Norwalkers: Beach Sticker Price Increase An Insult To “Outsiders”

The weather outside may be frightful. Nevertheless, Westport beach stickers went on sale this week. 

There’s a small price rise for residents; a bigger one for Weston residents ($375, up from $250 for last year) — and a bigger one still for all others ($775, up from $490). 

Daily parking increases too: It’s now $50 weekdays, $65 on weekends. 

That news did not sit well with one Norwalk family. They write:

We consider your nearly 50% increase in non-resident parking emblems outrageous, and motivated by more than needs relating to upgrades to latrines. The sudden and dramatic inflation of the emblem tag is a naked and obvious way to cut down on “outsiders.”

Surely you are aware of the effect this has on the family budgets of hard working people. Your sudden price increase makes your beach, and neighbors mingling with neighbors, cost prohibitive.

For several years we have loyally contributed to Westport by spending time there in the summers with your already expensive decals. We paid for this without complaint. We always behaved well, and summered in a clean and friendly way — while contributing to your vendors and local economy.

For working people like us in Norwalk (both educators outside of our area), this was our yearly vacation. After many years, this loyalty has been rewarded with this unprovoked and inappropriate price increase — a thumb in the eye of your clients and long-time supporters.

You may wish to know why we are so eager to use your beaches, when Norwalk has its own lovely locations. The reason is that our friendships and our kids’ friends aren’t divided by town borders. Through Scouts, church, parades, athletics and community events — including at your own public library — we co-mingle.

Unlike the apparent exclusivity exhibited by your town’s politicians, most regular people are eager to spend time with those who aren’t their immediate neighbors.

Your decision-makers should be eager to lead in this rather than increasing barriers especially as you promote the “hate has no place here” themes and inclusive rhetoric.

A Norwalk family claims Westport’s beach policy is exclusionary — and hypocritical. (Photo/Brandon Malin)

Your town officials have spoken out on changing Westport’s “image,” and largely blame outside forces for any possible negative reputation. No need to look beyond your community — the image can be helped from within. This price increase flies in the face of that. Given this increased price point, it seems we can add hypocrisy on the part of the powers that be to the questionable motives.

Lastly, your lack of acknowledging (in original emails and posts, as well as subsequent email exchanges) the nature and effect of the cost prohibitive nature of your decision is insulting. Prices don’t go up for 300 to 400 “outside” families by nearly 50% (plus other fees for your own residents) to cover improvements to the bathrooms. This makes no sense on its face, and is insulting.

At best, your decision is an effort to keep Westport beaches closed to neighbors for misguided logistical reasons. At worst, it is motivated by race and class.

We plan to gather families inside and outside your town. We will contact the media to explore the nature, results and effects of your decision immediately.

103 responses to “Norwalkers: Beach Sticker Price Increase An Insult To “Outsiders”

  1. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    Well written letter… but… Compo is a Westport beach with limited space and parking… wanna use it you are going to need to pay. You can go to Sherwood Island or around the horn to Jones Beach or you can move to Westport. I’m not being a dick it’s just life isn’t fair sometimes.

  2. Sharon Cribari-Saccary

    I grew up in westport and now live in norwalk. Compo beach is not a large beach, it was time to make some changes. There are other towns with price tags for non-residents as well as private beaches you can’t even pay to get Into. I could never afford to pay the out of town price but it didn’t stop me from going once in awhile. There are a lot of other choices just as nice. People who want and can afford a sticker will buy one those who can’t or don’t want to will not. Face it, prices haven’t gone down anywhere for anything in a long time.

  3. Elizabeth Thibault

    Compo was overcrowded to the point that town residents were unable to use the beach on several days. Yes, this increase is to cut down on crowding as well as to raise funds. Not only do we need money for bathrooms, but the increased maintenance and caretaking that this crowding requires. Cleaning, grooming, garbage pickup, all these need to happen more frequently with the crowds. Do the higher prices cut down on the crowds, yes, do they close the beach, no! There are alternatives, such as sharing a ride, taking an Uber, or going to Sherwood, which will now be free starting this year. Residents want to be able to use our beach, (out prices also went up;) luckily the writer’s friends can also visit them at Calf Pasture in Norwalk.

  4. With that kind of attitude I’m not sure your absence will be missed.

  5. You know what they say; life’s a beach! Agree with the other posters. No longer live in Westport but Compo, Old Mill, and Burying Hill are all pretty small and tax paying residents should have priority.

