County hikes annual Norton Point vehicle permit fees

County hikes annual Norton Point vehicle permit fees

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A recent aerial view of Norton Point beach looking west toward Katama. — Photo by Skip Bettencourt

The Dukes County Commissioners approved substantial increases in non-resident and resident annual over-sand vehicle permits for Norton Point Beach at their meeting on April 23, but they postponed action on the cost of day passes pending a new proposal from The Trustees of the Reservations (TTOR) which manages Norton Point Beach under contract with Dukes County, which owns the approximately two-mile barrier beach.

TTOR requires approval from county commissioners to increase fees by more than 20 percent. Chris Kennedy, TTOR Martha’s Vineyard superintendent, asked the commissioners to hike the cost of an annual resident permit 29 percent, from $70 to $90, and an annual non-resident permit 17 percent, from $120 to $140. He also asked to raise combination permits, which allow vehicles to drive on all TTOR managed properties on Chappaquiddick as well as Norton Point from $285 to $300 for non-residents, and $235 to $250 for residents.

Commissioners Christine Todd and Tom Hallahan of Oak Bluffs, Leon Braithwaite of West Tisbury, and Melinda Loberg of Tisbury voted in favor of the increases. Commissioners Lenny Jason of Chilmark and Tristan Israel of Tisbury voted against the increases. John Alley of West Tisbury did not attend the meeting.

The commissioners asked Mr. Kennedy to rework a proposal to increase day beach passes.

Mr. Kennedy asked to increase day passes from $24 to $50 for residents and $35 to $60 for non-residents. “The initial reason for having a day pass was to introduce the experience of driving on the beach,” Mr. Kennedy said. “It was never intended to be a bargain day at the beach. We’re finding increased lewd and lascivious behavior, potential drug use, alcohol use, and it inevitably involves the day pass people.”

Mr. Kennedy estimated that the price hikes would bring an addition $31,000 in revenue to TTOR, which would in turn trigger an increase in payments to Dukes County, from $50,000 to $60,000.

Mr. Jason questioned the increased revenue estimates, as well as the proposed daily price hike for Island residents.

“The local working guy is going to spend $50 to take his family to the beach,” Mr. Jason said. “I think we’re making a terrible mistake. I think the residents are taking it on the chin.”

The commissioners asked Mr. Kennedy to present a new proposal at the next commission meeting.


  1. Get rid of the day passes altogether.

    Where does this money even go?? Didn’t someone drown at the cut a couple years ago because there were no lifeguards or paramedics around?

  2. Do the fees get refunded for whatever percentage of the year that the beaches are closed to protect the plovers?

  3. Kennedy is such an Arse. Look at him blaming drinking on day pass holders when EVERYONE drinks on the beach and it’s just over looked, as it always has been. He is such a pretentious jack hole… for lack of better terms to get around the sensors. Lenny Jason has it exactly right. So a working father is supposed to spend $50 just to bring his kids to the beach? Kennedy is such an inconsiderate, out of touch elitist. He needs to stay on Chappaquiddick and out of Edgartown politics. How do we get him voted out of the Trustees?

  4. Good for you, Lenny. Stick to your guns and help the working people on the Island. We all should be able to go to the beach, one of the few that allows everyone to use it, for a small, nominal fee. How many days does that actually get you, what with plover closing, etc.

  5. is this for real ? 50 $ to go and enjoy a day at the beach ? add the gas/food/etc and is looking like a week’s paycheck for a day at the beach with the family . but wait …you can’t go there when the plovers are nesting …so your window to spend those money is smaller and smaller .
    And this clown kennedy is wavin’ the carrot in front of the comminsioners…$$ 10.000 $$ more from rate hikes …bleep everyone and get 10 k …some people will do almost anything for a dollar . is sad
    just like vh and s&h …1 mil for pom-poms at MVC … go at it boys !!!

    1. creanga, you had me before the s&s and vh. You’re just ignorant. Or are you stupid, not sure which one?

