Currituck beach parking: Visitors to pay $50 for 10-day permit

By on March 21, 2018

Currituck’s new parking fees are intended to limit the number of vehicles during the summer. (Dee Langston)

A revised master fee schedule for Currituck County was tucked into the consent agenda for Monday night’s meeting of the county’s Board of Commissioners.

A highlight of the new schedule?

The cost of parking permits for the off-road area of the county’s beaches.

Under the new fee schedule, a parking permit for non-residents will cost $150 per season, which runs from 12:01 a.m. on the Friday before Memorial Day through 11:59 p.m. on Labor Day.

A 10-day beach parking permit will cost non-resident visitors to the off-road area $50. The schedule doesn’t include discounts for beach-goers who only want to spend a day or a weekend at the beach, or for those who are renting a beach house for the standard seven-day rental period.

The fees won’t apply to Currituck County residents and non-resident property owners, who will be allowed free permits for each vehicle they own. The permits will be assigned to an individual vehicle, and aren’t transferable.

In addition, two seasonal guest permits are allowed for each house in the off-road area that is part of a verified rental program. Two guest parking passes are also allowed for houses owned by a full-time resident of the four-wheel drive area.

Unlike the free beach parking permits issued to county residents, guest passes aren’t assigned to a particular vehicle.

Commissioners approved an ordinance requiring a permit to park on the beach during its regular meeting Monday, March 5.

During the public comment section of Monday’s meeting, Ben Wilson of Moyock questioned the section of the ordinance that allows for guest passes for residents of the four-wheel drive area, but doesn’t include guest passes for those who live in the rest of the county.

Wilson said he and his wife have two adult sons and six grandchildren who join them for visits to Currituck’s beaches several times a year.

“They like to go out to watch the horses, do a little fishing, go to the playground … You could almost call me a day-tripper,” he said, adding that visiting Carova makes for an hour and 45 minute drive each way.

Two extra, no-cost permits that aren’t vehicle specific would allow his family to continue their summer expeditions as they have in the past.

“Both sons have four-wheel drive,” Wilson said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll have one permit, but it will be vehicle-specific,” he added.

“Why can’t my family, or any other family in Currituck County, have those two additional permits, for when friends come in to visit?”

The ordinance passed earlier this month allows for certain exceptions to the parking pass rule, including people working for a government entity, commercial fishermen and hunters with a valid hunting license.

Outdoor tour operators are also except from the parking pass requirements. Commissioner Bob White is the owner of several outdoor tour businesses on Currituck’s Outer Banks.

The Board of Commissioners voted 5-1 March 5 to require the parking permits for the off-road section of the county’s beaches. Commissioner Kitty Etheridge was absent; Commissioner Mike Hall voted against the proposal.

The parking permits are intended to cut back on the amount of traffic on the county’s northern beaches, which are clogged with vehicles, beach-goers and anglers during the summer months.

“The number-one issue is safety,” Commissioner Bob White said during the March 5 meeting. “These roads are our roads. This is how I get home every day. If we don’t get control over the amount of traffic up there, we’ve got a very real problem.”

The new ordinance requires permits to park on the 14-mile stretch of beach from Corolla village to the state line during the height of the summer tourist season. Anyone may park on the beach during the rest of the year at no charge.


  • roberta

    this is what happens when something is free it gets abused. why not just ban beach driving altogether during the summer? whatever happened to walking to the water? why not just allow beach bikes and human powered machines? I personally did not like people driving on the beach when I am sitting in my chair I tell you, I don’t trust people driving their cars. they cant drive right on the regular roads. people are basically selfish and abuse things.

    Friday, Mar 23 @ 2:31 pm
  • Yes

    Why the fee now when there wasn’t one before. Is traffic really the problem or does Currituck County Government see themselves as the Getaway Location for the more afluent. Keeping the riff-raff of 4×4 loving poor folks out is now the way to go. Maybe the owners of Duck Deli saw this on the horizon. Because us so-called ‘poor’ 4×4 owners have money too. We just don’t use Mr. White’s business to see the beach.

    Saturday, Mar 24 @ 5:24 am
  • Bud

    Dare county has many miles of beach to drive on during the summer. Not sure what you refer to Beach goers.

    Saturday, Mar 24 @ 7:02 am
  • Bud

    To Beach goer, I mention those states specifically because that is where the problem people come from.

    Saturday, Mar 24 @ 8:18 am
  • Ducknc

    No one sees a conflict of interest with Mr. Bob White who owns those businesses that are constantly going back an forth on the beach and causes a danger for even the owners up there.????

    Monday, Mar 26 @ 5:19 pm
  • Jeff

    This is stupid. It’s a public beach that I’m sure gets federal dollars and they want to keep people from enjoying it. Simple solution is to make sure all parked vehicles are out of the drive lanes. Another solution is to patrol it. This should already be in the budget. You shouldn’t take an additional $50 from vacationers. If I’m going to pay $50 to have access to beach, then I’m going to give it to National Park Services. Not some greedy locals. You think that just because you own a house or vacation rental up the northern end that you should get a private drive? This is not fair. If Mr. Bob White is profiting from this, that is just pure greed. He should be ashamed of himself.

    Tuesday, Mar 27 @ 1:22 pm
  • BigSarge

    Easy fix—set up a couple toll booths. OBX residents show proof of residence, and ride free. Guests pay a daily rate. Done

    Wednesday, Mar 28 @ 6:09 pm
  • Edward

    I agree with Jeff and BigSarge. But, my question is, if you purchase an ORV pass for use on the other beaches, do you have to purchase a separate pass just for the northern beaches? Sometimes you have to go with the flow, in that, I purchase an ORV pass for use on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island, but I do take a day or two and drive up to the 4×4 in Corolla and Carova to relax and hopefully see the horses. I realize that nowadays, you just aren’t going to get away from spending money, because everybody wants to be greedy and charge you for something.

    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 12:01 am
  • Sam Walker

    As we have repeatedly noted in our coverage of this issue:
    -The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is managed by the National Park Service and has its own pass.
    -The beaches of Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills are managed by the towns and have their own pass.
    -The Currituck beaches are managed by the county and are implementing their own pass.

    There is no “combined pass”, and that is not something that has been discussed.
    Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills did combine their passes two years ago, but to have three local government units and a federal unit combine their passes would likely take an act of Congress, literally.

    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 7:54 am
  • Bud

    Hatteras is cheaper and for 12 months. The Currituck area is being absolutely destroyed by these transplant yuppies.

    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 7:35 am
  • Bud

    OBX = obnoxious

    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 7:36 am
  • Edward


    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 10:15 am
  • Jeff

    Another thing…. if I buy an out of state fishing license, I’m not allowed to fish up there?? I say if nobody can park up there then Bob White should not be allowed too! Keep it moving!

    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 1:08 pm
  • Diane

    How can the Commissioners say this fee is for safety purposes when the only the parked vehicles have to pay??? This is rather stupid!!! The safety concern should be with the tour vehicles and 4 x 4’s who are constantly driving up and down the beach all day?? Oh, I forgot -Mr. White’s tour vehicles don’t have to pay!!! And as he stated “these roads are our roads” I guess we are all trespassing!!!??

    Saturday, Apr 7 @ 3:20 pm
  • Van

    Who owns the public beach, Currituck, North Carolina, Who. If Currituck doesn’t want traffic on the beach then they should pony up and pay for a road to the Va line or quit bitchin and quit trying to screw the public. I don’t know who this Bob White character is but he sounds like another greasy politician who just wants to line his own pocket at the public expense. Currituck needs to drain the swamp.

    Saturday, Apr 7 @ 10:23 pm