Letter: Why should locals lose access to South Shore Beach?

Posted 6/24/22

South Shore beach is a breathtaking natural resource in Little Compton. For generations it was known as the "Town Beach" enjoyed mainly by residents with some visitors. However, in the recent past …

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Letter: Why should locals lose access to South Shore Beach?

Posted

South Shore beach is a breathtaking natural resource in Little Compton. For generations it was known as the "Town Beach" enjoyed mainly by residents with some visitors. However, in the recent past the priority for town residents has shifted to out-of-town patrons. This is because South Shore has become a very profitable money maker with sales of seasonal passes, day passes and weekend camper parking. The Beach Commission sells more day and seasonal passes than the parking lot can accommodate.

As a result, by 9-10 am the parking lot exceeds capacity, and the parking lot is closed. In fact, there are days when there is a line of cars at the gate prior to 8am. With a median age in Little Compton of 58.7 and people aged 50 -79 making up 55% of the population, why is the Beach Commission not providing both priority and accessible parking to more than 1/2 the residents in this community? What about families with young children, they should not be restricted to early hours or after 5 pm. As a town resident for 47 years, I have witnessed the changes at the beach firsthand. Many town residents cannot enjoy their once pristine beach due to the overcrowding, the inability to find a parking spot, the inaccessibility to the beach and the trash left behind. I have personally witnessed public urination on 3 occasions. We may use the beach during the "Town Resident's" hours which are before 8am and after 5pm or be forced to deal with the crowds, during the best part of the day.

After a recent meeting with a member of the beach commission and the beach manager, I was told that in the 1980's there was 50 ft. of beach at low tide, now there is 20. With the inevitability of climate change and sea level rise, we really don't know how much longer we can enjoy our beloved beach. At high tide now, there is virtually no beach, so people move up into the parking lot, which is an accident waiting to happen. I was also told at the meeting that "old people" do not go to the beach. I beg to differ. As taxpayers in this town our priority parking privileges should be restored. We want the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful beach as we have in the past. I believe that it is time for the beach commission to make parking and access for town residents a priority. If you agree...follow us on....

Facebook: Give The Residents Priority at South Shore Beach.
Change is needed. There are measures/procedures that can be explored and implemented to accommodate residents and visitors.

Sherri Massa
Little Compton

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