Currituck looks into requiring beach parking passes for visitors

CURRITUCK COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — The Currituck County Board of Commissioners is considering an ordinance that would require visitors to get a pass before they can park on the county’s beaches.

The ordinance could be implemented as early as May 1.

“We’re trying to minimize the congestion on the 4 by 4 beach, over the years it’s grown to the point it’s barely manageable,” said Board Chairman, Bobby Hanig.

He says they are the only beaches in North Carolina that you don’t have to pay to get onto right now, and that it all comes down to public safety.

“We feel the time has come for that change to happen, if we don’t get control of our beaches now with the future growth we are going to experience, it’s going to be extremely difficult to do it in the future,” said Hanig.

Hanig says the minimum parking permit would cost $50 for a 10 day pass and then $150 for an annual one.

Currituck County residents and land owners would be able to park for free.

Clark Twiddy, who manages vacation rentals in Currituck County, says the ordinance’s timing is bad.

“To do it now, January is our busiest booking month of the year, a lot of folks don’t understand folks are making vacation decisions now for the summer so when we begin to change things in the heat of the booking season we become especially sensitive to guests saying, ‘well that doesn’t make sense let me go down to Dare County,'” said Twiddy.

Twiddy says he’d much rather they start the permit parking next year to give people more of a heads-up.

Twiddy explained he hopes there will be some type of public hearing on the issue before it’s passed.

The commissioners will look at the draft and possibly approve it at their next meeting February 19.