  6. I love your blog which usually fosters a strong sense of community. Disappointing to read this baseless, inflammatory, anti-Westport, divisive post overlooking the facts.

  7. Used to live in Westport, now only 1 street over the boarder. Wish I could afford the out of tower permit, but I can’t. Westport has the right to charge whatever it wants. I can still go occasionally which is fine with me. Residency has certain privileges along with responsibilities. Maybe the Norwalk resident should invite her children’s friends to Norwalk. Calf pasture is very nice.

  8. Norwalk –

    You have your own fine Town beaches, which, just like Westport beaches, are maintained by your local taxes, and I cannot enter them freely without paying a fee. IF you are really fixated on a beach in “Westport” (perhaps due to whatever cachet that holds for you) I would point out that entry to Sherwood Island is now free to CT residents, or you can pay the daily fee and visit Compo or Burrying Hill beach.

  9. when you don’t like something??? Drop the race card. You lost most people and any support in this town with your last comment

  10. Oh great, they’re “contacting the media.”

  11. Here’s a no cost option: Ride your bike to Compo and get in for free. Attach a tag-a-long to the rear of the bike (you can buy one for a fraction of the cost of an out of town permit) to carry your kids and/or beach equip. Get some exercise at the same time for the few miles ride.

  12. Asking people from out of town to pay a higher price is absolutely reasonable and justifiable. I think the issue of concern is the different pricing offered to Weston and other towns. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind the disparate pricing and percentage increases, but whatever they may be, the optics are surely terrible. A quick comparison of Weston and Norwalk demographics and the headlines start writing themselves. The same comparison could potentially provide the basis for challenging the town’s pricing plan on grounds that it is racially discriminatory.

    At the very least, town leadership needs to concisely and transparently articulate the reasoning behind the price differences. If we are unable to do so, this emerging issue could prove costly to the town’s reputation and finances.

    • I agree. I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out the reasoning behind the different percentage increases.

    • Well said. Arguing some type of loose historical association with Weston is going to be hard to justify in this political climate, and will not look good in the media given the obvious demographics. The difference however is that Norwalk does have its own very nice beaches. Greenwich & Darien both do not allow non-residents anything but day passes to their beaches, I do not know why Westport even offers non-resident passes to be honest.

  13. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    Maybe the town should try an experiment…
    For one year, no guard, no permits, no stickers, no border, no fees, no rules… open and free beach borders for all…
    How long will Compo be a place that anyone would want to visit?

  14. Overcrowding and beach cleanliness seem to be the main beach issues. The revenue from non-residents can’t be that much of a help to town finances. Why not make Compo Beach available only to Westport residents; that could go a long way to ease the crowding and keeping the beach clean is up to residents.

    • Because it’s illegal. Greenwich used to do this. For decades, they carefully segregated their park budget from any state and federal money, even refusing state and federal assistance to clean up after hurricanes. All to no avail. They were sued by an ambitious young Stamford lawyer wanting to make a name for himself, and the town lost. They were forced to admit non-residents but, rightfully, allowed to price that differently from the price charged to residents.

      • Only for day passes, there are no season passes offered to non-residents.. and they need to buy both a day pass for the visit and a separate car pass, and buy it during town hall week day hours. Obviously to make it as difficult as possible. Westport could do the same.

  15. Beautiful beach. Ugly topic.

  16. When I first read this post, it upset me that the person decided to use ‘race and class’. Seems to be the easy way these days.

    But I was warmed by posts from non Westport residents who spoke up to support Westport and Compo. Thank you.

  17. Turning a price policy into a race issue? Really?
    I too live a stone’s throw from the Westport Town line in Fairfield now and will be subject to the price increase.
    Prices go up. Even a gallon of milk!!

  18. Price doesn’t solve the crowding problem. If you come by Uber the price is less and Westport gets no revenue.

  19. These out of the ordinary price increases were a result of last years frequent overcrowding which was largely due to an excessive amount of daily pass sales. The commission has acknowledged this by reducing daily pass sales to 100 visitors. (I believe last years sales were as many as 350 on the busiest days) In attempting to rectify the matter the commission also took the shotgun approach with beach fees. True we are Westport and proudly Compo is a Westport beach but it is not without reasonableness to have a wider range of acquaintances, family and friends as evidenced by our acknowledgement of our Weston Neighbors with a preferred yearly rate. It might have turned out differently if the commission had taken the time to profile the approximately 500 purchasers of season tickets to determine their beach use and impact. They did reduce the number of available out of town passes to 300 from 750 which is a level they are not likely to experience at the current price.

