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Southold officials consider following Riverhead’s beach permit system

A new proposal for issuing beach permits in Riverhead Town has officials in Southold rethinking their own permit structure for town facilities.

Riverhead’s recreation department may soon move to a tiered permit system that would allow residents to choose from different packages based on what type of permit they are seeking. Currently, Riverhead residents are required to obtain separate permits for beach parking, boat ramp use and four-wheel-drive access at Long Island Sound beaches.

Similarly, Southold issues separate permits for beach parking, boat trailers and entry to the town’s transfer station. “Riverhead is looking to simplify this process … It gets everything down to one sticker,” Supervisor Scott Russell explained during a discussion at a work session Tuesday. He suggested Southold imitate the tiered system by allowing residents to combine the different permits, which would then be color-coded based on the amenities they include. “You don’t have to buy what you don’t want,” he said.

Officials noted that residents often complain about the number of different permits required on their vehicles to use different facilities.

Mr. Russell said that he’d speak with the town’s comptroller to see how the revenue from each permit could be diverted to different departments while council members Jill Doherty and Bob Ghosio would work on a fee structure to discuss at a future work session.