Are Greenwich Beaches Too Crowded?

Tod's Point on a sunny Saturday in July, 2015.

Tod’s Point on a sunny Saturday in July, 2015.

A caller to the First Selectman’s WGCH 1490 radio show Friday morning asked what, if anything, can be done about Greenwich’s crowded beaches.

“I’ve been coming to the beach for years. This year there seems to be a large influx of out-of-state cars,” the caller said, pointing out that at high tide the beach is most crowded.

Because of the two lawsuits against Greenwich concerning beach access, Mr. Tesei said the Selectmen seek input from the Town legal department as to what changes are justifiable.

The First Selectman said Greenwich Point has no doubt become a destination for beach-goers for out-of-towners. “I don’t know if  there’s necessarily the same amount of respect on the part of the visitors as the Greenwich beachgoers,” he said.

The caller pointed out that the fee for parking at Westport’s Compo Beach is $50 per car*, while in Greenwich the fee is $25.00. In addition to an increase in fees, the caller suggested designating a lot for out-of-towners “so we don’t get locked out.”

Tesei said that at the close of each season the director of Parks & Recreation comes to Board of Selectmen to propose a set of fees for the following year. In late November or early December, the Board of Selectmen consider input before it sets the fees for the following year. He said that’s the time to analyze the past year’s experience and incorporate public input based on the prior year’s experience.

“There is no doubt what you’re saying is true. I’ve heard it from folks and I’ve experienced it myself,” Tesei said. “If we could put forward a rational adjustment that is always defensible and takes into consideration the impact to residents.”

The First Selectman said he’d pass the concerns onto the head of Parks & Rec, adding that he’d received several similar comments. He said he’d also relay inquiries as to the level of Police patrols at Greenwich Point when there is maximum capacity on the weekends.

Park Ranger in uniform on Island Beach Ferry.

Park Ranger in uniform on Island Beach Ferry.

Mr. Tesei, several years ago the Town initiated the Park Ranger Program to provide additional personnel to patrol the beach to remind visitors that there are ordinances concerning music and keeping certain pathways open. He said he would also follow up to ask Parks & Rec for details on resource allocation for that program.

*(At Compo Beach a fee is charged to park from May through September. The daily fee is $30 weekdays, and $50 on weekends and holidays.)

See also:

Byram Beach to Get 500 Tons of New Sand, Ferry Gets New Aluminum Fiberglass Seating

Parks & Rec Beach Report: 67,000+ Beach Stickers for 20,000 Greenwich Drivers

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  • A Greenwich Resident

    I understand TOG lost the lawsuit years back from the Stamford resident. But You tell me why:
    – In Stamford ONLY Stamford residents are allowed on their beaches on weekends and Holidays.
    – Why is the caretaker at Todds Point allowing out of state residents into the beach when the gates are first opened ,but the gatekeepers are not on duty yet so they can enter the beach for free.
    – Why did the Town Of Greenwich put such accommodating fees for out of town residents to come to our beaches. Greenwich beaches are not state beaches. We do not take a penny of state money for the maintenance of our beaches. Obviously Westport and Darien figured it out. Why should Greenwich taxpayers be subjected to overcrowded beaches/ferry boats and parking lots ?
    Hey Town Hall, sounds like your using are beaches as a Cash Cow to pay for Town overpriced projects like ” The Mi$a project at GHS! Maybe with all this revenue that Town Hall is collecting on our beaches , we should consider getting better Lawyers to defend “Our Town.”

  • Chuck, Greenwich resident

    I’m all for out-of-towners using Tod’s Point but the crowds have become ridiculous. I used to brag to all of my friends who lived in NY about the Greenwich beaches and how they reminded me of all the beautiful beaches I visited in Italy or the south of France, no more! Now the Greenwich beaches remind me of Jones Beach or Orchard Beach in City Island. I agree with the first post, why would the fees be so accommodating for non-residents? What is the Town using the money for? It’s sad, because it’s only the regular Greenwich resident that gets affected by the overcrowded beaches. The ultra rich either have country clubs or their own water front property to use. The little guy loses once again!

  • Jim

    Maybe you shouldn’t have bragged to all of my friends who lived in NY…

  • Chuck

    You’re right Jim, that’s what I get for being a braggart. Now I’m off to City Island, I mean Tod’s Point.