      1. why i’m ignorant ? what part of my comment shows that i’m ignorant ?ignorant regarding what aspect of the stopy ?
        maybe i’m revolted that the fare needs to be that high .that the beach is closed 60-80 days in prime season and more …
        have a good day !

        1. Many know the truth about your pom pom comment and as Ned Orleans so stated the other night at the MVC hearing this is a practice all over to accept mitigation money. So the quaint cute island of martha’s vineyard should not reap mitigation money from stop and shop? Pom pom’s and such are just a dumb comment when you’re trying to make a point. But it’s obvious you’re not well versed in business dealings both off island as well as on island.

          1. let me get this …
            because you didn’t like my pom-pom comment you called me stupid and ignorant ? and in your fancy reply feel the need to crap on me again by impling i’m not good at bussines ? how you got to all these conclusions ?
            this is how you see things i guess : when one shares a diferent point of view on a matter than you he is just ignorant or stupid or both …great job guy …great .
            why reap mitigation money from them when that store is gonna create havoc in the 5 corners area . what all the money gonna help when your stuck in trafic ?

          2. Traffic is spelled with two F’s. I said you were either stupid OR ignorant. I never called you stupid. I called you ignorant and ASKED if you were stupid.

            My point is if the store is given the green light would you have liked it if the town had no mitigation money?

          3. “Traffic is spelled with two F’s” … that is your defence ? you ignorant bleep . but honestly i feel proud !! i do since english is my second language .
            I might be stupid and bad at bussines but I think you just walk out of this one with egg on your face .
            I strongly believe that i’m intitled to call you an ignorant fool …pal .

          4. I have to agree with teach. There is no reason for bad spelling while on a computer typing away. A little red line comes under the misspelled words and if it doesn’t on your computer you can activate it by going to Edit and then to checking spelling and grammar. Thank you.

          5. an old trick here when you cant come up with something constructive to say deferr to someones incorrect spelling. You must work for Obama hes a master at distraction.

          6. Like you do with your right wing cracks? I still agree with TeachCoach, spelling should be correct if you wish to give credence to your statements. In this day and age with spell check it’s just lazy. Defer is spelled with one R by the way.

          7. donald you are nothing more than an TROLL , a multi for “eggonface”. same IP . my troll meter went off the scale after your tard coments .
            according to your fail logic …because i mispelled an word my whole point/s becomes mute and irrelevant ? what a tool you are .
            according to your fail logic all kids now in school should just use an device with internet conection to spell check for them and dont waiste time to learn proper english …just because is so easy to turn it on …tool i tell’ ya

          8. donald u use the same pom-poms for S&H project and “eggonface”comments ?

          9. Donald is with a capital D. You is spelled as such and not the single letter “u” for you. Thank you.

          10. lame . your a joke …

            Stop and Shop has withdrawn the current application from the MVC. No vote, no new store.”
            no cake for you !!

          11. donald your nothing else than a troll and a multi for eggonface . get a life .

  6. It seems to me:

    Sticker sales are down and revenue is lost because every year more and more trails are closed for longer and longer, so many people have given up buying stickers. I’m one of those who has continued to buy stickers for both Chappy and Norton Point and often I feel like the biggest sucker to come down the pike. Now the Trustees and the county want to recoup their losses from those of us who are still hanging in there. This tactic will guarantee there will be no new customers and it will be the final straw for some number of us die-hards, resulting in even lower sticker sales.

    What the county should be doing is joining with Chatham, Dennis, Orleans, Harwich and Barnstable (who have formed the Outer Beach Coalition for this purpose) to work with the state in reducing the rigidity of the shore bird protection rules. This group should be pushing the state, not us few remaining loyal customers, for compensation for the lost revenues and if the state refuses to make their rules less rigid then these entities should sue the state for the compensation and simply refuse to close their beach trails until the case is resolved.

    This is how it seems to me.