The Oyster Bay Town Board plans to consider offering 10 parking spots for free at its Charles E. Ransom Beach lot in response to Bayville business owner complaints.
“In order to be responsive to the village and store owners, Supervisor [Joseph] Saladino and the Town Board will approve 90 minute parking at 10 spots dedicated to shoppers and those dining in Bayville,” Oyster Bay Town spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email.
The town has long charged motorists to park at the lot near Stehli Beach, across from a row of restaurants on Bayville Avenue. But last year, officials stopped staffing the booth that checked motorists’ parking stickers and charged those who hadn’t purchased the stickers.
The town resumed enforcing parking fees this year to address an “influx of nonresidents using town beaches and skirting parking fees,” Nevin said.
Bayville Chamber of Commerce president Vincent Moscato said beachgoers got used to not paying to use the parking lot last year and now use street parking on Bayville Avenue, taking up spots favored by shoppers.
“People don’t want to pay the fee to go to Stehli Beach, so they’ve been parking in front of all the businesses, so there’s no parking for the customers who want to go to the pizzeria or the gyro place,” Moscato said.
And summer is the season when restaurants facing the beach expect to make most of their profits, owners said.
“Right now I’m supposed to make money,” said Pasquale Del Prete, owner of Ralph’s Pizza on Bayville Avenue. “But because of this, we’re dead.”
Del Prete, who bought the business last year, said he’s had to reduce his staff and business is down by 30 percent to 40 percent. Last year “it was great, everything was OK,” he said.
The town charges Oyster Bay residents $60 for a seasonal parking pass or $20 for a day to use the 134-space parking lot. Nonresidents are charged $50 per day on weekdays and $60 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
“Maybe make it a little more affordable,” Del Prete said. “Five or 10 dollars so people can come here and enjoy the day — not 50, 60 dollars. Who’s going to come here?”
Moscato said the town should allow customers to park at the Ransom Beach lot with validation from the restaurants rather than setting aside a limited number of free spots.
“I don’t think 10 spaces is going to cut it,” Moscato said.