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Dec 20, 2016 3:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Might Now Open Different Western Beach To Four-Wheel Vehicles

Dec 20, 2016 3:05 PM

Southampton Town Trustees and Town Board members are still discussing the possibility of opening a western beach to four-wheel drive vehicles in the summer, as part of an effort to alleviate overcrowding at a Southampton Village beach, though they are now focusing on a stretch of sand that sits to the west of the Ponquogue Beach Pavilion in Hampton Bays.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman told the Trustees that instead of opening Hot Dog Beach in East Quogue to four-wheel drive enthusiasts, he would prefer that both boards examine the feasibility of working with Suffolk County to open the beach to the west of the pavilion instead. At last Thursday’s work session that was attended by the Trustees, Mr. Schneiderman said he thinks that too many people use Hot Dog Beach and that introducing off-road vehicles could put sunbathers in harm’s way.

He also pointed out that Hot Dog Beach already boasts a parking lot and sanitation system for public restrooms, and that the town already has plans to upgrade the beach access point—modifications that could, in turn, attract additional visitors.

“You can’t really mix the two,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “People can’t be laying on their blankets and having a bunch of trucks going around.”

Trustee Ed Warner Jr. said the beach that the supervisor now has in mind is part of Shinnecock County Park West, sits between Tiana Beach and Road L, and is wide enough to accommodate both foot and four-wheel drive traffic. He pointed out that the county owns the beach, but the Trustees control the road that leads to it; he also suggested that the two could work together to open the stretch to off-road vehicles.

Mr. Schneiderman said if the town pursues this option, he wants to make sure it limits the number of vehicles allowed on the beach at one time—though an exact number has not been discussed.

“So much has to be done, realistically,” Trustee Scott Horowitz said on Friday, adding that his board needs to consider the environmental impact of opening a beach to four-wheel drive vehicles. The town began considering opening up a second beach after oceanfront homeowners in Southampton Village filed suit, alleging that the Trustees do little to regulate the number of vehicles accessing the beach near their properties, a stretch known as the “Picnic Area.”

“It’s not as easy as waving a magic wand,” Mr. Horowitz said. “We have to make a lot of inquiries to line a lot of ducks up.”

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Nothing like car fumes on the beach on a nice summer day, walking in tire tracks and dirt from the road, and having some cowboy riding up on the Dunes. Too many people, too little beach, leave the trucks in the parking lots. I hope they have Public Hearings on this.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Dec 20, 16 5:35 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By GregBall (19), Costa Mesa, California on Dec 21, 16 5:45 AM
Driving the beach is our birth right, we have had our access reduced to a tiny bit of beach in the Village, KUDOS for the Trustees and Town Board working together to regain some of our access.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 20, 16 5:56 PM
I know some of you are passionate about your 4-wheel access, but a birth right? What about those that love the beach and want to preserve it for public access to a public beach, not disturbed by car fumes, tire tracks and dirt from the road and the occasional cowboy that thinks he/she owns the beach. I will respectfully disagree on this and I hope the Town holds public hearings or conducts an on-line survey thee way they did the Ponquogue Pavilion renovation to see how many residents really want ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Dec 20, 16 6:17 PM
Is this my pal
By GregBall (19), Costa Mesa, California on Dec 21, 16 5:45 AM
Let's see, rich people in Quogue, nope can't have trucks on the beach there, rich people in Southampton village can't have trucks there, I know we can stick them on the poor folks beach in HB. Too bad that beach between K & L is only 2 feet wide at high tide.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 20, 16 7:58 PM
4 members liked this comment
But wait! Isn't this where the Coast Guard museum is supposed to be?

Certainly in the PT Barnum school of politics.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Dec 20, 16 11:50 PM
Hi Greg!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 21, 16 6:25 AM
So unnecessary.
Dune Rd. has sooo much beach access and there are plans to build at least one expanded parking area, in addition to one just west of Tiana that was recently completed.

