Falmouth Selectmen's Meeting Notes: Commission To Conduct Planning Study Of Davis Straits Area

Falmouth town planner Brian A. Currie presented to selectmen and planning board members the Davis Straits planning study, to be conducted by the Cape Cod Commission. He said it calls for two different plans: a redevelopment plan for Davis Straits and Worcester Court between Scranton Avenue and Jones Road, and plans for a “greenway corridor” linking Little Pond with Teaticket Park.

Planning board member James E. Fox asked if it was too late to broaden the scope to start the study at Shore Street.

Paul C. Dreyer, another planning board member, urged that the study be completed soon as many decisions hinge on the findings. He also suggested extending the scope and completing it in stages as funding becomes available.

Mr. Currie said he would talk to commission staff about the requests.

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During the public comment portion of the June 23 Falmouth Board of Selectmen's meeting, J. Malcom Donald, member of the historical commission, said he attended both the planning board and zoning board of appeals meetings regarding the razing of the Elm Arch Inn and neither board addressed the historical significance of the building.

“There is a tragic flaw in the town’s government process regarding historic buildings. Both boards are limited in what they can consider when approving projects and there should be an overarching body that can look at the whole issue,” he said.

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Board members agreed to extend Falmouth’s contract for three years with VESTAS, the company that services and maintains wind turbines 1 and 2. Funds for the $140,000-a-year contract were approved in the April Town Meeting. A clause was added that allows the town to break the contract, should the turbines cease operating by court order.

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Falmouth’s technical consultant to the water quality committee asked selectmen to apply for an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grant to implement a stormwater treatment system and educational project. The purpose is to treat stormwater using best management practices and to educate town officials and the public about how these practices can reduce nitrogen in Falmouth’s coastal ponds.

Consultant Anastasia K. Karplus said Falmouth is one of two towns in the running for a no-cost federal grant.

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Falmouth selectmen approved two sign code variances for the Carousel of Light and Molly’s Parking. The former sought approval for an 18-foot carved wooden sign at Mullen-Hall Elementary School advertising the carousel that will be on the premises starting July 4. The variance was needed because the proposed sign is two square feet larger than bylaw allows.

The design review committee and board of selectmen denied approval for the placement of a sign on Main Street because the carousel will be visible from Main Street.

They approved two off-premise signs for Molly’s Parking to be placed at the intersection of North Main Street and Depot Avenue. The design review committee said both signs were much nicer than the signs used in previous years.

“I don’t like a lot of signs but I understand you could not be in business without them,” said selectman Rebecca Moffitt.

They denied the new owners of the Falmouth Plaza, New Creek LLC, a variance to replace the shopping center’s sign on Davis Straits. The proposed sign was to be 100 square feet to accommodate the names of all the businesses in the plaza. The bylaw limits shopping plaza signs to 40 square feet.

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The board discussed committee liaison assignments and preliminarily assigned five committees to each selectman, who will check to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts. They will vote at the next meeting to confirm assignments.

Selectman Susan L. Moran suggested talking to committee chairmen to see if any committees could be combined if there is any duplication of effort.

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Falmouth town manager Julian M. Suso said he visited the Henry B. Bigelow, the 209-foot National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessel, that was docked in Woods Hole as scientists prepared to embark on a two-week mission to study deep-sea coral in Nigren Canyon, 160 miles east of Cape Cod.

NOAA officials have not yet decided where the ship’s permanent home port will be. Mr. Suso said dock construction limitations and other issues need to be resolved in order to make Woods Hole her home port.

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Falmouth Board of Selectmen chairman Mary (Pat) Flynn told fellow board members that the town was prepared to submit to the state projects for the transportation bond bill. She said usually a town only has a few weeks to gather all the information needed, but Falmouth knew in advance, and was able to submit a complete package, where other towns missed the deadline.

This spring, Falmouth was awarded $16.5 million for road work projects.

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Selectman Samuel H. Patterson spearheaded a discussion on a state bill being considered that would preempt municipal control over the siting of wireless antennas and equipment in Massachusetts.

The legislation would allow the telecom industry to place antennas and equipment on any building or structure in any location in any community, and override any local zoning laws.

“It’s important that the town retain control,” Ms. Flynn said.

The board agreed to send a letter to Falmouth’s state delegation, asking them to oppose the legislation.

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Ms. Moran was elected to the EDIC (Economic Development Industrial Corporation).

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The board approved payment of Emerald House repairs in the amount of $23,000 from the Emerald House fund.

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The board executed a release of guarantee of revenue to clear land titles on Katy Hatchs Road.

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The board approved Community Preservation Committee grant applications that authorize the town manager to sign support letters to the CPC for the following: replacing the Village Green fence; replacing the West

Falmouth tennis court; repairing fencing around athletic fields; replacing irrigation system at Falmouth Country Club; and repairing parking area and West Falmouth dock.

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The New Silver Beach Improvement Association was granted three one-day liquor licenses for July 19, August 2, and August 30.

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Selectmen approved several special event permits including the MBL 4th of July parade on Water Street in Woods Hole; the Buzzards Bay Coalition Bike to the Bay on July 26; a beach wedding permit to Nicole Kirnan of Dewitt, New York, for July 26 at Falmouth Heights Beach, and a wedding permit to John and Cecilia Regan on Menauhant Road for September 16 at Bristol Beach.


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