WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It certainly doesn’t feel like beach weather out there, but soon it will be ready to hit the sand.

“Last week, it was shorts,” said Brent Coscia, of West Haven. “This week, we’re back to scarves and hats.”

In no time, Connecticut beaches will be packed with residents and visitors.

“I’m ready for the good weather,” said Susan Webster, who lives in West Haven. “I’m ready for a great season in 2023.”

However, West Haven beaches will see changes to parking this year. The city is working with Premium Parking to launch a digital parking payment program at beach lots.

While the kiosks are not yet operational, they will be up and running for the summer.

“The way forward is license plate readers,” said Tom McCarthy, the commissioner of public works for West Haven.

Residents will still get free parking, but instead of beach stickers, their license plate numbers will be uploaded into a database and scanned as they enter the lot.  For non-residents, they can text or scan to pay right through the app and will have the option of hourly or full-day rates.

“From the minute you pass that reader, you have 15 minutes to start a session,” McCarthy said. “If you stayed there for 30 minutes and you didn’t do anything, you’ll automatically get a ticket in the mail.”

According to Premium Parking and the city, the projected revenue over the first five years of the program is $1.9 million. Parking rates have not been finalized.

Webster said she hopes it improves parking.

However, others are wary.

“Every move they make, where they park their car, where they drive, where they live, everything’s being watched,” said Richie Clark, of Hamden.

The video below aired in our 5 p.m. newscast on April 19, 2023.