You can easily stroll from beach to beach on dune rd, there is very little sand that is inaccessible. Adding vehicles will actually limit the amazing access that we have today.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 21, 16 9:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
sorry to disagree but the folks who choose to access our beaches by 4x4 are part of the public and have the right to be on the beach too, the fact that the one remaining area we have is crowded shows that we need more space and this effort by our elected officials is a small step in the right direction.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 21, 16 10:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
But there is no need for more 4x4 access. The only need is for maintained and expanded parking facilities for all people and vehicle types so that beach access is truly expanded and protected.

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 21, 16 11:22 AM
Actually, There IS a need for more 4 x 4 access
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 21, 16 5:47 PM
A lot of residents have enjoyed driving onto the beach for decades, it's what we do, load up the truck with the grill, chairs, umbrellas, coolers, surf boards, paddle boards, fishing rods, kids and the dog ,drive on ,set up and enjoy the day, a time honored tradition. Expanding parking does nothing for this segment f the tax paying public. We only have one small area on the ocean, the rest of the Town of Southampton's shoreline is off limits , for now.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 21, 16 11:58 AM
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I believe that the Town needs to differentiate the need of thousands of residents for safe, clean, tranquil public access to public beaches versus the wants of potentailly just a small percentage. The public (people) access to the beach is limited. My family has gone to the beach for decades schlepping all their stuff from the parking lot out of respect for the beach as well as other beach goers. The Town should open it up to a survey of the residents and see what they actually get before they ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Dec 21, 16 6:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
There is nothing unsafe about 4 x 4's on the beach. There has never been an injury reported from the "picnic area'" due to a 4 x 4 vehicle. The access is shared by walkers and ORV"s. I believe the same is true for Truck Beach . Theres actually quite a rich history of beach driving here on the East End. LIBBA was started by a group of local men in 1958. A Southampton beach buggy was on display at a past exhibit, 'Beach Bound' at the Long Island Museum of Arts History and Carriages, MUSEUMS: From ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 22, 16 7:53 AM
1 member liked this comment
I enjoy driving on the beaches in Hampton Bays, and I am permitted to do so almost all year long except between 9am and 6pm during peak summer months. And this long-standing tradition makes sense. The beaches are mostly empty during the off-season, and during the summer most parents prefer not to have big 4-wheelers drive around them while they and their children relax in the sand. The current rules are fair for everyone and should not be changed.
By Bayman (56), Hampton Bays on Dec 22, 16 10:47 AM
Exactly - HB is reported to have 13,000 residents year round and grows to 31,000 in the summer. The rules should stay the way the are.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Dec 22, 16 2:53 PM
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I understand where you are coming from . But change is happening all around us and it is the inevitalbe, wether we like it or not. We have had change forced upon us and we dont like it. Nobody wants their traditions ruined by greed. And that greed has forced us to look to our neighbors to the West to support us local people. Many people come from Hampton Bays to enjoy the Picnic Area....when there is no room left for our neighbors from HB to frequent the Picnic Area, well, where do they go? Off ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 23, 16 7:54 AM
2 members liked this comment
I think that this comment misconstrues the issue.

We understand your passion about beach driving but maybe it's time that you look at the big picture.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 24, 16 10:13 AM
Took U long enough , I was waiting. My comment is perfectly clear. Misconstrues nothing!! I am very well aware of the entire picture. I would ask that YOU look at the big pic! Happy Holidays ! See you at the Beach !!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 26, 16 7:38 AM
There's not really a point in talking with you if you're position is just (all caps) 'more 4x4 access regardless of what others think or where we put it'...

