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Discussion Starter #1
Currituck to impose beach-parking fee May 1 - Daily Advance

What a shame their ignorance is.

"'The goal is to cut down traffic,' White said, explaining the reason for the parking pass system during Currituck commissioners’ recent annual retreat."

That "traffic" brings in money. Wonder how much stuff along rt 12 will have to close up shop?
 

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I dunno. It's too bad, but it's utterly amazing they haven't been doing this for years already. For my part, I wish they'd impose the fee from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and for me, a day pass of maybe $20 would be preferable and still give them plenty of revenue. Weird that it's a parking fee. Half the time I don't park when I make that run. My non-parking trips will probably increase to 100%.

It's a shame, I guess, but I can pretty well guarantee that if I were a county commissoner in Currituck I couldn't turn down all that free money from mostly out of town tourists. I doubt a single merchant along 12 will notice the difference. If they do you can bet the fee will go down or go away, but really, most of the merchants south of the beach section of the road, which are 99.997% of the merchants on 12, will barely be affected.

I don't hesitate to pay the NPS fee down south, and I tend to stay down south for the most part anyway, going up to Corolla/ Corova mostly just because it's there. The traffic from Nags Head north takes most of the fun out of it anyway. It's very obvious from the congestion that a lot of people like it up there though.

TT
 

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It’s been a long time coming IMO. Just make it a toll road and be done with it. Not sure how NC law works though... RT12 used to be a state route from NC to VA Beach so not sure who’s jurisdiction it is to impose a fee. Technically all residents are paying taxes for the upkeep of their “roads”. Might be why they are talking about a “parking pass”.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The crowds at Carova exploded when the NPS expropriated the shore because it was the last place with free access.

The whole process was super sketchy. Some environmental group shopped out-of-state to find an activist judge to let them take the Outer Banks away from the people and give it to the federal government because of the turtles and birds that were doing just fine anyway.

It's an uphill battle to ever correct though. You're trying to convince the government to investigate the government and determine if the government did something the government says it can't do.

I hate the NPS fee, and I hate this new charge. The free beaches were what drew people to the area to spend money otherwise. It's not without repercussions. Whatever people have to pay to be on the beach will be taken out of the budget they intended for the local shops and stores.
 

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It’s a slippery slope for sure. This discussion sparked my curiosity as Boundary Law is my gig. Read the better part of an 80 page docket on Coastal rights, littoral and Riparian. NC has a long history dating to 1939 when the first Beach nourishment statutes were put in place. Looks like it has slowly evolved since then. Most of it in place to protect the coast and habitats. If it weren’t for that, I’m guessing the whole area would look like Atlantic City right now. Deep pocket developers would have nothing but skyscrapers, boardwalks and neon lights with piers everywhere. It’s a double-edged sword and part of me is thankful that they have done so much to preserve and protect the area. The fees hurt but hopefully that keeps it from becoming private snd developed. Statutes are in place that once nourishment has been done, littoral rights are relinquished but the uses must remain public afterwards. That’s a good sign...
Unfortunately it appears that most of this evolved as coastal erosion became a concern. After Hurricanes, Nor’easters and other major events, the cost to maintain, reestablish sand and maintain Littoral ownership became far to expensive for most Oceanfront owners. They opted for the support from different agencies thereby opening the door for more projects.
Sorry for the rambling but it’s an interesting topic IMO. As someone that works in the field, worked for both Federal and private landowners, I can empathize with both sides.
 

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That "traffic" brings in money. Wonder how much stuff along rt 12 will have to close up shop?[/QUOTE]


As someone who lives in the area part of the year, I don’t believe the vast majority of the traffic brings any income to the area. The traffic streams right past the businesses here.

The big income for the businesses along 12 comes from the thousands of tourists staying in the houses around here not the 100 or so trucks up in Carova.

And of course there are the ridiculous few who make it bad for all who are driving 60-70 mph passing cars on 12 just past the shopping plaza and tearing it up on the beach. If the fee can somehow cut down on a few of those buttholes, that alone will make it worthwhile.

Before buying a house in the area I rented several times in Carova and now have several acquaintances who live up there. The financial burden placed on the area for all the folks streaming in for the day from the mainland is significant.

The costs seems low compared to the cost to access other 4x4 beaches in the area and elsewhere. I believe I used to pay 200 for a state park beach in NJ, the famous Chris Christie one, and isn’t it 50 for 3 days or something in Hatteras area?

PS We need an FJ day in Carova!




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[QUOTE not sure who’s jurisdiction it is to impose a fee. Technically all residents are paying taxes for the upkeep of their “roads”. Might be why they are talking about a “parking pass”.[/QUOTE]


I believe it is county controlled



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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I just hate to see the federal government invite themselves to the party. I think what happens in OBX is best left determined by those who live there.

As someone who lives in the area part of the year, I don’t believe the vast majority of the traffic brings any income to the area. The traffic streams right past the businesses here.

