Town of Southampton, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
It shall be unlawful outside the incorporated villages for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle on bay beach areas or ocean beach areas between the Friday immediately preceding Memorial Day and the 15th day of September in each year between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. except for areas specifically designated by resolution of the Trustees for daytime use. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no vehicles shall be allowed on Foster Memorial Beach (commonly known as Long Beach, Noyack) at any time from May 15 to September 14 at 12:00 midnight. [Note: Exceptions in Subsections J, K, L and M.] 4 x 4 beach driving within the incorporated village areas shall be regulated in accordance with legislation promulgated by the incorporated villages.
[Amended 2-24-2016]
B. 
No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle on bay beach areas or ocean beach areas outside of the incorporated villages unless said vehicle is registered and unless the driver or operator is covered by a liability insurance policy equivalent to that required by the State of New York for the operation of a motor vehicle upon public highways and unless said vehicle displays a resident ID on the front bumper to operate said motor vehicle in said area from the Town Trustees. Such resident ID shall be issued by the Trustees upon application, if the applicant possesses a valid license to operate a motor vehicle on public highways and executes an affidavit that said vehicle contains the following equipment: jack, jack board, tow chain or rope, air-pressure gauge, tire inflation device and shovel. Resident IDs will only be issued to four-wheel-drive vehicles. Resident IDs will expire on December 31 of the calendar year of issue. The fee for said permit shall be established by a resolution duly adopted by the Board of Trustees.
C. 
No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle on bay beach areas or ocean beach areas unless said vehicle is equipped as prescribed in the foregoing subsection.
D. 
No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle in excess of 10 miles per hour on any beach areas or ocean beach areas within the Town.
E. 
No person shall drive or operate any all-terrain vehicle (ATV) (including quads, Mules, Gators) or motorcycle at any time on any bay beach areas or ocean beach areas within the Town.
F. 
No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle on any dunes, beach grasses or wetlands vegetation of any kind.
G. 
The Town Trustees reserve the right to temporarily close any beach areas or any part thereof to vehicular traffic during periods of severe beach erosion or for any other reason that they deem necessary. Signs will be posted in conspicuous access areas to advise the public of the location and duration of any temporary closure.
H. 
No person shall display or use a four-wheel-drive vehicle permit unless said permit properly applies to the vehicle owner's residency status at the time of said use and is displayed only on the vehicle for which it was issued.
I. 
In addition to other penalties provided herein, any person to whom a permit has been issued who violates a provision of Subsection A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H shall have said permit revoked when it is legally determined that any subsection has been violated. If such violation is the first violation of this section, such person shall be eligible to apply for, purchase, and receive a new permit. A person shall not be eligible for issuance of a permit if he or she had twice violated the provisions of this section within one year from the date of application.
J. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to Town, county, or state employees or contractors working under the direction or supervision of the Town, or emergency vehicles.
K. 
The provisions of Subsection A shall not apply to a commercial fisherman holding a valid New York State Department of Environmental Conservation resident marine commercial food fish fishing license actively engaged in a commercial fishing activity. All other restrictions shall apply.
L. 
Nothing contained in this article shall prevent the launching or retrieval of boats from the terminus of the Town or Trustees' roads, except as provided in Article XIV.
M. 
Special daytime use areas. Daytime 4 x 4 access beach driving and parking are permitted in the following areas:
(1) 
Peconic Bay access: At the foot of Cold Spring Road, beach parking is allowed in a section extending 300 feet east of road to boulder, as indicated by a sign. Access shall only be from Cold Spring Road.
A. 
Bay beaches.
(1) 
Bay beaches associated with tidal waters within the Town of Southampton, defined as the area between the mean low- and mean high-water marks and known historically as the "passing way," are open to the freeholders and commonalty at all times, as follows:
(a) 
South Shore: all beaches associated with bays, tidal ponds and creeks from Moriches Inlet on the west to Sagaponack on the east, from the Brookhaven/Riverhead Town lines in the west to the East Hampton Town line in the east, including, but not limited to, Sagg Pond, Mecox Bay, Quantuck Bay, Moriches Bay, Tiana Bay, Shinnecock Bay, and all those inland creeks, bays or harbors, which border the Peconic Bay system. Said areas are owned by the Southampton Town Trustees.
(b) 
North Shore: all beaches associated with inland bays and creeks, from Reeves Bay on the west to Sag Harbor Cove on the east.
(c) 
Peconic Beach Road: all that area, 75 feet in width, owned by the Southampton Town Trustees, known as Peconic Beach Road, bounded on the east by Sebonac Inlet, bounded on the west by the entrance of Shinnecock Canal, bounded on the north by the high-water mark of Peconic Bay. West of the Canal is a right-of-way, designated by the Act of 1738, which terminates east of the east side of Red Creek Pond Inlet.
(d) 
Shinnecock Beach Road: all that area, 50 feet in width, owned by the Southampton Town Trustees, known as Shinnecock Beach Road, bounded on the east by the entrance to Old Fort Pond, bounded on the west by a point 300 feet west of Crab Road, Hampton Bays, bounded on the south by the high-water mark of Shinnecock Bay.
(e) 
All that area owned by the Town of Southampton which borders any tidal or fresh waters, including but not limited to Foster Memorial Beach in Noyack, Circle Beach (Hallock's Beach) in Noyack, and Towd Point in North Sea.
(f) 
The terminus of all Town or Town Trustee roads leading to any body of water within the Town.
(2) 
Any otherwise legal activity is permitted between the mean high-water and mean low-water marks, including but not limited to walking, sunbathing, fishing, beaching boats and hauling seines.
(3) 
Nothing herein shall be construed to sanction public trespass on private property.
(4) 
It shall be deemed a violation of these regulations for any person to block the public's access to beaches as set forth in this Subsection A.
B. 
Ocean beaches within the Town are open to the public at all times within the easement held by the Trustees consisting of the area between the high-water mark and the crest of the dune. In addition, the area between high water and low water is also a "passing way." The easement along the Atlantic Ocean is bounded on the north by the crest of the primary dune, on the east by the easterly Town line, on the south by the high-water mark of the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the westerly Town line. This area is a right-of-way granted by the Dongan Patent and upheld by subsequent court cases.
A. 
On ocean beaches, no fencing shall be installed more than 10 feet seaward of the toe of the dune. In the absence of a dune, a line drawn connecting the toes of the nearby dunes on either side shall be considered the toe.
B. 
Sand collection fencing, commonly known as "snow fencing" is to be placed parallel to the toe of dunes only. It is to be installed in any of three configurations: "straight run," running W," or "double diamond."
C. 
Beach fencing is to be installed solely for the collection of sand for the replenishment of the dunes. This fencing is not to be used for exclusionary purposes and shall not contain gates.
D. 
The owner of beach fencing not meeting Trustee regulations shall be notified and given 30 days to remove the fence.
E. 
Only wooden stakes or posts are to be used on the installation of snow fencing or any other erosion control device on the dunes or beaches in the Town of Southampton.
F. 
A permit from the Southampton Town Trustees is required for the erection of sand collection fencing. The permit fees for sand fencing are the same as for bulkheading (per linear foot).
G. 
All dune restoration/beach scraping projects must have a valid Trustee's permit.
H. 
No dune restoration/beach scraping projects may be done during the piping plover or least tern breeding season, April 1 through August 31 of any given year.
I. 
Sand fencing shall not be installed before March 1 (after the winter storms end) or during piping plover season (March 31 through September 15) without a plover inspection being done first.