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Citing overcrowding, Riverhead Town plans to limit beach passes again to residents only

Once again, Riverhead Town will not be selling non-resident beach stickers to town beaches this summer, as was the case last year and in 2020. 

“We got a lot of good feedback from our beach committee people and they’re pretty happy,” said Councilman Tim Hubbard, who is the Town Board liaison to that committee. 

“With the start of Covid, we found that people from up out west and particularly from the city area were coming out and using our beaches because their beaches were all closed,” Mr. Hubbard said. 

“That causes problems of overcrowding on the beach and the parking lots and our residents felt that wasn’t fair” because there wasn’t enough room for town residents to use the beaches, he added.

The Beach Committee, which advises the Town Board on beach issues, has urged the town to eliminate non-resident beach stickers. 

Ray Coyne, the town parks and recreation superintendent, said the town makes between $50,000 and $55,000 per year on the sale of the non-resident stickers.

“It’s been in that range for the past eight years,” he said. 

Councilman Frank Beyrodt asked if this would hurt hotels and motels in town. 

Mr. Coyne said the town already provides beach stickers to these businesses, which they can hand out to their guests while they’re here.

“Most of the people coming out here in the summer are going to the ocean,” Mr. Hubbard said. 

People visiting someone at their home would be able to get a permit. Officials said that other towns don’t allow non-residents on their beaches ether. The non-resident beach passes were approved by resolution and were only good for one year. The board plans to vote again at Tuesday’s meeting to carry the ban over for another year.

“Forget the money, I feel we’re doing a better service for our residents by the keeping the beaches closed to out-of-towners,” Mr. Hubbard said.