  20. For the first time this year, and for years into the future, the Westport boaters pay 80 percent of the cost for dredging, (on top of their dock fees which provides a surpluse to the budget). Out of towners who use our gas docks don’t pay us back for this expense. Want to use the beach for free as an out-of-towner? Have a friend with a boat bring you whole crowd to our navigable docks, and have them pick you at the end of the day.
    I look forward to the town’s reaction when the users of our other town services are singled out to pay additional fees for the use of our library, our schools, our tennis courts, our roads, and anything that’s paid for by all town residents collectively. When the town was fiscally responsible, in all previous years, the boaters’ surplus was set aside for this known future dredging expense, not spent elsewhere.

  21. Being a Norwalk resident myself, the only outrage should be, is that Norwalk themselves doesn’t charge higher beach fees. The Calf Pasture is flooded w New York plates during the summer or non residents..the city need to start capitalizing. That should be the focus, increase the Norwalk beach fees to improve the beach facilities. Westport doesn’t even need to offer non-resident beach passes..and the daily pass fee is inline with surrounding towns in CT and Westchester. Get a grip!

  22. Jennie Pickering

    Calf Pasture Beach is better anyway- live music, daytime bloody Mary’s, etc

  23. Weston I’d “different” from any other towns. Weston in the old days was an integral part of Westport sharing in common Staple High School, Longshore Golf, and so much more. That’s why the “deal”

    • Don’t be so negative about Weston, I assume your company is also catering clients in Weston.
      The relation between the two towns dates back to 1835, not only to the years of high school and golf course sharing and Weston was never an integral part of Westport, so please do some due diligence before you spread the word.
      But to enlighten you, there has always been a close relation between the two towns of Weston and Westport which started as early as 1835.
      Weston was incorporated already in 1787, the Town of Westport was officially incorporated on May 28, 1835, with lands from Fairfield, Weston and Norwalk. Daniel Nash led 130 people of Westport in the petitioning of the Town of Fairfield for Westport’s incorporation. The driving force behind the petition was to assist their seaport’s economic viability that was being undermined by neighboring towns’ seaports.
      So actually Westport was created through lands from three other towns.

  24. This person makes me laugh. As a person,who use to work for the town beaches and was also a reaident for most of my life, I can see why Westport upped there pricing. Through my years of working at the beaches I saw groups of out of towns come in and complain about every little thing , I also saw many trash the beach and abuse use of the beach. But I also saw the improvements needed . the town wasn’t getting the founding to replace buildings and update because the money and budget was always cut. The parks and rec even forced to cut jobs especially a critical position that help run the beach and stAff. I don’t see the problem. I just see one person who now can’t afford to go to compo anymore but yet has beach at Norwalk . im sure if they are such good friends with westporters they will come to Norwalk or car pool into compo lol. Protesting and making a big deal wont do anything . this article just made laugh

  25. I have lived in Westport for many years. All my four children went through elementary school
    and all graduated from Staples and graduated from college. My married daughter raised my four grandchildren in Westport from birth through graduation from Staples high school and college as well. I was forced out of Westport due to a divorce but my heart is in the town that I had lived in, raised children and grandchildren and spent over 20 plus wonderful active years there, and I am still involved. My daughter was married in Westport All my friends live in Westport. I feel much ingrained there. My car goes there automatically. I plan to be buried in Westport. I am a senior citizen. I would appreciate the privilege of continuing to walk on the beach with friends and family and would appreciate financial consideration for senior beach cost under these special circumstances. Thank you

  26. So your Westport friends won’t visit you in Norwalk? Sounds more like a friends issue.. maybe try and make some friends in Norwalk?

  27. Tell them
    To go to the Free beach. Sherwood island state park. For the playday

  28. Having read your critique of Westport’s blatantly exclusionary price increases for beach stickers and related offerings, I must say that I left Westport and all of its elitist trappings without looking back. The price hike was made to protect locals from people of color invading their beaches from Bridgeport and the surrounding areas, and their hopes of camouflaging this white supremist attitude is now dashed.

    • Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

      Someone’s been triggered… safe space needed.

