From time to time, we hear concerns from members about people they observe using GH-CP Sanitary District facilities who they suspect are not authorized to do so. This summer is no exception. The beaches and boat ramps are mentioned most frequently, but recently the increased use of the tennis and pickleball courts has raised an eyebrow or two.
Just to review, our facilities are not open to the general public. Property owners (who pay their RUF) and members of their households, and their guests may obtain access cards and use our facilities. Individuals who lease a property also acquire the access rights for that property and may obtain access cards and use our facilities.
At least one person in any group using our facilities is required to carry a valid access card and vouch for others in the group. Signs reminding users of this requirement have been posted at the beaches and boat ramps, and for the past year, we have been reminding our members to carry and preferably display their access cards at those facilities, so they are easily identified as authorized users.
And it seems to be working…. Over the weekend of July 24 and 25, there were several comments on the social media site, NextDoor, expressing concern about individuals and groups who did not appear to belong to the community, and reporting boats pulling up to Cabin Point Beach from the waterside to use the beach. Despite the appearance of “people who did not belong” on the beach, the facts do not support the comments or observations reported on NextDoor. A county official authorized to check access cards made a visit to the beach on Saturday and on Sunday. During each visit, the county official approached everyone there, whether they arrived by land or by water. Everyone had an access card or was part of a group having an access card or was a family member or invited guest of an owner. The only group that did not have an access card with them was a group of young teenagers–the grandchildren of an owner who were thus entitled to use the beach property.
We are a growing and increasingly diverse community, so we can expect to encounter more members whom we do not recognize, or who don’t “look like us.” We can expect more boats at the beaches, as members who are using the boat ramps for access set up for an afternoon on the water.
We will continue to look at further steps that can be taken to discourage unauthorized use of our facilities while continuing to provide our members the greatest possible access to our community’s recreational amenities, consistent with personal safety and good stewardship of our resources.
Please remember that all Westmoreland County ordinances and GH-CP Sanitary District rules apply at all the beaches in the GH-CP Sanitary District. Open fires are not permitted on the beaches at any time although enclosed portable grills may be used. For the benefit of those who visit the beach after you, please clean up the beach area you use and take with you everything you brought. Thank you.