The Falmouth Beach Committee voted Wednesday, February 17, to recommend reinstating the sale of weekly beach parking stickers for nonresidents.
“When the COVID-19 management plan was made for 2020, the short-term nonresident stickers were eliminated from sale last year,” acting Beach Superintendent Margaret G. Clayton told the committee.
Ms. Clayton said removing the sale of short-term nonresident stickers allowed the beach department to prioritize parking for residents and taxpayers when beach parking lot capacity was reduced by 50 percent. A decision regarding parking lot capacity has not been made for summer 2021.
While COVID-19 remains unpredictable, beach committee member Joseph A. Strazzulla recommended reinstating the sale of short-term parking stickers.
“If we follow what is happening today, both the governor and federal [government] is anticipating that by the month of June, we will have a majority, if not a major majority, of vaccinations done, which will mean we should come to some sort of normalcy,” Mr. Strazzulla said. “We may still be wearing masks and we may still be distancing somewhat, but the need for a mass exodus from the beaches is not probable this summer.”
The availability of one-, two-, three- and four-week passes for nonresidents also benefits the town’s rental and business communities.
“Let’s not stymie the commercial redevelopment of the community’s economic base by saying we’re going to restrict it, so I would move that we recommend to the select board that they reinstate them,” he said.
Committee member Daniel H. Shearer said he agrees “100 percent.”
“We don’t have enough parking for everybody anyways, so let’s give it to as many people as can get there,” Mr. Shearer said.
Ms. Clayton said the reinstatement of weekly beach parking stickers will not restrict the ability of Falmouth residents to park at the beach parking lots.
“In terms of numbers, we sell 650 to 800 nonresident stickers, compared to 13,000 resident stickers, so offering this option is not changing the access to the beaches for residents and taxpayers,” she said.
The select board approved the 2021 fees at its November 9 meeting. A one-week sticker costs $80, a two-week stickers costs $130, a three-week sticker costs $175 and a four-week sticker costs $225.