The big income for the businesses along 12 comes from the thousands of tourists staying in the houses around here not the 100 or so trucks up in Carova.
We usually stop at one of the grocery stores on the way down to grab beer and lunch for a day on the beach, then we eat dinner at one of the restaurants on the way home. Sometimes it's just my wife and I, other times, it's everyone I know with a transfer case, so with all those mouths, the contribution to the local economy for a few hours on the beach is not insignificant.



I live less than 30 minutes from Virginia Beach, but in all my years behind the wheel, anytime I've gone to the beach, it was to the Outer Banks. I've loved it down there since my first visit over 30 years ago, so maybe you're right and I'm not the typical visitor.

As for 100 trucks at Carova, those days are over. Since the NPS fees started elsewhere, looks like a Walmart parking lot on Black Friday. Not my video, but an accurate representation of the entire run of beach most weekends in the summer.



The position that the fees are okay because they're not as somewhere expensive as else isn't one I'd proffer. I guess my main argument is that people have enjoyed these places for decades without burdensome fees and overbearing restrictions. Now that the DC lobbyists have gotten involved, it's all going to go to hell.
 

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The government always finds ways to take more from the people, and give less back. They do this knowing that they’ll get some pushback at the beginning, but they also know that people will adapt and forget the amount of control that’s being forced upon them as soon as the next news story breaks. This land belongs to the people, and not to them. It’s sad, today, the word ‘freedom’ is just a marketing phrase used by our governments, because it’s no where close to a reality anymore, anywhere.


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I just hate to see the federal government invite themselves to the party. I think what happens in OBX is best left determined by those who live there.
You know it was the people who live there who imposed the parking fee on the Carova beach? They don't want as many of us people from Virginia and Tennessee clogging up their beach. I can't say I blame them, and I like the point someone else made about preventing the OBX from becoming like a lot of the Jersey Shore. (I love the Jersey Shore too, but it is a very different place than the OBX.)

I know it varies from one person to the next, but when I go to the Outer Banks I go mostly for the island mentality and the more natural parts. I'm glad to some extent for the restaurants and a bit of the touristy stuff, but you can find that kind of stuff in Gatlinburg or Virginia Beach or Branson, MO, or a thousand other tourist destinations. I'd hate for that kind of stuff to expand much more on the Banks. If not for some kind of limits on what people are allowed to there it would probably pretty quickly turn into Ocean City, MD or Atlantic City.

TT
 

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I'm surprised it's free as it is, We don't like crowds so we go just after Labor Day. Just a amazing area but I would want no part of the zoo from M-day to L-day.

I'd pay the fee without to much *****ing I guess, I live in NY so I'm kind of numb to another tax. It might help keep some of the dumbass's away, but I doubt it. If they are going to do it, I would like to see them share it with the wild horse fund and maybe N.E.S.T.

And @BurlNJFJ I second the FJ get together in Corova! What a time that could be. Always see a few FJ's out there but nothing like the Jeeps.
 

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I second that. I have a house in Corolla and generally stay away in the summer months, although the significant other pulls me down for her beach time. But I never go to Carova any more in the summer. Its just too crazy up there......and from what I have read and seen on local TV, they are trying to reduce the craziness up there by reducing the crowds before someone gets seriously hurt.

It is terrible enough to read about the folks who drown in the surf here every year because they don’t listen to the life guards, don’t understand the surf danger is real here, etc. If someone gets seriously injured in Carova due to the minority of drunken careless idiots who are up there, the whole experience may evaporate.

They are also looking at (may have already passed) a law requiring you to air down to minimize the many ignorant folks who get stuck in the sand and clog up the beach road. I believe there will be a significant fee if you don’t.

So the parking regs requiring you to drive along the dune line combined with the fee for not airing down will hopefully reduce the vehicles who have no business being up there.

Last completely off subject thought on this.....I dread the idea of the Mid-Currituck bridge for this exact reason. It will make it too easy to access the Corolla/Carova area and the number of day visitors will likely explode overwhelming the infrastructure here including the beaches in Carova.



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I remember staying in Carova about 12 yrs ago and it was so peaceful with minimal traffic. A few years ago we were staying in Corolla and I was amazed at the amount of traffic when we took the drive north.
Since then, we’ve stayed as far south as we can and cross over at Roanoke Island. Much less congested.
Here is a pic from July 4th below Avon



Might have been 6-12 vehicles all day.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You know it was the people who live there who imposed the parking fee on the Carova beach?
Yes, but it was reactionary. The traffic overwhelmed them after the other nearby beaches were taken hostage by the usurpation of the CHNSRA.
 

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Yes, but it was reactionary. The traffic overwhelmed them after the other nearby beaches were taken hostage by the usurpation of the CHNSRA.
How many of the beaches from Whalebone to Corolla have been usurped by the CHNSRA and how much beach driving is allowed on that stretch?

I'm very grateful for most of the restrictions in the National Seashore, even though I realize that means I might not get to do everything I want. Without restrictions the whole place would be so commercialized or corrupted with wall to wall beach mansions and/or the dunes wouldn't exist to the point that it would be impossible to 4-wheel anywhere from Sandbridge to Portsmouth.

