2015-06-19 / Front Page

Permits needed at Parsons Beach

By Duke Harrington Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — The days of free parking for people trying to beat the heat at Parsons Beach have come to an end.

At its June 9 meeting, the, Kennebunk Board of Selectmen voted unanimously 5-0, with Kevin Donovan and Christopher Cluff absent, to require beach parking permits to be displayed on any cars parked on Parsons Beach Road.

The new rules apply only to the existing parking spots on the road, near the mouth of the Mousam River, Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said. No new spots will be added.

“If someone doesn’t want to buy a sticker they can park on Brown Street and walk down,” Tibbetts said.

“So, they’re not going to be able to park all the way up and down that road (Parsons Beach Road)?” asked Selectman Albert Searles.

“Correct,” Tibbetts said.

Beach parking permits in Kennebunk are good for use at Gooch’s Beach, Mother’s Beach and Middle Beach, in addition to the recently added Parsons Beach.

According to Town Clerk Merton Brown, Kennebunk residents are entitled to three permits for three vehicles at a cost of $2 per year for the first window sticker, $5 for the second, and $5 for the third. Residents also are allowed unlimited seasonal passes for guests at $20 each.

For nonresidents, the cost for a beach parking permit is $20 for the day, $75 for a week, or $150 for a season.

Nonresident permits can be purchased at town hall, or at kiosks installed last year at the three beaches that previously required them.

A kiosk will not be installed at Parsons Beach, Tibbetts said. However, signs will be posted advising beachgoers of where and how to obtain the required permit.

Parsons Beach is actually a private beach, owned by the Dwight family and leased to the town. Tibbetts said he worked with the family in order to reach a model for public access, given the limited spots available.

“We’ve talked for a number of years about how to regulate parking in that area,” Tibbetts said.

However, some selectmen felt the current restriction may not go far enough.

“We ought to look at roads that are close to the beach, to see if we need to restrict parking on any of those,” Selectman John Kotsonis said.

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