A Falmouth seaside motel will be replenishing the sand it has lost over the years in hopes of turning its cobbled waterfront into a sandy beach.
The Falmouth Board of Selectmen approved, with a list of stipulations, the Tides Motel’s request to fill in 11,500 square feet of waterfront with 600 cubic yards of beach-compatible sand.
The motel is flanked by the Falmouth Yacht Club’s beach and a small sliver of town beach next to Falmouth Harbor’s east jetty.
Board chairman Mary (Pat) Flynn voiced concern that the proposed project, which was originally slated for the last week in June, would clog traffic in the town’s harbor parking lot during a very busy week. She also noted the town’s waterways committee voted against it, raising the same concerns.
Leslie Fields of the Woods Hole Group said the purchased dredged material would fit in four sand trucks that would be stationed next to the Jersey barriers and the project could be completed in one day. She was amenable to changing the date to a less busy week.
The board expressed more concerns over the weight of the sand trucks on the asphalt and that the town would not be held liable for any incidents. The board granted the permit with four conditions: that the hotel owner notifies the board with the date of the nourishment, they hire a public safety officer for the day, the contractor names the town on the insurance policy, and the town engineer gives the project the green light.
Ms. Fields said Falmouth used to place dredged material from the harbor onto its abutting beach, and over time, that sand would spread east and place sand in front of the motel. Eventually, she said, the sand that is trucked in next month will feed Falmouth Heights Beach.