Here are the posted minutes from the May 16, 2011 Board of Selectmen’s meeting which relate to the closing time for Falmouth Heights Beach parking lot. They will review this process in July, so we will keep you posted on any new developments.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Winnie Grant, FHMIA President, at (508) 548-4135 or firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED MINUTES FROM THE MAY 16, 2011 BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING (these were taken directly off their webpage from the town’s website):
“Discuss Beach Closing Times and Vote Falmouth Heights Management Plan – Beach Committee
Amy Sellers, Chairman of the Beach Committee, said there are two separate issues: the beach closing times and the Falmouth Heights lot. There was a general discussion on keeping the beaches accessible, but Don Hoffer, Beach Superintendent, said the Town is not restricting beach access but deciding when the parking lots are locked. The meaning of “public access” was discussed.
Dan Shearer asked that the Chapoquoit Beach lot not be locked. He also asked when the Chapoquoit lot opens. Mr. Hoffer said he can make special arrangements to open early.. Brent Putnam noted that the Town may need to change the bylaw to accommodate those who want to use the beach early. Mary Pat Flynn moved to close all the Town lots other than Falmouth Heights at 10:00 p.m. except for Megansett and Menahaunt East (open 24 hours to accommodate the fishermen). Ahmed Mustafa seconded. 4-Yes, 1-No (Melissa Freitag)
In discussing the Falmouth Heights parking lot, Heather Harper said while the lot closes at 10 p.m., vehicles are allowed to remain until 11 p.m.; after that, they are towed. The Board discussed using a uniformed attendant who would have contact with the Police Department and have authority to issue tickets. The Beach Committee supports this idea. Selectman Mustafa thinks the lot should be closed at 9 p.m. to keep the sanctity of the community.
Winifred Grant asked that the lot be closed at 9 p.m., Robert Ament, representing the British Beer Company, is asking that there be management, a Town employee, starting at 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. or midnight.. Towing would begin at 11 p.m. A 9 p.m. closing is too early for people dining in the summer. A lengthy discussion ensued on using the 10 p.m. closing on a trial basis. Howard Grosser brought up the issue of restricting the use of the lot to Falmouth residents and guests. Andy Dufresne spoke of Article 25 from the 1971 Town Meeting. There was discussion on the meaning of “guest”. Mr. Grosser noted that the British Beer Company benefits monetarily from the late closing of the lot. He would like it closed at 9 p.m. Russ Medeiros said the cost of ticketing and towing is outrageous and puts the Town in a bad light
Michael Fallerman, owner of the BBC, wants to find a solution that works for both his business and the community. Nancy Erickson said there was noise last year with no respite. Lorraine Luchner said the Town can’t guarantee an attendant will always show up. Mr. Hoffer said the plan calls for an attendant to always be available; it’s the Town’s responsibility. Ms. Harper said that a management plan is part of an overall beach strategy. Ellen Haley asked what would happen to the vehicles if an attendant doesn’t show up. The success of the plan depends on the lock-up person, Mr. Hoffer said. Paul Moore, owner of Falmouth Taxi, offered to close the gate at no charge. Ms. Harper said this idea was discussed, but the cost for this service would need to be discussed further.
Melissa Freitag moved to go forward with the Beach Committee proposal to close the Falmouth Heights lot at 10 p.m. and have an attendant present with hours to be determined and to review this practice in July 2011. Mary Pat Flynn seconded. 2-Yes, 3-No (David Braga, Ahmed Mustafa, Brent Putnam). Motion doesn’t pass. The Board discussed other options.. Brent Putnam moved to close the Falmouth Heights lot at 9 p.m. and ticket vehicles at 9 p.m. Ahmed Mustafa seconded. 2-Yes, 3-No David Braga, Mary Pat Flynn, Melissa Freitag). Motion doesn’t pass.
Funding for the attendant was discussed as well as the possibility of using two different persons: an attendant and a DPW person. Mr. Ament suggests a compromise: begin ticketing at 10:30 p.m. Mary Pat Flynn moved to have an attendant at the Falmouth Heights lot at 8 p.m., notify the customers that the lot will close at 10 p.m. and begin ticketing at 10:30 p.m. David Braga seconded. 4-Yes, 1-No (Brent Putnam)”
Falmouth Enterprise, May 17, 2011, pages 1 & 12, Decision Time: Selectmen Approved Management Plan For Heights Parking Lot.
Falmouth Bulletin, May 17, 2011, Paid attendant will man lot at Falmouth Heights Beach (It’s not perfect, but it’s a plan.) http://www.wickedlocal.com/falmouth/news/x1323999055/Paid-attendant-will-man-lot-at-Falmouth-Heights-Beach#ixzz1MiHccwMK
Falmouth Enterprise, May 20, 2011, pages 1 & 18, Beach Committee Put Out By Selectmen’s Decision On Heights Parking.