.

Permits for residents are free of charge, but non-residents pay a fee of $375 for permits that expire each year.

A public hearing is scheduled for the Thursday, March 7, Town Board meeting at 6:30 p.m.

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