There's plenty of thoughtful local people who are willing to have actual productive conversations about beach access for all, so...good luck with you screaming.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 26, 16 2:04 PM
Some people are so predicatble.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 27, 16 7:39 AM
But the rich folk who bought land and built Mega McMansions on the beach in Southampton don't want the dirty trucks and the working class who drive them on their beach any more, so elected officials who get their campaigns funded by these rich folk need to find a solution. And that solution is to open a beach that is already open 8 months a year and part time after 6pm the rest of the year to trucks, no matter that it will be closed by the Piping Plovers nesting the rest of the year. It's a promise ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 22, 16 7:39 PM
Not for nothing but a lot of the folks utilizing the LAST REMAINING VESTIGE OF OUR 4X4 ACCESS are from HB, Quogue and Flanders! The TOWN beaches are for all TOWN residents, opening this section of beach under discussion will benefit these very folks ! Our traditions are slowly being destroyed , difficult times indeed, thank God our elected officials have listened to their employers! Merry Christmas one and all.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 25, 16 12:57 PM
Merry Xmas bigfresh. The point is not that 4x4 driving on the beach is bad. The issue is that the proposal is to withdraw the wide beach in Southampton village and "substitute" a "new" area in Hampton Bays. The area proposed for 4x4 driving in K and L road area already permits beach driving except for between 9 and 6 for 4 months a year. Also, this is a really narrow beach, not the wide beach to the east of the Suffolk County beach east of the Inlet. Further, the road is closed from flooding ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 26, 16 5:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Dfree, the beach in question would be in addition to the one in Southampton and would serve a dual purpose . First, it will provide a year round 4x4 access able beach in the largest population center in the Town, second, it will help reduce the number of vehicles on the other beach. Hopefully Jay and our Trustees will rethink Hot Dog Beach and open up some of that too. The more space we have to spread out, the better it will be for all concerned. Before we were confined to our current patch of beach ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 27, 16 3:13 PM
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The beach in question is already open to 4x4's just not in the summer between 9am and 6pm. I have a 4x4 permit and love to drive on the beach but since I usually need to be somewhere by 9am I don't really notice the restriction. It was my understanding that this new proposal was in order to replace the eastern beach driving, not supplement it. Kind of moot anyway as the Dune Road access will be washed out more and more and if Piping Plover Protection is still a thing in the next Federal administration ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Dec 27, 16 4:41 PM
In no way will additional 4x4 access replace what little we already have.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 27, 16 6:17 PM
I appreciate your desire for more 4x4 access but I think this is a substitution ploy not an addition plan. Also just west of Tiana is one of the Sandy storm washover areas. If it wasn't for the dumping of hundreds of truckloads of sand it would be an inlet, and may be one again soon. If you want to drive unrestricted, it's better to get a Green Key Suffolk County beach driving permit and use Cupsogue and Shinecock East as your access and fight to retain the current Town access, restricted between ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 28, 16 5:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Certainly NOT a substitution plan. Just a BF said, the Town is looking to open additional areas. The People have asked for this. We have attended countless meetings re: Picnic Area and options for more access.

Shinnecock East is no longer an option as they reach full capacity in the summer months. And with the erosion, about 40 camp sites were closed this past summer! Prior to this past summer, a large part of the Picnic Area's congestion was due to the overflow from Shinnecock East. The ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 28, 16 7:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
I stand by statement that any recovered access will be in addition to what we now have. As Town residents we have the right to access OUR beaches and our efforts to regain some of what has been lost will continue unabated. The weekend crowds on all 4x4 beaches prove that we need additional access, thankfully our elected officials agree.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 28, 16 6:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
Some of you are passionate about YOUR access via 4 X 4. We have all lost access. As Jay said, beachgoers and 4 X 4's don't mix. This is the last stretch of beach you can walk without worrying about the high tide water mark. It is disgusting to have to walk in tire tracks or encounter the the occasional cowboy that thinks someone walking needs to get out of THEIR way in the their 4 X 4. Like the idiot that thought it was a good idea to have his dog run along side his truck - not paying any ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Dec 28, 16 7:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Imo, the vehicles driving on the beach at 10 mph have the right of way to walkers....When walking to the lavatory, I move out of the way of the vehicles , just as I do everywhere else, roads, parking lots etc. The tire tracks make the long walk to the lavatory less daunting.

