A Crackdown Off Edgemere

A vote by the East Hampton Town Board last Thursday to ban parking on a grassy area off Edgemere Road bordering a dirt road that ends at the Montauk Firehouse was a great relief for residents of the two houses across from the area, which has been used by patrons of the nearby Surf Lodge.

“It’s the first time, after 30 years, I’ve actually considered selling my house,” MaryAnn Peluso said. 

“People are so drunk they come up to my house and try to get in. They’re so drunk they don’t know where they are.” She said she doesn’t feel safe at home alone anymore, and had to install a gate and new windows and doors. 

Cars in the area narrow the access to her house and the second one, adjacent, raising concerns about the ability of emergency vehicles to reach them, she said. 

John Quinn, Ms. Peluso’s neighbor, said that there is “public urination, lewdness, drug use. . . . The quality of life is a problem for us.” He predicted that if the situation were allowed to continue, “someone will get hurt.”

It’s not just the emergency access or what takes place on the grassy area that is of concern, the residents said. Parking at its edge and on the roadside nearby creates a danger as drivers pulling out cannot see oncoming cars. 

“Montauk residents are really concerned about what’s been allowed to happen here,” said Ms. Peluso. “There should not be special treatment for a particular business.”

Businesses are required under the town code to provide adequate parking for their customers. Parking by Surf Lodge customers along the nearby roads has been just one of the problems for the town posed by the popular summertime spot. As no-parking zones were added along the roads, people apparently turned to the grassy area to park. 

That led to someone having boulders placed along its edge without seeking anyone’s permission. Those, Supervisor Larry Cantwell said after the board voted to ban parking on the site, “will have to go.”