Greetings Fire Island Homeowners
UPDATE FALL 2023
FINS (Fire Island National Seashore) is assessing the current driving regulations on Fire Island. While this affects year rounders and contractors more than most in Fire Island, we all can have a say in the future rules. FINS will be releasing a newsletter shortly with three or four alternatives to the current Blue Book Rules. At this time, their alternative won’t be specific but the release of this newsletter starts the NEPA Scoping review with 30 days to comment. There will be two public hearings and anyone can submit their comments during this time. Let your voice be heard.
While some seasonal residents may still retain grandfathered driving permits based on the Blue Book rules from nearly 50 years ago, current seasonal residents who pay the same property taxes as year rounders or the seasonal permit holders will still be denied access to their homes despite comments and requests that we be able to access their property at least in early spring and late fall.
Since the pandemic wait lists for the capped number of permits have grown expedentionally, so if you intend to permanently move to your Fire Island home you will need to wait for multiple years before you may receive a driving permit. One solution proposed would lift the cap for any homeowner that moves to Fire Island full time or 7 days a week, however this has been mostly opposed by current year round permit holders. This may be the last chance to voice. This is unfair for anyone planning to relocate to their Fire Island homes especially in Kismet where there is no ferry service off season making it nearly impossible to access our homes from mid-November till early April.
This may be the last chance to influence these driving regulations for another 50 years please participate in the public comment period or attend the virtual or in person public meetings and make your opinions known.
Greetings Fire Island Homeowners
Update for 2022
I wanted to share some important takeaways from a conference call that took place October 4th 2021 with the Fire island National Seashore superintendent Alexy Romero , and his team including Sonia Taiani and Jason Pristupa. In addition Gary Leone Kismet Community Association president and myself Elliott Epstein appointed Chair of the Access to Kismet committee for the KCA.
FINS would likely approve a permit for a shuttle bus from either the mainland or lot 5 that would service Kismet and or the western communities of Fire Island at times of limited or no ferry service. If the shuttle originates at lot 5 it would also require a permit from NYS Parks. A shuttle bus could be deemed a better option than permit holders taking one party back and forth or using the road through the park 3 times with a driving permit owner, especially since it could service multiple parties in a single round trip causing less impact to the park or resources. In the era of covid year rounders may not want to offer rides to their neighbors due to the risk of possible infection of the virus as has been practice in the past.
This is one possible solution since many people are now using their homes longer or living in them year round without driving permits.
A Transportation company TBD would need to make a Commercial Use Authorization application (CUA) that would allow individuals , corporations, or other entities to provide commercial services to park visitors.( Fire Island Homeowners ) a CUA is required before commercial operations begin. If you or someone you know would be interested in applying please contact Elliott Epstein thru this website or FINS Directly.
Town Halls conducted back in 2019 and what decisions on changes in any of the regulations regarding driving permits will be announced sometime around March 2022 or possibly slightly later depending on when FINS is ready to release their findings and decisions.
Wait times for driving permits are now estimated to be as long as 4-5 years since the pandemic. It would seem” everyone” has declared since 2020 that they are year round and applied for driving permits. growing the list exponentially. The key factor to be qualified as defined by FINS is you are living on the Island 7 days a week. Gary Leone and I made the assertion that no one could possibly live 7 days a week on Fire Island for 4-5 years before they could be granted driving privileges. This is just not possible. We requested that applications be accepted and only need to prove full time residency the last year or possibly 2 as has been the experience in the past. We gained agreement on this and later FINS walked that back saying after further discussions they would look to remove applicants from the list to reduce the wait time and not let anyone myself included to request being on the list until I first move to my Fire Island residence full time. This essentially denies anyone from planning to relocate or retire to their Fire Island Property in the post Covid era. Investigating peoples residency status and reducing the size of the list and wait times is much easier said than done and many people believe that there are current permit owners that do not actually live 7 days a week or full time now. Credit Cards are now being accepted in lieu of checks for permit application fees. for details contact FINS office @ 631-687-4772
We also asserted on the call that a property owner should be able to apply for a permit during an emergency national or even personal in nature. The examples we discussed in example a terrorist attack ie 911 or Pandemic . Or in the case of a personal emergency such as a fire or flood in a primary home. Such situations would be taken under consideration on a case by case basis we were told. There is no plan in place for property owners to gain access to their homes in a National Emergency Ice Over Permits are still being issued in the event of the bay freezing over, However once again only if you are living on Fire island 7 days a week. A Special Park use Permit would be required. I am attaching a PDF of that Permit application in the footer of this website.
