Attendees at last Tuesday night’s Manomet Village Steering Committee expressed frustration with how a meeting held last Thursday about a proposed parking plan for a portion of the White Horse Beach area went.
“The disorganization was unbelievable” said MVSC member Harry Helm. The presentation, he added descended into a gripe session about all the issues affecting the area. Interviewed later, Assistant Town Manager Derek Brindisi agreed the meeting got contentious.
Only the residents of Beach Street, Asiaf Way, Pearl Street and Hilltop Avenue were officially notified of the meeting, which was not listed on the town website, according to Manomet Village Steering Committee member Cheryl King Fischer. She estimated that about 125 people attended. Brindisi said he believed the Department of Public Works published a legal notice about it, as well. The meeting wasn’t posted on the town website because that is overseen by the town clerk and limited to meetings of town boards.
Resident Paul Jacobs pointed out that the plan was first revealed at a meeting about the White Horse Beach Management plan several months ago. At the time, officials described plans to create a special parking district in the White Horse Beach area. Among the issues cited then was a need to make sure streets extending of Taylor Avenue were sufficient for fire trucks.
The intention of the meeting, Brindisi said, was to update residents of the four streets on possible changes to parking in their area.
Planning Board member Ken Buechs pointed out that Fire Chief Ed Bradley needed 18 feet of width in a road to turn an engine around. He noted that if cars are parked on both sides of such streets as Hilltop and Pearl, a fire truck can’t turn around. According to Brindisi, residents had also expressed concern about fire truck access to a new development being built in the area.
Buechs proposed that signatures be collected to get some proposal addressing the parking issue on a Town meeting Warrant. MVSC Vice-Chair Randy Parker had some misgivings, saying it too what had been an executive issue and pushed it onto the town’s legislature. Nonetheless, the board assigned Cheryl Fisher, Cheryl Damiano and Dawn Dillon to draft a warrant article. Damiano and Dillon both served on the White Horse Beach Parking Committee. Dillon was not present at the meeting.