Brewster Residents’ Petition Sets September 2 Special Town Meeting Date

BrewsterBREWSTER – Brewster is holding a special town meeting on September 2 after nearly 500 residents signed a petition aimed at stopping plans to change the Breakwater Beach parking lot.

The Town Clerk received the petition last week, forcing town officials to get a warrant ready within 45 days.

The petition calls for a moratorium on all town projects that remove, relocate or create parking at town landings or other publicly owned coastal properties.

It can only be lifted after the town engages in a comprehensive “Brewster Beach Access Plan,” which includes a three-step process.

That process calls for an online survey to gather opinions on the use of the town landings, an options analysis study and a beach access study.

The analysis study would look at options like satellite parking, beach shuttles and biking and walking trails, while the beach access study would look at parking availability, sale of permits, erosion and safety.

Brewster resident Mary O’Neil read the petition to selectmen and said it is important for the community.

“The petition is in response to what many residents see as a fragmented and reactive approach that does not explore all potential opportunities and make the best use of scarce public resources,” said O’Neil.

The town was planning on using $165,000 in state grant money to put towards $215,000 needed to stave off erosion damage to the beach parking area.

Plans called for constructing an artificial dune and moving the parking lot back into park land along Breakwater Road.

The state set a deadline to use the funding by the end of the year.

Selectmen recently voted to hold off on awarding bids for the project until after September 2.

O’Neil said this petition serves a number of issues.

“To focus on issues that we believe are imperative in order to adapt to changes on our coastline in an environmentally responsible way, maintain the role character of the town, maintain public safety and the appeal of our community to residents and businesses alike,” said O’Neil.

Town officials are attempting to pull together more articles for the warrant by September’s special town meeting.

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