Southold Town is moving to ban parking along the stretch of road that leads to Cedar Beach County Park in Southold, the latest effort to control overcrowding and enforcement issues at the bay beach there.
The parking ban would be in effect on both sides of Cedar Beach Road from Paradise Point Road to the dead end at the park entrance.
At a work session Tuesday the Town Board said beyond just limiting access to the beach for non-Suffolk County residents, the parking ban addresses a safety issue along the roadway.
“It’s very narrow and once people park on both sides of the road that could be a safety hazard for ambulances and fire trucks,” Councilman Jim Dinizio said.
But Mr. Dinizio added that Suffolk County also has to do its part and not just allow non-residents to walk into the park, which is open to all county residents.
Enforcement issues at the beach have long been a multi-jurisdictional issue in that it’s a county park located off a town roadway. Last May, town and county leaders held a press conference at the park’s entrance announcing that after a rough start to the season, a private security firm had been hired to limit access to the park.
In an interview Thursday, County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) said that firm has not been retained this season, but the park’s entrance will be staffed with seasonal employees.
He said the issues last year, which included complaints from neighbors over fishermen littering and “using the beach as a toilet,” remain a concern.
Town Councilwoman Sarah Nappa, who serves as a liaison with the town’s Transportation Commission, which recommended the parking ban, said town police posted temporary no parking signs at the site last year. Now Mr. Krupski and town police Chief Martin Flatley want to see a more permanent stop to the parking along that stretch of road.
“We’re trying to get some control back,” Mr. Krupski said. “It was really sad what happened there. We’re talking about destruction of one of our great natural resources.”
Some Town Board members suggested the parking ban may need to be taken a step further and extended to North Bayview Road.
“That’s just the tip of the road end, not that whole stretch,” Councilwoman Jill Doherty said of the current proposal.
There are also homes around Sunrise and Sunset way off Cedar Beach Road that could be effected by the parking prohibition as it’s written now.
“My feeling is all it’s going to do is take the parking and put it in that subdivision and I know they’re gonna walk from there,” Mr. Dinizio said of the surrounding area.
The town set a public hearing to discuss the parking ban, which would be in effect at all times, for Tuesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held both in-person and virtually.