Town Committee on Squibnocket
November 5, 2014
Chilmark Town Hall Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Present: Jim Malkin (Chair), Allison Burger, Steve Flanders, Jane Slater, Janet Weidner, Dan Greenbaum, Ron Rappaport
Also Present: Emily Bramhall, Jay Walsh, Chris Murphy, Sue Regen, Richard Regen, Margaret Maida, Willits Sawyer, Rosalie Hornblower, Lenny Jason
Beach and Parking: The Committee discussed the option of using the southern end of the “Big-Weldon” property abutting Squibnocket Road to the east, opposite the Vytlacil and Orphanos-“Little-Weldon” lots, as a beach parking lot. Whether the lot should accommodate the same number of cars as the current lot, or be expanded, is a question the Committee would like to discuss further with the Beach Committee, along with further questions such as bus access and drop-off.
The Committee also felt that it would like to consult with the Planning Board regarding property options such as the creation of homesite lots. Jane Slater will prepare a list of questions to be discussed with the Planning Board; Janet Weidner will prepare questions for the Beach Committee.
The Committee recalled the emphasis placed by Selectmen and the Beach Committee on the need for access for disabled and elderly people. This will require a drop-off area with room to turn around. The matrix will reflect comparisons between walking ease and distance for drop-off beachgoers. A question to pose to the coastal consultant will be the extent of natural dune formation following revetment removal, which could affect ease of access to the Beach area. The Committee discussed the possibility of parking on “Big Weldon” with a drop-off area on “Little Weldon”. The Committee felt it would be helpful to compare the possible walk-on distances at Squibnocket with the walk-on distances at Lucy Vincent Beach.
Access Road Alternatives: The Committee then reviewed the matrix on access road alternatives. Jim Malkin questioned the at-grade road option. The Committee then discussed the difference between a road option at-grade and one with berms and culverts to allow water to pass through/under.
Timeline for the work of the Squibnocket Committee: Dan Greenbaum presented an outline to the Committee, noting that the main factor leading to significant slippage in the proposed timeline would be if the experts to be engaged by the Committee were unable to start their work promptly. In response to guidance provided by the non-binding vote of the Fall Town Meeting, the Committee will aim at having a recommendation for a Special Town Meeting in late January. The Committee will hold two public information meetings prior to the Town Meeting to inform the public of its deliberations and the various options reviewed by the Committee.
Even this timeline would not enable the Town to use the grant funding already awarded to implement the project; at a minimum, funding can be used to conduct studies or prepare plans for a recommended access/parking/beach solution. Jim Malkin reminded the Committee that the recommendation made by the Committee will of necessity be a concept-proposal, in that many details, such as negotiations over properties, or the terms of State permits, will remain to be finalized by the Board of Selectmen. The aim of Town Meeting consideration of the Committee’s recommendation will be to empower the Town to proceed towards implementation of a specific proposal which addresses the elements of the mandate given to the Committee.
Next Meeting: In light of the upcoming Veterans’ Day holiday on November 11th, the next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday, November 12th, at 8am.
The meeting was adjourned at 09:10
Approved on November 18, 2014