Parking fees at the Ransom Beach lot in Bayville may fall sharply when the summer season starts under a proposal that requires Oyster Bay Town Board approval.
If approved, the proposed new daily fee structure would go into effect Memorial Day weekend and would charge $10 per vehicle to park at the Oyster Bay Town-owned lot on Bayville Avenue for those without a season parking sticker. The current rate is $20 for town residents who don’t have a $60 seasonal sticker. Nonresidents pay $50 on weekdays and $60 on weekends and holidays.
“The merchants were concerned that if we charged the regular rates people wouldn’t come for the day to eat there or frequent their stores, and we wanted to try to alleviate that issue,” Oyster Bay Parks Commissioner Joseph Pinto said Monday.
The proposal to reduce the rate, which the town board could vote on as soon as next week, grew out of discussions with Bayville merchants and elected village officials, Pinto said.
“That would be amazing,” Manny Kostakis, owner of Souvlaki Place, a Greek restaurant on Bayville Avenue said of the proposed decrease. Kostakis blamed the high parking fees for reduced sales last year by 20 percent during the important summer season as customers looked for cheaper dining options. “Ten dollars is not that big of a deal” to pay to park, he said.
The town has long charged daily parking fees at Ransom Beach. But in 2016, as officials struggled with the town’s financial problems, the town stopped staffing the booth that checked motorist’s parking stickers, meaning parking effectively became free. When the town resumed charging motorists to park at the beach lot in 2017, businesses complained that beachgoers heading to nearby Stehli beach would park all day for free in the spots meant for their customers.
For some people, the proposed $10 a day parking fee would still be too much for the beachfront restaurants.
“For the businesses there it’s quite a lot for someone to come in and have to pay a $10 fee to eat in a pizzeria or a Greek gyro place,” Bayville Chamber of Commerce President Vincent Moscato said. “I don’t think anyone should have to pay to park their car to go eat at Ralph’s [Pizzeria and Restaurant] or any of the restaurants there.”
Bayville Village Trustee Timothy Charon said the parking fee was a burden on seasonal businesses and should be scrapped altogether.
“It’s an unnecessary tax on people who are coming to shop in our restaurants and frequent our businesses,” Charon said. “The parking that they have along Bayville Avenue, it packs up pretty quick, especially in the summertime.”