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With Fogland Beach parking precious, RVs raise questions

One big motor home can displace more than a half dozen cars

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 7/4/20

TIVERTON — With parking limited at Fogland Beach due to state and local coronavirus restrictions, some wondered why it is that motor homes, including some from out of state, are allowed to take …

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With Fogland Beach parking precious, RVs raise questions

One big motor home can displace more than a half dozen cars

Posted

TIVERTON — With parking limited at Fogland Beach due to state and local coronavirus restrictions, some wondered why it is that motor homes, including some from out of state, are allowed to take up space that could be used by multiple cars.

Parking at Fogland has been at a premium in recent weeks. Available spots have filled by mid-morning forcing some residents to head home. Other beach-goers have attempted to park along the road leading into Fogland, prompting numerous calls and complaints to Tiverton police.

Among those to contact the Sakonnet Times about this was Tiverton resident Celeste Ferendo who said she believes parking restrictions were a wise precaution but feels some vehicles are taking more than their fair share of space.

Large recreational vehicles “are parking parallel to the road taking up five or six or even eight spaces,” she said last Monday — a day when two motor homes were there, one with RI plates, one from another state.

Early this morning one family set up their large camper parallel to the road and then placed their chairs on either side of the picnic table at the head of the trailer so that no one else could park in that section.”

She said she asked the camper owner about the use of so much space and was told that they had checked with a town board and been told that what they were doing is fine.

She also told me if I wanted to be at the beach I should get up earlier,” Ms. Ferendo said. “In a time when we all need some relief and would love to be at the beach I think that the town should reconsider this policy,” she said, adding that some parking spaces ought to be set aside for Tiverton residents only.

Asked about this, interim Tiverton Town Administrator Chris Cotta said that when the governor restricted parking at all state beaches to about 50 percent, Tiverton did the same with its two beaches.

The state most recently raised parking lot capacity to 75 percent and he said easing of parking restrictions at Fogland may help with the RV situation in coming days.

With respect to Fogland,” Mr. Cotta said Friday, “the social distancing issues are mitigated simply due to the expansive beach space, so this weekend we are not restricting the parking. 

As it relates to RV usage, we have a daily fee of $25 per RV (free for Tiverton residents) but we can only charge if we have lifeguards and gatekeepers on duty.  Due to the COVID crisis and the loss of revenues this year we had not fully implemented lifeguards, therefore the beaches have been open but free to anyone who could avail themselves of the parking.  “Beginning Friday, June 26, that will change as lifeguards will be scheduled every day through the rest of the beach season which will limit RV usage as the fees will be in place.  Getting there early will not grant a waiver of the fees.  They will still need to have a beach day pass in their windshield in order to stay at the beach.”

On its website, the town says about Fogland, “Non-Rhode Island residents are charged a parking fee at both beaches and Rhode Island, non-Tiverton, residents are charged a fee at Fogland Beach, but not Grinnell’s.  (see below). Resident stickers are available at both beaches when open.
“Dogs are NOT allowed on beaches during beach season. Dogs are allowed during off-season and in off-beach areas, but should be leashed. Open fires are NOT allowed.”

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.