Town Council to hear beach enforcement concerns
Editor’s note: The Portsmouth Press owner is a member of the town’s Shoreline Committee, which has not met since last fall.
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — New enforcements of parking bans on McCorrie Beach are raising concerns from local residents, who will speak with the Town Council on Monday evening.
According to Town Administrator Richard A. Rainer, the town is now enforcing a vehicular or pedestrian traffic and parking ban from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. per Town Code Section 250-13B. The ordinance is the “same as [for the] other town properties,” according to Rainer.
“The town has been grappling with complaints of unruly and uncivil behavior at McCorrie Point for many years,” wrote Rainer in an email exclusively to Portsmouth Press. “A community town hall meeting was held two years ago to try to come up with solutions which have only marginally mitigated the problems being reported.
“We believe the preponderance of objectionable behavior stems from people parking / fishing / partying late at night and are also of the belief that residents and neighbors are not trashing their neighborhood and defecating in the open.
“…By enforcing this ordinance, we hope to keep violators off the beach. We allow people who tell us they are residents to remain on the beach but ask them to move their vehicle. We also tell them they can bring the vehicle back down when they’re packing up. We’ve received compliments from many residents for the outcome.”
According to the town administrator, the new enforcements are working to improve the beach.
“Over the last month, complainants about speeding cars, loud music, vehicles doing donuts on the beach, unpermitted fires, and people defecating on public and private property have all but disappeared,” wrote Rainer.
However, many local residents claim access to the beach is part of their deeded rights.
Residents of McCorrie Beach held an informal meeting on Wednesday night at the beach. They will also discuss concerns with the Town Council on Monday evening.
Rainer calls the deeded rights complaints as “a misleading characterization.”
Town Code Section 250-13B reads as follows:
All vehicular or pedestrian traffic and parking on properties belonging to the Town shall be prohibited from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m., with the exception of properly authorized meetings, activities and recreational events. This subsection shall not apply to roads and rights-of-way owned or maintained by the Town.
Some residents also questioned if McCorrie Lane is considered a right-of-way.
The Town Council will discuss the issue at Monday’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.