Beaches, Wetlands, Waterways
One of Sands Point’s great charms is its waterfront location. All construction on or alteration of waterfront or wetland property is stringently regulated by Federal, State, and Village laws and codes in an effort to preserve these fragile natural resources. These codes are strictly enforced, and penalties for violations can include fines and the obligation to remove unpermitted structures and restore the area to its original state.
HOMEOWNER & BEACH ASSOCIATIONS
Throughout the Village’s history, it has been a common practice for the subdivision of large properties which include some water-frontage to provide for private access areas to beaches. As a result, many of the beach areas in the Village are owned jointly by groups of residents who may or may not live on the shore. The deed to property in these areas may include a percentage of the shared beach access area. Some areas of Sands Point have homeowner or beach associations for the maintenance of these access areas. Residents with such deeded rights may pay annual dues to defray the maintenance costs and taxes, or may depend upon volunteers for cleanups.
The Harbor Acres Property Owners Association is the largest such association within the Village. There are approximately two hundred homes in Harbor Acres, and the dues paid by the homeowners pay for the maintenance not only of the beach, but tennis courts and other recreational property owned by the Association. Social functions are also arranged periodically.
At the present time, Village Hall does not have up-to-date information about all beach associations. The following are some known beach associations and the areas they represent: Estates of Sands Point Beach Association (Cornwells Beach Road, Cedar Lane and part of Barkers Point Road), Half Moon Beach Civic Association (Messenger Lane, Soundview Lane and part of Barkers Point Road), Sands Point Acres Beach Association (Hilldale Lane and its extensions), Hoffstot Lane Civic Association, Half Moon Beach & Wetland Conservancy of Sands Point, Inc., and the Plum Beach Point Association.
If you do not live in Harbor Acres and you are uncertain as to whether you have access rights to a beach near your home, check the deed for your house and speak to neighbors on your street. Much waterfront property is individually owned and may not be used without invitation from the owners. However, all residents may access the beach as members of the Village Club.
DOCKS, BULKHEADS, JETTIES
Permits are required for construction of any dock, bulkhead, or jetty, and there are detailed specifications for materials, methods, and location. A permit application must be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a dock and any related structures or mechanisms, and there will be a public hearing. Docks must be properly maintained, and a dock permit must be renewed every five years. Docks may also require approval from the Army Corp. of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and other agencies.
Hire the proper experts to act as your agents. An architect, engineer, contractor, and/or, perhaps, an attorney, may be necessary for any work of this kind. While the property owner is always responsible for work done at his or her behest, professional expertise is critical for successful and satisfactory construction. Consult the Building Department for details on this kind of construction. Permit applications are available in the Village Hall.
No construction is permitted near wetlands, freshwater, or tidal water without a permit. There are special requirements of the Federal, State, and Village governments which must be met for this kind of work. Hire the proper experts to act as your agents. An architect, engineer, contractor, environmental consultant, and/or, perhaps, an attorney, may be necessary for any work of this kind. While the property owner is always responsible for work done at his or her behest, professional expertise is critical for successful and satisfactory construction. Check with the Building Department, Planning Board chair, and, with respect to Appeals Board requirements, the Village Clerk when contemplating any work in these protected areas.
The Village has jurisdiction to regulate the operation of boats in adjacent waterways. In addition, Federal and State laws also govern boat operation. Check with Village Hall for details of these laws and regulations. Discharge of untreated sewage from boats is prohibited. Power boat racing is prohibited. Boats may not be moored or anchored in channels or within 250 feet of the shore except in emergencies or when put there by the adjacent property owner or owner's guests. Speed and manner of boat operation are also regulated by law. Check with Village Hall or the Police Chief for further information about boat operation laws.