Southampton couple sues village to prevent spillover beach parking

A Southampton village couple wants to prevent their beach from turning into a public parking lot.

Kathleen Araskog Thomas and her husband say on a nice summer day, more than 250 cars park in front of their beachfront property.

Kathleen Araskog Thomas and her husband say on a nice summer day, more than 250 cars park in front of their beachfront property. (5/9/16)

SOUTHAMPTON - A Southampton village couple wants to prevent their beach from turning into a public parking lot.

Kathleen Araskog Thomas and her husband say on a nice summer day, more than 250 cars park in front of their beachfront property.

The cars are a spillover from the Picnic Area at Shinneock East County Park.

The couple is suing the Village of Southampton to prevent vehicles from parking in the area.

"The people of Southampton have rights," says attorney Nica Strunk. "They have the right to walk on the beach. They have the right to swim in the ocean. They have the right to sunbathe, to come with a picnic blanket and an umbrella, surfboard. But they do not have the right to have a public parking lot on my client's private property."

As a compromise, the village is proposing that only 175 vehicles will be allowed at the beach at a time.

Southampton Village Trustee Richard Yastrzemski says the Village of Southampton is in the process of expanding a parking lot in the picnic area.

“As a village entity, as a village board, we’ve been working with these homeowners and trying to find a happy medium,” says Yastrzemski. “One of the solutions we’re working on is expanding this parking area.”

Yastrzemski says the new parking lot will have 75 more spots, doubling its capacity. 

A public hearing is scheduled for May 12.

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