    • “The price hike was made to protect locals from people of color invading their beaches from Bridgeport and the surrounding areas” – really? Do you know this to be true? Do you have any evidence to support this claim? Do residents of the “whiter” towns like Wilton, Easton and Redding (who really need beach access because they have none of their own) pay a smaller out-of-Town fee than Norwalk or Bridgeport residents?

      Your argument is irrational and baseless.

  29. Cut and pasted from the Norwalk resident’s letter…”Surely you are aware of the effect this has on the family budgets of hard working people”:
    1) I’m bothered by the overused phrase “hard working” as if to say that Westport folks are leisurely types with soft hands.
    2) Don’t call me Shirley.

  30. Hey Norwalker whoever you are. Westport has lost millions iin state funding due to your state Senator Duff, that has caused our town to look carefully at our budgets. Senator Dufff has refused to control the rising costs in CT by extending the state worker pension and benefits (SEBAC) plans till 2027!! Towns like Westport and your own city Norwalk are dealing with this mismanagement by your Senator who happens to be one the leading lawmakers in CT-majority leader of the senate.

    Try understanding why spending and budget decisions had to be made in Westport, and start voting to end the fiscal crisis in CT. Norwalk State Senator Duff is a major cause, and hopefully will not win any reelection.

    How many millions of dollars did Norwalk lose in state funding? My guess-a lot!!

    • Dick Lowenstein

      Always playing the political card…business as usual

      • Dick-unfortunately you refuse to comprehend and understand the fiscal issues in front of all of us. Quickly decisions are being made to cut education spending to towns and cities and you out your head in the sand and say it’s not happening. Quickly social programs for the needy are cut and you say-it’s political.

        Westport losses millions in state funding and you say it’s political.

        As a senior you are letting your friends down, as they feel the brunt of the higher taxes, including the upcoming higher property taxes.

        But it’s all political.

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      Bart, while we may agree that the beach usage needs to be managed for the main benefit of Westporters, your comments here seem completely off track.
      This comes across as a misguided attempt to steer the conversation to a rant about your political ax to grind, which is not connected to our beach overcrowding or the financing of it. (It’s always been financed by the revenues, not anything at the state level.) This doesn’t serve the purposes of the topic at hand.

  31. I was born and raised in Westport, but moved out of town as an adult, and I must say that while I’ll be curious as to how this decision affects profits this year, I think that the priority should always be local tax payers, and if the local community wants more stringent control over who has access to the beaches, then that’s what should be enacted. Some of the commuter community and their agendas for the town notwithstanding, Westport is a beautiful town, and it should be as well preserved as possible.

  32. I only hope that angry Weston residents don’t retaliate and ration Westport’s water from the reservoir, situated in Weston!

    • No, I think there will be a charge of only $ 2,50 per gallon delivery service charge (as Eversource does) to finance the beach stickers…..lol! 🙂

    • Retaliate? Weston residents should consider themselves damn lucky that Westport graciously offers them the ability to buy a season pass, and at a discounted rate no less! Weston would look more like a Redding or a Trumbull if it wasn’t for Westport.

      • Where does all this stupid hate come from?
        You think you are something better because you live in Westport?
        Look up my post further up about the history of these two towns.
        Westport wouldn’t even exist without the land donations from Fairfield, Weston and Norwalk.
        Narrow minded people like you are really bad for all communities.

        • I don’t think I’m better for living in Westport, but I think I pay taxes to a town, and the town services should be primarily available to me as a result. Weston has its own tax base, and its own services, why should my tax dollars subsidize you and your decision to live in a land-locked town? It should not be seen as a given you get a reduced rate versus Norwalk or Fairfield, there should simply be one non-resident rate determined by us, the taxpayers. Pretty simple concept, not based in hate, but in practicality.

      • Sharon Paulsen

        Trumbull is an amazing and beautiful town to live in.

        Your comment doesn’t even make any sense.

        (born and raised and employed-in townie … now a proud Trumbull homeowner)

        • Yea it’s fine, so is Weston. My point is they are all rural bedroom communities that are land-locked. People that buy homes in those communities know this. I bought in Westport because beach access was important to me, as well as New Haven line access. These are things that make Westport more expensive than the other towns, its simple economics. Some value the bigger house more, some value the beach and easy commute more. It doesn’t however mean one town deserves a right to another town’s services.

      • Elizabeth Thibault

        There’s no need to denigrate or insult other towns in this conversation. Westport is a gracious town, but in regards to this issue, there are practical and logistical considerations that are driving the increased costs and decreased permits. Lets stick to that, rather than creating divisiveness.

