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Permits now required for beach parking

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A vehicle enters the northern beach area of the Currituck Outer Banks as another exits, Thursday. Starting today, non-county motorists will have to have a paid permit to park on a heavily traveled stretch of the beach.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Friday, May 25, 2018

CURRITUCK — Starting today, non-county motorists wanting to park on the beach along a heavily traveled strip of the Currituck Outer Banks will have to have a paid permit to do so.

The Currituck Board of Commissioners approved the parking permit system in March in response to concerns about increasing vehicle traffic in the off-road area, particularly in areas where beach-goers are concentrated.

The fee to park is $50 for a 10-day parking pass and $150 for a seasonal pass. County residents and property owners aren’t exempt from the permit but they are exempt from the fees. They’ll receive parking permits for each vehicle they own.

Commissioners directed that the permit system take effect on the Friday before Memorial Day and remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Labor Day.

The new parking restrictions apply to the off-road segment starting a mile and a half north of the North Beach Ramp at Milepost 13 and continuing to Albatross Lane at Milepost 17.

County residents who live full-time in the off-road area north of the North Beach Ramp may obtain two additional guest permits. Those permits won't be specific to a motor vehicle and may be used by guests of the resident.

Also, owners of rental property north of the North Beach Ramp may receive two additional guest permits or visitor passes to be used by renters staying on the property.

The parking permits are being issued at the county’s two welcome centers in Moyock and Corolla. They’re also available on the Internet.

Currituck Board of Commissioners Chairman Bobby Hanig said Thursday he has been receiving a number of compliments from residents about the ease of obtaining a parking permit.

Hanig said he has no idea how much revenue the permits will generate. However, he emphasized that money from the sale of passes will help pay for beach repairs or other needs in the off-road area.

It wasn’t clear how many permits the county has issued thus far. Attempts to get that figure from county officials was unsuccessful on Thursday.

The new parking permit system doesn't apply to county vehicles, emergency vehicles or any government agency conducting beach restoration scientific research. It also doesn’t apply to commercial fishermen or outdoor tour operators when conducting a tour. Nor does it apply to hunters on state or federal land on the Currituck Outer Banks.

Motorists who want to drive on the Currituck beaches also must comply with the county’s new “air-down” ordinance. According to the ordinance, air pressure in vehicle tires should not exceed 20 pounds per square inch.

Motorists needing to reduce the pressure in their tires should stop at the public beach access facility along Corolla Village Road.

Motorists exiting the off-road area may re-inflate their tires at new air stations installed in Historic Corolla Park. Those stations are in the front parking lot near the park’s main entrance.

 

For additional information, visit online at http://co.currituck.nc.us/beach-parking/.

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