Okay, I've started the discussion and stated the problem.
At lot of different solutions have been proposed over the years. Here are some of them:
- Season Pass; purchased
- Season Pass; lottery
- Paid Reservation
- Free Reservation
- First come first serve (finders keepers)
We already know first come first serve
doesn't work; that's what we have now.
I've already explained why I think any plan which allows a member to have an assigned space for the whole season is a bad idea.
Of the old ideas, that leaves a reservation system, which requires a degree of management that is probably beyond anything our Board wants to undertake.
Now I'd like to offer my preferred solution; what I think (at least hope) will work best.
The Un-Managed Solution
I can't say for sure, but I think once every member is made to move his boat after a certain maximum stay, this whole problem will solve itself.
First things first:
I recommend the Association print and use a special boat sticker. Only members can buy stickers. Limit the cost to not much more than the cost of actually making the sticker. Each sticker has a unique number on it, and the Association keeps a spreadsheet that ties the number to the owner and his contact info.
If you want to park a boat on Association Beach, you must affix a boat sticker to the boat. Any boats parked in violation are to be immediately towed and put in storage. This is to make sure only member-boats are using the parking, and make it easier to keep track of their duration of stay.
When the member buys the sticker he signs an agreement saying he'll follow the rules, pay any fines, and absolve the Association of liability for damage if the boat ever must be towed.
Now let's say we set a maximum stay of two overnights; or three, or even four overnights. I think any of those might work, and can be open for discussion, but I recommend no more than four.
When a boat has reached the maximum stay limit, it must be removed or the owner is subject to a per-day fine; amount is open to discussion.
After three days fines, the boat is towed to storage. In order to retrieve his boat, the owner must pay a towing fee, plus per-day storage (amounts open to discussion).
If a boat owner is more than ten days delinquent on fines, he loses his parking privilege (for any and all boats) until the fines are paid.
Once a boat has been removed from a parking space, whether voluntarily by the owner, or by tow, the owner must wait a certain number of days before he becomes eligible to use any space again. This is regardless of whether he parked the boat for one night, or his allotted maximum.
The number of days to wait can be discussed and tweaked over time as to what works best. Of course it has to be at least one, to make sure the boat was really moved. The principles of laziness and inertia might solve the problem right there. Most people will probably not move the boat back onto the beach two days later, unless they're only visiting for a week or two vacation (and accommodating those folks is one reason I'd like to hold it to one day). If a one day break turns out to be not enough disincentive, then two or even three days might be used. I recommend no more than four, but I'd like to see it tried first at the less restrictive one-day, and see how it works.
Fines may or may not pay for the program. If it works as intended, people will follow the rules and at most it will only cost a thousand a year. Towing the boats won't cost the Association anything, as the boat owner will pay for the tow or forfeit his boat. Just include a provision that allows the Association to sell or dispose of any boats which haven't been retrieved after 90 days.
That's it, my whole plan in a nutshell. I think if this is implemented and strictly enforced it will solve the shortage of parking spaces, making them available to everyone.