        • Yes, Westport is gracious, to the point of being taken advantage of. The divisiveness in my opinion comes from those who think they deserve a right to something paid for by the tax base of another town. I find this entitled behavior from Weston residents truly obnoxious.

          • If your attitude wouldn’t be so extremely sad, I would really laugh about it.
            Go, build a wall around your beach and ask everybody who puts a foot in the sand if they paid their taxes in Westport…..and do the so obnoxious Weston residents a favor and stay away from this town.

            • Sure.. not exactly hard to stay away from a town with no town.. Weston residents prefer and keep it that way, which is fine, I respect that as it’s their right, and thus their decision. Same as Westport residents’ decision to do what’s best for our town. But either stop piggybacking on Westport’s benefits, or just move here, but you can’t have it both ways. And you certainly don’t have a right to have it both ways, anymore than someone from Norwalk, Fairfield, Bridgeport, or Wilton.

  33. Yikes, what a way to spend a snowy day very entertaining! I was in the Washington Street area of Norwalk the other day. Love that street, the shops the restaurants the Maritime Center. Had to pay for parking, what an outrage.

  34. As a senior I was appalled to find out the increase was so dramatic! It seems unreasonable to not offer a discount to seniors or disabled people who no longer live in Westport.My community is Westport where I was a resident for 25 years and now live 50 feet into Norwalk. I would be happy to pay a reasonable fee to Westport with no problem but this seems extreme.

  35. I am a resident, an educator, and have enjoyed relaxing on the beaches of Norwalk. After reading this article and learning about the insane increases, I too would like to know the driving force behind this rational. Therefore, count me in for finding out the answers and making others aware. This is ridiculous, divisive both politically and economically.

  36. Arline Gertzoff

    There is a very simple solution coming from a Norwalk native-still proud of my Norwalk roots.We and many others moved to Westport in the 50’s mainly because of schooling I was going double session and my late father had been in business in Westport from 1940 so it made sense However his name is on the Veterans Plaque at Norwalk City Hall.
    The city of Norwalk is on a wonderful trajectory upwards.The beaches have also improved greatly.Westport is not trying to be exclusive .The beach has just become too crowded on weekends especially .Town residents and taxpayers come first. Since you wish to enjoy the company of your Westport friend just drive over to their house and go with them .Even if they make two trips you will have a great beach outing Another alternative is Sherwood Island State Park will have free entrance as 10$ is being added to liscense plate renewals so CTresidents will not have to pay .You can also invite your Westport friends to come to your house and all go to now lovely Calf Pasture together.Greenwich has plenty of exclusive regulations and was even sued There is always an Uber drop off

  37. This should end the debate. Norwalk’s Calf Pasture Beach DOES NOT ALLOW Westporters to purchase a seasonal pass. According to their website “Non-resident passes are $225/year for land-locked towns.” https://norwalkct.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/3
    I called their parks and recreation department at (203) 854-7806 and confirmed that we are not allowed to buy their seasonal passes.

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      That is an interesting twist, Avi. Thank you for the research. I’m assuming we could still purchase a day pass? Unfortunately I think the drama will continue, because it’s not really about the access but the perceived slight.

    • Way to go Avi? Always in the details.

      This is not about Compo-these people could easily join their Westport friends at Sherwood for a lot less. Instead they decide to get Dan to post something about race and class.

      Sad statement about our so called friendly neighbor-whoever they are.

  38. Neville Mansfield

    As a Westporter, this is embarrassing. Many of these comments seem to reinforce the original claim: divisive and exclusionary being central themes. For those who commented that Westport residents should have priority or that the beaches cannot be made free for all…did you even read the original post?? No one is asking for emblems to be free NOR are they saying prices can’t go up. The issue appears to be A) the dramatic 2017–>2018 increase in the midst of “inclusive” language coming from Westport and B) the hope that neighboring communities can co-mingle. OF COURSE state budgets are a mess – who disagrees with this? It’s a straw man. OF COURSE tax payers should have first dibs…did someone claim otherwise? OF COURSE if a family is critical of your policy decisions as a town, then “they won’t be missed.” As for triggers and safe spaces and race/class critiques…these are cheap, fatuous comments from a side with nowhere else to go…..the original post clearly says perhaps this choice was logistical in nature – they don’t claim it must be race-based. That’s what you see if that’s all you want to see to avoid the issue at hand. But yes, when this kind of thing happens, perception matters – unless of course you don’t care about perception.
    Westport doth protest too much methinks.

    • Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

      Maybe you could use your vehicle with resident pass to car pool all the non-residents in on weekends and then take them home in the evening… imagine how wonderful that would make you feel.

  39. Charlie Haberstroh

    I have been reading all the comments on this posting. The Westport Parks and Recreation Commission understands very well the effect of the price increases on non-residents. Westport has always prided itself on being a welcoming community, and we’re sorry that the increases have made it difficult for you to come to Compo. During this past summer Compo was more crowded than it has been in recent memory and there were many times that we were challenged by the limited parking that we have available. We heard many times and from many residents how much the beach experience had deteriorated in the past year, in large part by overcrowding, lack of parking at peak hours and traffic back-ups. The Commission decided that it was necessary to restrict parking by reducing the number of out of town emblems / daily passes that we sell and by increasing the fees to offset that reduction. The fee increases will also help cover increased staffing to help improve the beach experience.

    It should also be noted that the rehab of the bathrooms and other facilities is not funded by the emblem fee increases.

    There is still no fee for entrance to the beach by individuals without a vehicle. We encourage you to consider alternative means to get to the beach including the possibility of carpooling with your Westport friends. As an alternative, nearby Sherwood Island State Park is available to anyone with a car registered in CT with no direct cost.

    It would be great if we had more parking and even a larger beach area, but we don’t. We have been listening to the users of the beach during many public meetings and direct emails to the Commission and are doing what we can to improve the beach experience for as many people as possible.

    Charlie Haberstroh
    Chairman, Westport Parks and Recreation Commission

  40. Jessica Stauder

    Dear Parks and Rec, Thank you for taking this step. It’s one of the only positive trends I’ve seen lately in this town.

  41. Consider calling them Norwavians

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  42. Definitely a NIMBY situation, to borrow phrase another 1 of Dan’s commenters used when talking about varying opinions on 🇺🇸 federal immigration policy, ie, how Westporters expect & many demand Texas, Arizona & California, for example, allow non-citizens to enter their territory But the same westporters then don’t want to themselves extend same open border hospitality to their own neighbors. It’s a contradiction that plays out all over the world, def not exclusive to Westport.

  43. So much angst about everything these days… hopefully, your kids don’t sense it in you.

  44. Just curious. Does anyone know if Westport residents are permitted to use Weston’s Bisceglie-Scribner Park and swimming pond? I was surprised to discover earlier that Westport residents are not permitted to purchase Norwalk Calf Pasture Beach stickers. It should really go both ways.

  45. Jacqueline Stewart

    To the Unhappy Norwalk person…
    Nothing lasts forever! Count your blessings that you had time at Compo in the past,
    Over the years, limited parking, out of towners
    Loading 6 people in a car/ it should have been charge per person like they have for residents in Greenwich…loud boom box music,
    Littering- Compo Beach needs these changes.

    One thing is certain there will always be change.
    Stop complaining and move on – all this bitterness is not good for you. . .

  46. Lisa Weinstein

    In essence, Compo has gotten unbearably crowded due to the generosity of our town. Sherwood Island is also an option for non residents. Too many people get dropped off by Uber so they don’t have to pay to get in. We don’t want to lose that small town feel by allowing everyone in. This is not a public beach like the Rockaways and Coney Island.

  47. Lisa – as someone who lived in Westport for 40 years I can assure you that Westport has not had “that small town feel” since about 1987! As for the beach mess I have no solution it’s just sad. With all the things that have been added to “the beach” it is beginning to look like Coney Island.

  48. Danielle Alexander

    In reading all of these comments I am really feeling for the senior citizens, especially those who raised their families here but are now “priced out” of Westport. While I support all of the price increases, couldn’t our senior citizens be offered a healthy discount?

    • I like that idea but like myself there are lots of seniors who are priced out of Westport, not just the beach!

      • Cristina. No doubt seniors are facing headwinds in Westport as costs and taxes rise. This could get worse as the new town budget is projected to rise and the school budget is projected to rise by over 4% and that does not include adding 6 SRO’s. That could easily add another $1 million+ to the town’s budget. You should request the town to review the police budget before adding more. If 6 more are added, the police costs will grow more as the town accrues for their medical and pension costs.

        And let’s not forget the State of CT budget issues. What happens to Westport if the lawmakers in Hartford push some of the teacher pension costs down to Westport.

