Revised Currituck beach parking rule will need another vote

By on February 19, 2018

Currituck’s beaches are the only ones in N.C. that can be driven on without a pass. (Dee Langston)

A Currituck Board of Commissioners proposal to require vehicles to carry a pass to park on the county’s beaches starting this spring will have to wait until next month before being implemented, after the measure failed to gain unanimous approval Monday night.

Several changes were made before the board took a vote on the ordinance, including requiring passes only during high visitor season and giving residents of the 4×4 area two additional free passes for guests.

Under the original proposal, the permits would be required year-round to drive on the 14-mile stretch of beach from Corolla village to the state line.


At the suggestion of Commissioner Marion Gilbert of Moyock, the parking permits would only be required from the Friday before Memorial Day to Labor Day Monday, allowing anyone to park on the beach the rest of the year at no charge.

“I think that would resolve some of the concerns we’ve heard from constituents and visitors,” Gilbert said.

All Currituck County residents and non-resident property owners could obtain an unlimited number of passes, free of charge, that must be assigned to a specific vehicle and are not transferable.


Commissioner Bob White of Corolla asked that residents of the four-wheel-drive area be granted additional passes at no cost that would not be assigned to a specific vehicle.

“A lot of residents are going to have out-of-town visitors and family come, and I don’t see the reason why we couldn’t come up with a (pass for them),” said Commissioner Mike Payment of Grandy.


Owners of homes in a rental program that are beyond the North Beach Access Ramp would be able to obtain up to two permits per house at no charge that could be used by renters.

Commissioner Paul Beaumont of Shawboro said it should mimic the rental house plan, and allow full-time residents of the four-wheel-drive area to be granted two guest passes as well.

Exemptions would be granted to commercial fishermen, hunters, outdoor tour operators that have valid county-issued licenses for their businesses and are conducting an active tour at the time, along with contractors that are working for the county or on projects such as beach restoration or walkways and decks to the beach.

The passes would not be required of those who just want to sightsee in the four-wheel drive areas along and north of Corolla village.

The text of the ordinance discussed by commissioners Monday still does not specify how much the permits will cost and where they can be obtained, only that the permit would be available “from the county manager or county manager’s designated representative.”

Commissioner Mike Hall of Moyock asked the board to consider delaying implementation until 2019, but several members spoke against waiting another year.

In a interview two weeks ago with The Outer Banks Voice, board chairman Bobby Hanig of Powells Point said visitors may be charged $50 for a 10-day parking pass or $150 for a permit that would be valid for a calendar year. Single-day passes would not be available.

Previous discussion on distribution of the passes mentioned the county’s visitor centers in Moyock and Corolla and require viewing of a video before purchase, similar to what is required to buy an off-road vehicle permit in Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The board voted 6-1 to pass the ordinance, with Hall casting the lone no vote.

Because the ordinance did not pass by unanimous vote at its first reading, it will have to be voted on again at the next meeting on March 5 where it will only require a simple majority.


  • Billy

    Money – makes the world go round some think . Why do you want to kill the goose that lays golden eggs ? I for one will not even drive through Currituck county anymore if this passes – I’ll take 64 in and drive a tad extra , be worth it to tell the commissioners where to put their parking fees .

    Thursday, Feb 22 @ 7:05 pm
  • sortudo

    EZ pass for all at RAMP!

    Exemptions for all Currituck County Residents.

    They have already been zombified!

    Friday, Feb 23 @ 10:16 am
  • Mr Lee

    To all the Billy’s out there. This is really not about money. I am a Currituck county resident and a property owner in carova. I don’t like this either not at all. Let me help you understand what has brought this on. My wife and I saw a facebook post last summer from a 4×4 club in Virginia. It said we are heading to corova this weekend and we are trying to get a 100 strong. Well we saw them coming down 168 in a line with their flags a flying. I am not sure if they had a hundred trucks but it was close. This creates problems when just one group brings this many vehicles to the beach.
    Last summer on fourth of july weekend there were people at the ramp counting vehicles as they were leaving the beach. On one day from eight in the morning until eight in the evening they counted over 1100 vehicles leaving the beach. Folks our beaches can not sub stain that. It would like having 200 extra cars come down your street where you live in a day.
    It really cracks me in when I hear people from Virginia complain about a tolls. Think about how many people in nc pay tolls in Virginia. I don’t feel that Currituck county owes the day trippers a thing, and if you Billy’s decide to bypass Currituck county it will help the other tourist get to their destination a little earlier.

    Friday, Feb 23 @ 12:21 pm
  • Mark of the times

    Seems comments are mark of the times where people, who in my day tried to see other viewpoints, nowadays are only focused on their own needs and expectations.
    The beach traffic is real, the impact on residents, visitors, property owners and the role of a beach as a first line of defense are all real.
    This is an issue that requires cooperation not division and requires everyone to consider the immediate and long term stakes. The best solution most likely will require sacrifice from all parties.

    Sunday, Feb 25 @ 9:01 pm
  • Doug

    If this is push thru I suggest that due to the increase fairs that Currituck is choosing to charge that Dare county toll the rd into corolla and charge 2xs as much for Non Dare residents. This toll should be put in place to help with the Negative effects that are created from Corolla residents and tourism. Charge like they do at the va express way for Dare Co .

    Monday, Feb 26 @ 10:34 pm
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