One freak accident with a dog shouldn't mean that we are ALL bad apples. Join us for a Sunday on the beach. I promise u the BEST Sunday ever! Dont knock it til you try it.

By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 28, 16 8:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
No issues at the Picnic Area between folks walking and those accessing our beach via 4x4. I am extending the invitation to join us there any time you like. Not sure what you mean about worrying about the high tide line? The stretch of beach you reference is accessible by 4x4 year round so it seems as if you want us off the beach? Please elaborate. Thanks.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 28, 16 7:24 AM
So by "picnic area" you're referring to the area immediately to the east of Shinecock East County park? The G Road access? First, that's a solid 30 minute drive in the summer from HB, and it's my understanding that new mega McMansion owners that built those dunebusters are trying to eliminate it as a 4x4 area. The area in HB that is being promoted already has 4x4 driving just not between 9am and 6pm in the summertime. Are you aware that this beach is much narrower than the beach to the East of ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 28, 16 11:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, the Picnic Area is just East of Shinnecock East, at the end of the County park. 4 X 4's can easily access the PA. The Access road is NOW at the back end of parking lot at the Heliport and technically it is NOT an alphabet road. The area has become rather eroded, sadly. And its a good 20-30 min ride, even for ppl coming from North Sea. And yes the the mcmansions dont want us. Its equivalent to people buying a home next to an airport an than trying to shut it down! We have beach access rights ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 29, 16 8:08 AM
Could probably free up plenty of space at the picnic area if you got the surf camps out of there...
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 28, 16 12:22 PM
Wow, we actually agree on something!!! And you are correct, it would free up some space. But sadly , The Village allowing them to operate has brought too much attention to the Picnic Area. Its not so much a hidden gem anymore! FOIL Request shows that the largest increase in stickers sales was when the camp was LEGALLY allowed to operate and continues. Local Beachgoers petitioned the Camp.

If you become a member of Saba, you will know which Village an Town meetings to attend ....Hope you ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 29, 16 7:49 AM
This is not a US VS THEM situation. We are all town residents and as I stated above, many of the beach goers using the picnic area are from HB, the beach under discussion when opened to full time 4x4 access will benefit all of us. We are not being "thrown off" of the beach in Southampton .
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 28, 16 12:40 PM
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Adlkjd-------- enforcing the existing law and getting the surf lessons off the beach would help the situation immensely
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 28, 16 12:42 PM
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The residents of Hampton Bays have not been involved in the fight to retain the "picnic area" 4x4 7/24 access. The reason this discussion has come up is because there is an attempt to remove that access. The area proposed in Hampton Bays, unlike the G Road "picnic area", is easily accessible on foot by people parking at the eastern end in the Tiana lot, K Road or L Road, all town beach permit parking. Further, given the restriction of Federal Piping Plover protection, these beaches are all accessible ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 29, 16 4:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
I am not familiar with the beaches in HB. I am however pleased to see a local HB resident trying to offer an logic solution to this problem. I do hope your suggestion makes sense to the Town Officials and this beach you mentioned could be a happy solution. Its all about compromise with a little love thy neighbor added in.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Dec 29, 16 8:19 AM
Join SABA and become part of the solution. There are opportunities for more beach access that have been ignored.
By Lefts, Rights, A-Frames (3), Water Mill on Dec 29, 16 12:17 PM
I would be happy to show you, and any government official that seem unfamiliar with the geography west of the canal, all these beaches. Just to be clear though -- on the full moon week, at high tide, the water on Dune Road between K Road and L Road is often up to my hubs and I have a solid 3" lift and Interco 33s on my 4x4. The area that I think is being suggested, west of the very popular and crowded Ponquogue Beach pavillion parking lot and further to K Road and L Road is about a 1 mile stretch ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Dec 29, 16 12:36 PM
Welcome aboard LEFTS RIGHTS AND A FRAMES great point regarding SABA thanks
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 29, 16 1:57 PM
1 member liked this comment