        We need your voice. Seniors could find the costs to live in a Westport grow much much higher. And very soon.

  49. I absolutely agree. This is outrageous!! It is insulting. Pitiful. I’m disgusted.

  50. I grew up in Westport in the 70’s and 80’s. I liked that I could see my classmates and neighbors at Compo or Burying Hill Beaches. Once they allowed non Westporters to use the beach plus the skateboard rink was put in .. you lost parking spot availability. When I lived there again in 2005 – 13 .. I was amazed at the accents and people at the beach. I saw no Westport neighbors anymore. It was many outsiders. I just assumed Compo was for residents and Sherwood Island State Park & 8 other CT State Beaches were for everyone else. I grew up in Long Island and my Mom drove us to Jones Beach State Park. My parents didn’t complain because Greatneck, Oyster Bay or Freeport wouldn’t let us into their Town Beaches. Today, I live in Norwalk and our beaches are free. I’m not bitching that I’m excluded from Compo. It makes sense. Cater to the “residents” of Westport because they pay a lot of money to live there. Having Scouts together and co mingling is not a valid reason. I guess those Norwalkers don’t like the Norwalk Beaches?? I thought I read that State Park passes for CT Tax payers were free so can’t we all just drive to Sherwood? Correct me if I’m wrong. Personally, I buy an out of town Fairfield Beach sticker every year because I like the size and quality of those beaches better than Calf Pasture. That costs me, a Fairfield out of towner, $170. We go 12 times a season so we’re totally fine with that cost.

  51. Compo Beach has become so crowded especially parking that residents have a difficult time to get to enjoy their own beach. Norwalk has beaches of their own. I don’t see what the problem is. If you want to use our beach pay the price otherwise you can use Norwalk beaches. On Long Island the town beaches are just for residents only and you can’t buy your way into those beaches. Even state beaches you have to pay to get in. One of the reasons I bought my home was for access to town beaches. Now I can’t even find parking let alone a space to relax. I see no problem with the raise of the beach stickers.

  52. These comments are hilarious. It’s to keep black people off the beach. You guys love bullshitting yourselves.

    • That’s offensive. And untrue. You could also ASSUME that is the reason these folks don’t want to go to the Norwalk beaches or Sherwood Island. Too easy and irresponsible to make those awful allegations.

  53. In California, stores like Puppies of Westport are banned and you can walk along gorgeous beaches for free. Because other states are not always segregated shitholes with the 3rd highest GINI index in the nation. Let these lexus-driving aging trophy wives, their wallstreet adulterer husband’s, and their pale overfed children have the beach in the hell on Earth they have created for themselves.

  54. Where do you live, Jason?

  55. It must be terrible to be filled with such venom and hate.

  56. Ooo I just remembered Westport’s post office is in ……Norwalk!!!!!!

  57. So much ado about nothing.
    It is a beach, only a beach!
    You can defend it and proclaim it for Westporter’s only, because you pay taxes in this town, but there is still the law and the law says it’s a public beach, everybody can go there.
    You can raise the price to $ 500 or $ 1,000 for a beach sticker and if in the end for example 5000 people outside of Westport decide they want to go to the beach, either walking or with a bicycle or an Uber nobody can do anything against it.
    So it’s actually only !!! about the convenience to park your car by the beach, nothing else, the beach is accessible for everybody.
    What is shocking is the way the discussion is getting out of control. “our beach”, “people of Weston are obnoxious”, “stay on your beach in Norwalk”,
    “people with an accent”, “people of color” , sarcasm, being narrow minded, insulting……and so on.
    Are we grown ups, educated people? Isn’t it possible to have a discussion about price developments and what it means for different groups of people, if it is the elder, or people who moved out of town and still feel connected with Westport and like to enjoy a summer day at Compo or had to move away because they can’t effort to live here anymore, there are so many reasons how it effects people, but it doesn’t give anybody the right to be judgmental or to act as if they are entitled to something they not entitled to, except to buy a beach sticker to park their car, it’s still a public beach.
    Try to see it from another, very realistic angle to put the beach into perspective, from October 1st to March 31st, 6 months!, hundreds of people go every day with their dogs to the beach. These dogs pee and poop on the beach and then all of the sudden for the next 6 months the same beach (turned over and “cleaned” of course) becomes THE holy grail which needs to be defended and all people who are not from Westport need to be excluded if possible, really ?
    It’s a beach, only a beach!

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