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Gas grills could be banned from Fifth Street Beach Park as village weighs new rules

To discourage large gatherings, should Greenport Village ban gas grills from the park at Fifth Street Beach?

In response to complaints about parking, crowds and noise last summer, officials have been working to come up with a clear set of rules that can be posted when the park opens this summer.

The “common thread” among suggestions from trustees included closing the park at dusk, banning amplified music and requiring a permit for organized events of over 25 people, mayor George Hubbard Jr. said at a work session Thursday.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said she suggested a ban on gas grills after observing people bring full size, backyard barbecues into the park. “I was uncomfortable seeing that happen,” she said. “I observed it more than once last summer.”

Mayor Hubbard said a ban might require the village to install additional charcoal grills for people to use. “Three does not suffice for the amount of people that are using them,” he said.

Some trustees questioned if the board could limit the type of gas grills that could be permitted within the park, noting that smaller, portable grills may be a safer option while also discouraging large groups from assembling.

The village may also purchase additional picnic tables for Fifth Street Beach and Ms. Phillips said she’d like to see the tables remain in Mitchell Park permanently. “People enjoyed having a place to sit and eat,” she said.

To better manage parking, lines are expected to be painted near the road end, Mr. Hubbard also said. 

In addition, a seasonal beach attendant may be added to the park on summer weekends. The board is expected to discuss the issue again at an upcoming work session.