While it was a cold and windy walk to the Baker House for the East Hampton Village Board work session on Thursday, only one thing was on the minds of the board members: the beach.
They agreed to raise the price for nonresident village beach parking passes, from $500 to $750 next year.
"During the last two years, our seasonal beach parking passes went from selling out in 11 days in 2021, to nine hours this year," Marcos Baladron, the village administrator, wrote in an email. "Though a quick sellout may be a good problem for the village, we're saddened to learn of the year-round local families who failed to secure a beach parking pass for their favorite village beach."
"But we do have some good news," Mayor Jerry Larsen said at the work session, before announcing that the village will have a one-day, in-person sale of permits on Friday, Jan. 27, at the firehouse at 1 Cedar Street. From 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. that day, those purchasing permits will pay $500.
"We wanted to allow people here year-round to take advantage of the lower-priced permit. If you truly are a year-round local, you will have an opportunity to get them at a discount," said Mayor Larsen.
To prove their town residency, the village will ask people to submit a vehicle registration and either an East Hampton Town tax bill or three utility bills with their East Hampton Town service address.
If beachgoers aren't around for the in-person sale, they won't have to stay up late to pay $750 for a pass during the online sale. In 2022, the online sale began at midnight, but this year it will start on Feb 1, at 9 a.m.
"With demand at an all-time high, the past year's midnight sales over the weekend were not acceptable to seniors, as many needed the help of relatives or friends to acquire passes via a website. The mayor wants Village Hall to be open at the start of our online sales, to help individuals acquire a beach parking pass over the phone, by email, or in person if they need help," wrote Mr. Baladron.
The village will have approximately 1,500 passes available for the in-person sale. One permit will be sold per person. As was the case for the 2022 season, 3,100 total passes will be sold. The number that sell on the 27th will be subtracted from the 3,100 total, and be available online starting Feb. 1.
"The board is in total agreement on this," said Mayor Larsen.