Chatham’s Eldredge Garage Property Committee Makes Final Recommendations

CHATHAM – After 17 meetings, the Eldredge Garage Property Planning Committee has made recommendations to Chatham Selectmen on the best uses of the property.

The committee’s vision for the future of the property includes a parking lot, a visitor center with public restrooms, a transportation center and open space, including a wildflower meadow.

“We are recommending that the parking be limited to current disturbed area,” said Brad Schiff, the committee chair. “What I mean by that is just literally the area that has been used traditionally for parking in the front area closest to Main Street.”

The committee is recommending the lot be open year-round with a fee for non-residents in the summer.

“Parking for the residents and taxpayers we are recommending is free, but requires a permit sticker on the vehicle,” Schiff said.

Residents would need to provide a town-issued beach, recycling or transfer station sticker.

Parking would be free during the offseason.

The committee also said the drainage areas in front of the property need to be addressed and that the paving should be done with a permeable material.

The committee reached decided on its recommendations after reaching out to abutters, the public and representatives of boards and committees in town.

“Literally we received hundreds of suggestions,” Schiff said. “We were all very impressed with the passion that the different stakeholders had for it and how important it was for the future of this property.”

Schiff said he believes the committee represented the voice of all the stakeholders.

The board voted to move the project forward for further study by town staff.

“I just think it’s a really neat result,” said Selectman Dean Nicastro.

The town purchased the Eldredge Garage property for $2.5 million after a town meeting vote last year.

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