Greetings Fire Island Homeowners
Update for 2021
This website contains the information obtained for Kismet Homeowners and Western Fire Island Communities Homeowners from Fire Island National Seashore and NYS Park Police. In addition to information on the Pedicab Service from Robert Moses State Park Lot 5 to the old Fire House in Kismet. The Pedicab has been granted a permit to operate ONLY on FINS Land and should not be coming into Kismet.
It is important to point out that many Families wanted to relocate to their Fire Island Properties that they owned but could not since no Ferry service existed in March when seasonal residents many from hard hit NYC wanted to come. In fact Kismet residents that originally had ferry service scheduled to start the first weekend in April were pushed back till the start of May.
Year round residents were reluctant to offer rides, understandably and the result was a line of cars dropping off passengers and belongings at the checkpoint on the burma rd. and our neighbors dragging crucial supplies with them walking miles to arrive at their refuge.
It has become abundantly clear even in an emergency such as covid 19 virus we as property owners have no rights to access our properties with the supplies necessary to relocate and protect our families.
In an emergency, personal or National in nature there is no legal way to access our properties short of chartering a private boat or water taxi.
I would implore all property owners to contact our elected representatives and the Fire Island National Seashore to voice the opinion that these policies should be changed That some accommodation for property owners be considered.
We understand the primary objective of FINS is to protect our beautiful shoreline and natural resources. However, we hope there might be some wiggle room to allow additional access to western Fire Island Communities for property owners. The FINS Management plan calls for striking a balance with Human Activity while preserving natural and cultural resources but access to non-year rounders at this time is limited or non existent
FAQ’S and answers provided by FINS
1How long is the waiting list to apply for a year round Driving permit at this time? There are over 40 names on the wait list for year round residents. There is a wait time expectation of approximately 3 years
2Can you apply for a year round driving permit if you have not fully relocated to live year round in Kismet or if you are planning or in the process of becoming a year round resident, or would you only be permitted to apply after relocation? You may only apply once you are a year round resident to Kismet or any community on Fire Island.
3Can seasonal property owners apply for permits to check on their properties during a bay freeze over when ferry service is suspended as it was earlier this month? No. The local fire departments do a damage assessment and report to the Chief Ranger.
4What is the fee for a bay freeze over permit? The ice over permits are issued to year round residents and contractors. There is a $50 application fee and the permit costs $75 per week.
5Who may apply for a contractor or Work Permit and what are the requirements of the contractor…License etc.? In order to apply for a contractor driving permit you must submit an application with a $50 application fee (every year) and be placed on our wait list. You must also submit a list of work/clients proving you have year round work as a contractor.
6May a homeowner apply for a work or contractor permit to perform DIY work? No, they cannot.
7What is the timing that a contractor(special use) or work permit may be applied for during the year and does it change if no Ferry service is being provided for passengers? A contractor can submit and application to be placed on the wait list at any time. If the bay freezes, they may apply for an ice over permit
8Can a seasonal Homeowner apply for a permit to transport his licensed contractor for a home improvement or maintenance contract? No
9During an Impending Storm (Hurricane) can a homeowner be granted a permit to drive to their Kismet homes to secure their property board up windows , remove personal items and deck furniture etc. Residents can walk in from field 5 or if ferry service is suspended they can ask neighbors who live on Fire Island for assistance in reaching their home.
10Can Kismet property owners take private taxi or Uber to the checkpoint to access their property if they walk in from there in particular if no ferry service is available or any other time? No, they have to walk in from field 5
11Are there any circumstances other than the aforementioned questions that a seasonal homeowner may obtain a special use permit? There are no circumstances (yet) that I’m aware of for a seasonal homeowner to obtain a driving permit.
As a follow up to the Town Halls held last year the FINS held a webinar about Reviewing Driving regulations on Fire island. , If you were unable to attend, please click here
Please click here for Part 2 of Driving Webinar
PARKING AT LOT 5 ROBERT MOSES STATE PARK
A PERMIT IS AVAILABLE TO PARK FROM OCTOBER 1 ST UNTIL MARCH 31ST. FOR $400 THIS ALLOWS FOR UNLIMITED PARKING DURING THAT TIME , A Sticker is supplied.
these permits are valid in lot 5 or Captree state parks as well
During this same time 10/1 till 3/31 you may apply for permits to park in lot 5 for 1-2 days the fee is $30 per night. The maximum available is 2 nights per permit application but they do not limit how many applications are made.
Two utility bills, electric , water , direct tv, fios, etc that match the owners name or other document that show name of property owner and address such as mortgage statement or tax bills or receipts.
ICE OR FREEZE OVER PERMITS FROM FINS
Currently these permits are only available to year round residents However we have asked if they could be made available to seasonal property owners if the possibility of freeze over exists or an emergency is declared to protect ones property.
The fee for this type of special use permit is $75 weekly.