Group sues Currituck over beach parking fees

Published 10:50 am Friday, July 20, 2018

The Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association has filed a lawsuit challenging Currituck County’s new fees to park on its beaches.

A hearing for a preliminary injunction is set for July 30 at the Currituck County courthouse.

Currituck commissioners voted 5-1 to instate the beach parking fee earlier this year, and the fees went into effect on May 28.

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Under the regulation, non-residents are required to pay a $150.00 fee for the summer in order to park on the beach. The fee applies to both out-of-state visitors as well as North Carolina residents from outside of Currituck County equally.

“The Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association stands firmly against this fee,” the group said in an email Friday. “It is vital that, for the growth of our organization and hobby, beach vehicle access for all be promoted and protected now and forever. A victory in this lawsuit will allow members of our organization and others who share our passion to continue to do what we love and experience all that off-roading and our coasts have to offer.”

Edwin Hardy, attorney for the association, said requiring the fee for non-residents, but not Currituck County residents, amounts to an unconstitutional private emolument.”

Currituck County Manager Dan Scanlon said the lawsuit has no merit.

“… We are prepared to defend the beach permit system ordinance as adopted,” he said.