Falmouth Heights-Maravista
Neighborhood Association

Mission Statement

To preserve and improve the residential character of the Falmouth Heights and Maravista neighborhoods.  To protect and enhance our beaches, parks and other public spaces. To encourage activities that promote civic pride and the healthful and peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhoods.  To provide a forum to identify concerns affecting our neighborhoods, make relevant information available to our members, and address areas of concern with appropriate Town bodies.

Current News, Issues & Events

TO READ OLD NEWS, click on dates under “Annual Archive” (left).
ANNUAL CLEANUP HEIGHTS & MARAVISTA:  Sat., April 28, 2018, 8:30-10:30 AM. To volunteer, email cleanup@fhmna.org
“SPRING INTO SUMMER” SOCIAL:  TBA June 2018. Adult members and others considering membership. Hors d’oeuvres; cash bar.
ANNUAL MEETING:  Saturday, August 4, 2018, 8:00 – 10:15 AM, Falmouth Yacht Club.  See 2017 Annual Meeting Minutes  
FALL SOCIAL:  TBA 2018. Adult members (free) and guests ($5, free if join).

On Wednesday, April 18, the Beach Committee (BC) reviewed their suggested Beach Policies.  They had emailed the list to all Town Meeting Members for comment and the Enterprise article on April 13 asked input from the public. The Cape Cod Times published articles on April 16 (“Proposed beach rules”) and April 19 (“Falmouth Hopes to Avoid Beach Buzzkill”). The FHMNA emailed our members on April 13 requesting input which included their draft of Beach Committee Regulations.  The BC received 49 emails in response.

The final BC’s recommendations to the Board of Selectmen will be reviewed at the BC meeting on May 16, 2018.  The Selectmen will then schedule open hearings after that.

The BC meeting was televised by FCTV   To watch the beach policies discussion, scroll from 0:1:10 through 1:04:59, after which follows a presentation requesting beach assess for kayaks and paddle boards (which was tabled for further discussion with beach staff members at 1:24:00).  The remainder of the meeting covered the Superintendent’s and Committee Reports.

Public Email Comments and Superintendent’s response:  Bruce Mogardo, Beach Superintendent, prepared a summary list of emails he received.  He also recommended that as soon as the Selectmen vote on a final version, a list of policies and other “expectations” should be handed out with each purchased beach license. He spoke at length about training the lifeguards to watch for both rules and expectations. The lifeguards rotate chairs, and when doing so will be instructed to meander through the beach to look out for infringements. “Directives must be followed” and if not, the lifeguards will be instructed to call the Beach House and/or police.  Mr. Mogardo will also train the parking lot attendants to walk the lot and beach area behind the lifeguard’s chairs when the lot is full and the attendant can step away from the entrance.

FHMNA presented some of our members’ concerns including the size and placement of tents and/or prohibition of any 4-pole structures, the prohibition of hard ball playing and the question of leaving responsibility for both water safety and beach rules to the discretion of the lifeguards.

Tents: The BC voted to limit the size of tents to 10’ x 10’, to be firmly secured and which must not obstruct the lifeguard’s view of the water.  There were conflicting opinions:  tents block beachgoers views and should be limited to the rear of all beaches vs. people come to the beach in groups and it is discriminatory to ask half a group to be relegated to the back while the rest want to sit closer to the water.  However, obstruction of the lifeguard’s view takes precedence.

Other issues:  Prohibiting glass bottles was discussed as a recommendation, not a policy.  Falmouth has no policy regarding drones, but if people are out in public spaces they can’t have an expectation of privacy. There was little discussion about safety; air space is controlled by the FAA.  Trash is a big issue and Linda Davis, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, spoke about that committee’s intention to create a comprehensive trash policy for Falmouth in conjunction with 15 other Cape towns, similar to US parks’ law of “what you pack in, you pack out”.  A no vaping rule was added to clarify the no smoking rule.

The Falmouth Spring Town Meeting was held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, April 9, 10 and 11, 2018.

Members might be interested in watching the Coastal Resiliency Action Committee report on Monday:  FCTV, 1:32:45 through 1:39:19. (For those interested in learning more and/or sharing their concerns with the Committee, please attend a “Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Community Listening” meeting on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in the Hermann Room, Falmouth Public Library, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, or view their web page on the Town website.

