HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee held a hearing on Friday in Hartford to discuss what shoreline communities charge out-of-towners for parking at beaches.
Old Lyme is among many beach communities in Connecticut that charge non-residents more for beach parking than residents. In Old Lyme, it can cost as much as $75 a day to use the town lot at Sound View Beach.
A new bill would cap beach parking fees for non-residents to pay no more than twice that residents pay.
Supporters of House Bill 6650 said high fees charged by shoreline communities to out-of-towners make it too expensive for them to have equal access to the limited public beaches in Connecticut.
“I do believe our Connecticut residents deserve access to some of those same beaches considering the Connecticut shoreline is the most privately owned shoreline in the country,” said New Haven Rep. Roland Lamar.
Beach towns said those fees help pay for beach clean-up, parking lot maintenance, and rangers. Others testified to the same thing while one lawmaker questioned why some fees were so high.
“The fees we charge to non-residents are both fair, they’re vetted, and necessary to maintain our parks and our beaches without state or federal assistance,” said Fred Camillo, Greenwich First Selectman. (R)
Those numbers though may be based on the number of residents who some argue should have access to beaches they support through their taxes. When those beaches reach capacity residents cannot get in.