OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut shoreline is made up of both public and private beaches. Some are separated by a chain link fence like at Miami Beach in Old Lyme.

While there is always public access up to the highwater mark, those wanting to sit above that line in the sand often have to pay a hefty price at a public beach.

“We’re fine as non-residents paying a little bit more coming down from upstate,” said Meghan Rutherford of Burlington.

In Old Saybrook, residents pay $20 for a season parking pass and $30 for a second one. Non-residents pay $150 for the season.

“Well it makes sense financially for each district but myself I believe the beaches should be open to everyone,” said Fred Hartman.

Hartman is from the shoreline town of East Haven.

“I think it should be the same for everybody or not at all would be my first choice,” Hartman said.

Lawmakers in Hartford are considering legislation which looks at equal beach access.

Some legislators do not want non-residents to pay more than 50 percent of what residents do while other lawmakers are looking at prohibiting towns which receive state money for roads from restricting public parking on those roads near public beaches. That bill, however, was changed in committee to one which would just study the issue.

Often times those living along the shoreline say they are the ones paying taxes to keep up their beaches however people inland say that often times it is state money which maintains the shoreline and helps restore those same beaches after a storm.

“The people here pay taxes and if their tax… some of their tax money is going to fund the beaches and keeping the beaches clean and accessible to people I’m fine with them paying less,” Rutherford said.

The debate has been going on for decades.

“In the 50s when I visited my in-laws who had just moved to Madison, they were busing children from whatever city it was to no avail. I mean the children became a football between them. That’s not right,” said an Old Saybrook resident who did not want to be identified. “I don’t know why we can’t find a solution.”

In 2001, the state Supreme Court ruled non-residents have the right to use local municipal beaches.