Officials debate vehicle expansion at East Quogue beach

Picnic Beach near Shinnecock Park is currently the only town beach in Southampton that allows vehicle access.

Picnic Beach near Shinnecock Park is currently the only town beach in Southampton that allows vehicle access. (7/20/16)

EAST QUOGUE - Southampton officials are debating whether to expand vehicle access to Hot Dog Beach in East Quogue.

Picnic Beach near Shinnecock Park is currently the only town beach in Southampton that allows vehicle access.

Homeowners in the area filed a lawsuit claiming there's not enough room for all of the cars, forcing town officials to consider an expansion.

Officials say the amount of space at Hot Dog Beach could allow cars on the beach and still keep a few hundred yards between the homes and the vehicles.

Cars are permitted on Hot Dog Beach overnight from 6 p.m. until 9 a.m., but John Kosciusko, the president of the Southampton Association for Beach Access, says he feels those hours should be extended.

"We can be on the beach at 6, 7, 8 in the morning, but at 9 we have to leave for what? We should be able to just stay here," he says.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman says it's too early to talk specifics about how many vehicles would be allowed and where, but says he agrees it's an important issue.

"The Town Board doesn't have a position on this," he says. "It's something the trustees brought to us, and my feeling is that it's worthy of community conversation."

Schneiderman says the talks are still in their early stages and says September is likely the first opportunity for a public hearing.

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