SCARBOROUGH — Town councilors have doubled the cost of seasonal nonresident parking passes at three town beaches.

Councilors approved increasing the fees to park at town-owned Ferry Beach, Higgins Beach and Hurd Park.

A resident seasonal beach pass will remain at $40, but nonresident passes have increased from $75 to $150. Daily parking has gone from $10 to $15, and a new $5 charge is being instituted for morning beach-goers between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m.

The fees take effect immediately, but enforcement will likely not begin until May, according to Town Clerk Tody Justice. 

Councilors debated whether a specific group is targeted by the increase — specifically surfers — by the early-morning parking fee, while others contended that as a matter of fairness, the town wants everybody who enjoys the beach to pay for parking.

Parking at Scarborough Beach State Park, which is operated by Black Point Resource Management through a public-private partnership, will not be affected.

Councilor Peter Hayes said the town already collects a surplus of about $100,000 from parking fees, after the cost to operate the beaches.

Councilor Shawn Babine said Scarborough’s day fees are comparable to other area towns, while Councilor Jean Marie Caterina pointed out that all residents 62 and older are eligible for a free beach pass.

Commercial fishermen are also allowed a free pass at Ferry Beach. 

Although she doesn’t oppose the fees, Councilor Kate Foley said she felt the council is chipping away at access each year, which is why she would not support the fee increase. 

Foley and Hayes opposed the measure, which passed 5-2.

Pine Point is one of the Scarborough beaches where the seasonal cost of public parking will double for nonresidents. (The Forecaster file photo)


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