And I really don't agree at all the Corova imposed their parking fee due to increased pressure caused by other closed beaches. I guess you can say that, but the more direct cause is the ever increasing hoards coming across the 158 and 64 bridges.

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Discussion Starter #16
Whalebone to Corolla happened before my time, so I'm not in the know on those. Also, I'm not talking about development, but simply 4x4 beach access. Kind of an interesting history of it all, really. Prior to the establishment of Back Bay, you could drive from Sandbridge to Carova. Most things with 4wd still had a divorced transfer case and were outnumbered by dune buggies and lightweight hotrods. They used to drive down and try to race up Penny's Hill. That amount of freedom of access seems ideal to me.


But things change and we know what Sandbridge is like now. It's likely that Back Bay halting development is why Carova has managed to stay what it is. I do agree that Carova has gotten more popular in the years I've been visiting. The simplicity of sharing information and locations with the proliferation of the internet has increased visits to many such areas. The rule of thumb is to subsidize things you want more of and tax things you want less of. There's no way that the fees for Oregon Inlet and south have not compounded traffic in Carova. From Tidewater, for example, it's right at a 2 hour trip, no matter which location we choose, not counting the unpredictable traffic issues.

If it was truly to protect the resource, there would be a limit on the number of permits offered. Since there is no such limit, it's clearly about the government creating profit points at a popular destinations. I think in doing so, however, that money is being simply subtracted from visitors' budgets in regards to what they spend in the shops and restaurants. Dammit man, where's your concern for Ben Franklin and Duck Donuts? :lol:

Fees at both locations, while I despise them, might be what's necessary to level the playing field and the traffic, but I want to see them eliminated entirely. The beach is what draws visitors to the area in the first place. Foisting access fees on top of the cost of a visit seems likely to deter visitors. For a regional economy based on the performance of a single quarter, it seems a ridiculously poor plan.
 

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Foisting access fees on top of the cost of a visit seems likely to deter visitors. For a regional economy based on the performance of a single quarter, it seems a ridiculously poor plan.


I have read and heard discussion that deterring visitors is exactly the goal of the fee.

When the business start reopening....starting this week.....I will ask some of the local business owners if they have any fear of lost revenue from this. But I do believe strongly that I know the answer and it is no. It is just too small a % of the overall tourism trade in Corolla. Yet it is a significant burden on the beaches in Carova.

Why shouldn’t people who are not land owners in Currituck County have to pay a fee to support the maintenance cost and overhead costs associated with their trips to the beaches in Carova? It seems quite fair to me as a land owner in the county. Why should the residents of the county have to carry the financial burden of day visitors who spend a relatively small amount of money in the area?

If the bridge is ever built, I seriously dread the impact it will have on the area and hope the toll will be in the 50+ range that has been discussed for peak times to deter the casual visitors. The infrastructure simply does not exist to support increased volumes of vehicles and people and can’t even be created without much more controversial government intervention.

It seems this thread is rather political in nature and perhaps doesn’t belong here but not sure exactly how those guidelines go.



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Discussion Starter #18
Visitors pay local sales and occupancy taxes already. The businesses' taxes are built into the price of their goods and services, which are purchased and therefore paid for by visitors. Without the visitors, it's likely taxes would be much higher on the locals. I think that because I live in a city where tourism is virtually nonexistent and I see our $1.30 per $100 for real estate and $5.00 per $100 for vehicles. How does that compare for you?
 

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Visitors pay local sales and occupancy taxes already. The businesses' taxes are built into the price of their goods and services, which are purchased and therefore paid for by visitors. Without the visitors, it's likely taxes would be much higher on the locals. I think that because I live in a city where tourism is virtually nonexistent and I see our $1.30 per $100 for real estate and $5.00 per $100 for vehicles. How does that compare for you?


You are absolutely correct. People renting houses and staying in the area buying things, eating out etc do pay meaningful amounts of tax which practically puts a significant amount of money in the county and state checking accounts.

However, my contention is and evidently that of the folks pushing this parking pass is that the vast majority of visitors to the beaches in Carova do not spend enough to have a meaningful impact. They come cruising up Highway 12 and blow right past every business along the way both in and on the way out. They bring their own beer, food etc. Occasionally they stop and get some ice, a meal, a coffee or some beach souvenir but the amount spent just doesn’t compare to the weekly renters. However, they do have a meaningful impact on the beaches in Carova.

This isn’t really my argument but I am fine with the parking pass. It is in line with just about any other beach I have ever been able to drive my truck on to spend the day and I am all for reducing the traffic in Carova as it is out of control and frankly is dangerous at times.

If it continues as it is, I predict there will eventually be a booth/gate counting cars and charging a fee of some sort with a max number of day visitor cars allowed through.





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Discussion Starter #20
A maximum number of vehicles on the beach at once seems like a potentially intelligent compromise. Commercial buildings have occupancy limits. Maybe that's what the beach needs. I'll have ponder that some more. I still don't believe in a fee, however.
 
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