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May 29, 2019 9:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Trustees To Tighten Rules On Beach Easement To Limit Overnight Obstructions

May 30, 2019 10:22 AM

For hundreds of years, the Southampton Town Trustees have held an easement that runs between mean high-water mark and the crest of the dune along the ocean and bay beaches that allows town residents free access to collect seaweed, fish and enjoy the sandy shores.

As the summer season approaches and the beaches become more crowded, however, ensuring the public’s access to the beach becomes more complicated. Some people chain kayaks or the like to stairs, retaining walls, fences or bulkheads without permission. Others leave fire pits and beach gear on the sand. Others leave litter.

For this reason, the Trustees are proposing new rules that would prevent people from blocking the easement from anyone on foot or in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, among other things. The rules would prohibit beach-goers from doing anything or placing anything in the Trustee-owned easement of any bay or ocean beach outside of the incorporated villages that could prevent people from passing.

The items include, and are not limited to, cinder blocks, umbrellas, chairs, tables, vessels and barbecue grills.

The proposed rules specifically say the items cannot be left for long periods of time, or overnight. The rules are also meant to deter people from leaving garbage on the beach.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Town Trustee Bill Pell posted a picture on Facebook of a pile of beer cans left on the beach.

“There’s always a few people who don’t get it—who ruined it for the rest of the people,” he said. “If you don’t respect what we have here, we will end up with more rules and regulations and things that we can’t do anymore.

“Moral of the story is, if you see someone leave garbage behind, just remind them to pick it up,” he added.

Trustee Bruce Stafford said he has seen more and more garbage left on the beaches over the years, and that he also has seen people leaving tables and chairs and chaining them together overnight.

It happens on all of the beaches, he said, including Sagg Main Beach, the beaches in Westhampton Beach and all the beaches along the Peconic Bay. “It’s a shared resource—we all use it and gotta get along,” Mr. Stafford said. “You bring it on the beach, you take it back with you. To leave beer bottles and unburnt firewood and regular garbage is wrong.”

The Trustees plan to hold a public hearing on the rule modifications on Monday, June 3, at 1 p.m. in Town Hall.

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“The rules would prohibit beach-goers from doing anything or placing anything in the Trustee-owned easement of any bay or ocean beach… that could prevent people from passing. The items include… umbrellas, chairs… The proposed rules specifically say the items cannot be left for long periods of time…The rules are also meant to deter people from leaving garbage…”

The rules are not meant to deter people from leaving garbage on the beach, but to deter ...more
By pigroast (100), East Quogue on May 30, 19 10:58 PM