Now, Resident-Only Parking at Ditch

The East Hampton Town Board adopted new regulations for parking at the lots serving the ocean beach at Ditch Plain in Montauk last week. Jane Bimson

In an effort to improve conditions at the three parking lots serving the Ditch Plain ocean beach in Montauk, the East Hampton Town Board amended the town code at its meeting last Thursday, and also voted to prohibit parking on the entirety of Leeton Road on Napeague during the summer season. 

With respect to the popular Ditch Plain Beach, the board voted to designate the westernmost lot, where a comfort station is situated, as resident-only parking. Also added to the code is a resident or nonresident permit requirement for cars parking at the Otis Road lot, between the dead end at the beach line and Deforest Road. The board also voted to prohibit the parking of trailers at all three lots. The regulations are in effect 24 hours per day and year round. 

Another amendment, adding a $425 penalty for parking on Deforest Road, drew questions from a Springs resident. To establish a $425 penalty “for one road,” David Buda said, “is extremely onerous, unique, bizarre. Is this the most important road in the town that it needs to have a unique parking penalty? I don’t think so.” 

But Richard Monahan of Montauk, an emergency medical technician, thanked the board for its action, which he said was important given the difficulty in traversing the western lots during emergencies. The amendments, he said, “will alleviate that problem.” 

The board also voted to prohibit parking on all of Leeton Road, which runs parallel and to the south of Montauk Highway near the ocean beach between Atlantic and Dolphin Drives. Signs at present prohibit parking on half of the narrow street, and the code amendment will add that prohibition to its entirety. The prohibition is in effect from May 15 to Oct. 1. 

Also last Thursday, the board adopted a law to address multiple utility poles on town highways and rights of way. As a pole is replaced because of damage or deterioration, utilities often erect a new one next to it without removing the original. The law requires any entity receiving a permit to install a utility pole that is next to or in close proximity to another one to remove the double pole within 60 days. 

The amendment “allows us to have an enforcement mechanism for safety standards that have been too lax in the town for a while,” Councilman David Lys said on Monday. The law addresses the visual blight presented by unused poles, he said. “Another thing is, poles have a lot of chemicals in them, and if they don’t need to be there I think they should remove them. This allows us to take a more direct action against utilities for not being so mindful of the residents of the Town of East Hampton in removing of their equipment.”

The board will return to the subject of parking at its meeting next Thursday. The meeting will include public hearings on a proposal to modify parking at the municipal lot in Amagansett and at that hamlet’s Long Island Rail Road station. In the municipal lot, following long discussion by the hamlet’s citizens advisory committee and the town board, parking at approximately 10 spaces in the southernmost row would be limited to 30 minutes.

At the train station’s small lot, where cars have long been parked for weeks and months at a time, the town-owned spaces, on the south and west sides of the lot, would be limited to 72 hours. (The Metropolitan Transportation Authority owns part of the lot.) As with the municipal lot, the hamlet’s citizens advisory committee had taken note of the scarcity of parking at the station and brought it to the board’s attention. 

The hearings will be held during the 6:30 p.m. meeting at Town Hall.