Putnam Valley Officials Look to Put an End to Lakefront Parking

Areas along the lakefront in Putnam Valley will no longer allow parking with several safety concerns arising as the summer months approach.

Town officials intend to restrict parking in the Roaring Brook Lake District to property owners, their lessees, members of their immediate families and their guests at their June 2 Town Board meeting. A draft of the amended law states the town will only allow vehicles to park in the district parking lots if a permit is displayed.

Furthermore, any vehicles not displaying a Roaring Brook Lake District registration sticker or tag may be removed from district parking lots at the owner’s expense. Vehicles will also be prohibited from parking overnight in a district parking lot.

Along with being towed, violators could also face a maximum fine of $250, imprisonment of up to 15 days, or both.

Supervisor Sam Oliverio stated during the May 19 Town Board meeting extra precautions are needed by the town with a rise in visitors along the shore during the summer months.

“The laws are already there preventing parking on the streets – you can’t park on the streets. But these beach areas, well, everybody has to be able to get down there,” Oliverio said. “We don’t want to tow anybody quite frankly, we create a lot of hard feelings, but if somebody was obstinate and refused to move their car then we’d have no other choice.”

Residents who live in the Roaring Brook Lake District strongly agreed that regulations are necessary, sharing their gratitude to the town for moving quickly to approve strong enough legislation to deter visitors from causing a continued nuisance to the area.

District resident John Groetch said he was glad the town was addressing this issue and taking it as far as they are.

“We’ve witnessed in the last year the rebirth in working from home and vacationing is now Airbnb event,” Groetch said. “Our responsibility is exactly addressing the pressure on this lake, as we know is difficult to manage, and if we don’t have fines with teeth in them, I think people will abuse the low fines here relative to other areas.”

While Oliverio advised residents to contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department if someone is spotted in violation, he said a beach superintendent will also be enforcing the town code.

Along with the Roaring Brook Lake District, parking will soon be prohibited on Aqua Lane, with officials explaining parked cars on the roadway cause a safety hazard for emergency vehicles. While Oliverio said legislation is expected to be approved by the board on June 2, signs have already been erected on the narrow roadway warning folks against parking.

Residents who live along the roadway were also strongly in favor of the decision by the town.

“This is safety issue. You can’t get any type of vehicle past a car that’s parked on that roadway, it’s just that narrow,” Oliverio said. “It’s really an overgrown walking path – it shouldn’t be driven upon at all. Nobody should be parking there at all, and it will be enforced by the town.”