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.


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  • Ed Sneed

    If you purchase a permit from the southern beaches, can that one be used on Corolla/Carova?

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 9:29 am
  • Rick

    @Dee Langston….. Since you reported the, “Currituck’s new parking fees are intended to limit the number of vehicles during the summer.” What is that number?

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 9:54 am
  • Surf123

    Far too complicated to implement and too many exceptions. Easier to make everyone pay. The non-vehicle specific passes will be targeted for theft.

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 10:04 am
  • Tim Simmons

    Y’all are idiots

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 11:34 am
  • VA

    There was an exception to folks with a hunting license. So that means if the person who parks the vehicle has a hunting license, then they can park there without a permit? (Loophole?)

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 11:55 am
  • Scott

    @Ed Sneed – No. That is for NPS beaches. The NPS has nothing to do with the northern beaches.

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 2:51 pm
  • Seal

    Well the Outter Banks have officially been deemed cityfied , welcome to little NewYork City !!! Put up the high rises and toll booths !!!!

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 2:55 pm
  • sortudo

    EZ Pass for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 3:19 pm
  • Jordie

    Sooooo … Dare Co residents have to pay this? How about a permit for all public parking in Dare Co for Currituck Co residents is also $150/year??

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 5:24 pm
  • Mr Lee

    Here is a story for dare county residents as I was most of my life. The kids that live in corolla and carova used to go to dare county schools for as long as I can remember. Currituck county paid dare county to let them go to school there. About 10 or 12 years ago dare county said no more and our beach kids ride a bus from corolla to grandy or coinjock an extra 40 to 50 minutes each way. These kids pay the biggest price. With that being said I really think Currituck owes dare nothing.
    This permit is trying to cut down on the sheer number of vehicles on the beach. Remember folks 1150 vehicles exited the beach in a 12 hour period. Our beach can not handle that many vehicles.

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 7:29 pm
  • Ben

    I understand the need to reduce traffic on the beach, I was a nervous wreck on the beach with my 2 year old playing. Will this apply only to people parked or can anyone joy ride on the beach?

    Wednesday, Mar 21 @ 9:50 pm
  • Mr Lee

    Ben, This only applies to people that want to park. So the 4×4 clubs out of Virginia can still come here with a hundred strong as they have advertised on facebook in the past. I expect there will be large groups that come here and ride around all day just to protest this parking permit. If the sheriffs dpt thought last year was a problem they havn’t seen nothing yet.
    This is what you get when you have county commissioners that rather than listen to the locals suggestions

    Ben, this permit is only for people to park on the beach. So anyone can still ride around as much as they like. It is the craziest thing I have seen in a long time. The 4×4 clubs out of Virginia that advertise on facebook to meet at carova and are trying to get a hundred strong have already expressed their dislike with this parking permit. Here is what I see happening this summer. They come in large groups and just ride around all day just to protest the parking permit making the problem even worse. The sheriffs dpt. job is going to be impossible. This is what you get when you have county commissioners that are more concerned about their own special interest than the good of the people they represent. I wonder how much money the county has spent on law suites in the past ten years due to poor decisions. This do something even if it is wrong attitude needs to stop

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 6:41 am
  • Bud

    Ban anyone from New York and New jersey from owning or visiting, hundreds of problems instantly solved! It is not about freedom anymore when the guests destroy our livelihood and future..

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 7:23 am
  • Spoony Rae

    The true wishes of the residents in Carova is to not let anyone on the beach that does not live or own a home in the 4×4 area. This is but the first step of privatizing the north beach, meanwhile the good folks of Corolla will continue to be the dumping grounds for the unwanted beach goers and much needed commercial services of the north beach. The good folks of Corolla keep playing the fiddle………..

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 8:42 am
  • Dee Langston

    @Rick — Sorry for the slow answer; I was away from my computer yesterday. Perhaps I should have said amount, as I don’t have exact numbers. They change daily. But the commissioners apparently hope that parking fees will reduce traffic on the northern beaches, thus making it safer.

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 9:35 am
  • Bob

    How long until a paved road is built? Sure seems like just a matter of time before it is necessary…

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 10:34 am
  • Joe

    Just ban beach driving completely.

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 8:13 pm
  • Tired of the Experts

    There is going to be a stinkin’ mess this summer because one commish pushed a poorly planned AGENDA for HIS benefit. He tried to get even more for himself and his business but will have to try again next year. They are going to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Thursday, Mar 22 @ 11:39 pm
  • Screwed Again...

    This has nothing to do with safety and all about money. If it was about safety, all they had to do was have the parked cars be allowed to park closer to the surf than in the middle of the beach.

    I love how Bob White ‘gets an exemption’ for his business while all the the other companies are going to have to figure out how to implement this (in less than TWO MONTHS!!!). The guests will have a poor experience and then decide to vacation elsewhere where hurting the occupancy tax revenue.

    I don’t know when Bob White’s term is up, but I hope someone in that area runs against him, votes him out, then amends the rule so that his businesses have to feel the same pain as all the others will have to. Edward Ponton for Board of Commissioners!!!!

    Friday, Mar 23 @ 9:27 am
  • Beach goers

    Bud et al
    Here’s some data to consider:
    If you check license plates, you’ll learn most beach parkers are VA and NC. Then depending on which week in season you’ll find PA dominates and Ohio a close second. Or during “Ohio week” that state dominates.
    NY, NJ and Ct plates are minimal parked on beach and those vehicles are mostly driving to a rental.
    You will find a good number of NY/NJ/MA plates parked in driveways at homes in the blacktop areas of Corolla.

    There are several parking areas where visitors can access the beach all along the stretch from Corolla to Nags Head ( except of course, Duck) and if one counted the public spaces ( remember many in KDH have private or reserved on a space) I bet the count would show Currituck offering the most beach access.

    And in Dare you can’t drive on beach in season, so I don’t know why parking is allowed at all on the sand in season. The north beach is a sole access in and out for residents and visitors. And real safety would keep the “roadway clear”.

    Friday, Mar 23 @ 9:37 am