For background information on Articles 32 and 34, see FHMNA’s article posted on April 2, 2018 regarding Articles 32 and 34.

Article 32 Indefinite Postponement:  “This petition is to place an article in the annual warrant to have the town of Falmouth authorize a second water meter for each residence affected by this new sewer system. The town to provide the additional water meter and the homeowner would pay for its installation. On petition of Stephen C. Bazycki.”  Indefinite Postponement recommended.

This article was “held” for discussion, which can be viewed on FCTV by scrolling from 56:20 through 1:07:50. The petitioner was not able to appear, but sent a representative to ask for an amendment to widen the petition to all of Falmouth rather than just the LPSSA.  This was not allowed.  There was a concern that there was no funding noted; the moderator explained that if the petition passed, the petitioner would then return with a request for funding.  TMM Sandy Cuny said she had received some calls from Precinct 2 residents who volunteered to pay for their own meters.  She suggested the members vote for Indefinite Postponement and that the petitioners come back with more clarification.  This was done.

Article 34 Passed as Printed: To see if the Town will vote to amend the Zoning Bylaw by deleting Section 240-142 (as amended in 1983) and substituting the following updated Section 240-142 regulating cooking and housekeeping amenities in commercial accommodations guest units: §240-142 Cooking and housekeeping facilities. Commercial accommodations units may contain amenities for private cooking and housekeeping only as the Board of Appeals allows, by special permit, upon the Board’s determination that the allowed amenities are customary to guest units and will not change the nature of the use as commercial accommodations. On petition of Kevin P. Klauer, II.

This article was not “held” by any Town Meeting Member for discussion and was voted as recommended by the Planning Board: “That the Town vote Article 34 as printed in the warrant.”

On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, the Conservation Commission (ConCom) held a two-hour hearing on the 28 house 40B development proposed off Worcester Court and Alma Road on the shores of Little Pond.

You can watch the hearing on FCTV  by scrolling to 52:00:00 through 2:48:10. The hearing was continued to May 2, 2018 which you can watch live streaming on FCTV .  Please email your comments or questions directly to the ConCom.

(REMINDER: Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals, Thursday, April 19th 2018, 6:30 p.m. CONTINUED: #090-17-Helmis Circle, LLC 40B off Worcester Ct. Alma Rd. can also be watched live streaming onFCTV.)

The developer presented revised plans which answered many of ConCom’s concerns from their first meeting on February 14, 2018 (see FHMNA report) including a proposed decrease in elevation which would eliminate almost all of the retaining walls; two houses to be shifted approximately 20 feet to the west, away from Little Pond; fences to be split rail allowing for wildlife through-movement; and details about the safeguarding of box turtles. However, there was no change in the density of homes proposed, limitation of trees removed, nor addition of open space within the “village”. The explanation of snow storage areas was questioned.

Many questions raised by the ConCom and the public concerned the impact of construction and tree removal on the coastal banks abutting the property. Much of the project is within the 100-foot buffer of the banks. Potential destabilization of the banks which provide flood protection is the primary concern. Also questioned was the possibility of impact of this destabilization on the nearby vernal pool and Atlantic White Cedar swamp on town owned conservation abutting the site to the north.

Additional issues raised by the ComCom and abutters were related to the storm water management system proposed and the Homeowners Association that would eventually be responsible for maintaining the elaborate system.

There was some discussion about the currently heavily forested site which provides habitat to many species of plants and animals including eastern box turtles. Almost all trees would be removed over the course of the multiyear development. Trees on both sides of the property line to the north provide important support and stability to the coastal bank at this location. At the base of the bank is the Cedar Swamp and vernal pool. Removing the trees on the development site along with the construction of many of the houses in the 100-foot buffer zone of the coastal bank will endanger the trees along the top of the bank on the town land. A number of these trees exceed 12 inches in diameter. The severe northeaster storms this past winter damaged many of these trees and some fell along the banks taking soil with them. Trees are social entities, they fare much better during storms when they are surrounded by other trees that provide support and buffer the wind gusts. A lone tree is very vulnerable to high winds especially when combined with wet heavy snow and ice.