Congratulations to the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee for arranging a very well organized and effective charrette on Nov. 23. Some very clear sentiments emerged from the meeting and hopefully full attention will be given to implementation of those suggestions that had wide support.
First, the sentiment that "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" was clearly expressed. Some of the architectural renderings presented were too complex and capital intensive, but weak on effectiveness. Just adding another ingress lane and bike lane to adequately take care of the traffic situation appeared to have wide support.
Most were in favor of restrooms and even a restaurant at South Beach, which has always been the orphan child. The skateboard park is a little controversial because of the lack of use but at the very least it should be moved to the recreational area of Compo instead of being set in the middle of the parking lot. Walking paths throughout the beach area away from vehicular traffic was a very popular idea.
Maintenance efforts need to be escalated in all areas from the restrooms to the boat/kayak ramp areas where there are still no garbage cans. Oddly enough there is still, after 30 years, a half buried, rusted steel barrel there that adorns the ramp area.
The locker area needs a major overhaul and upgrade especially since there is a waiting list of over a hundred residents who would like to rent space. Hot water and more outdoor showers would be excellent additions as well.
Regular police patrols during peak periods and spot visits should be scheduled to ensure that rules are respected -- by both residents and out-of-towners -- in season and out.
Adding trees and benches in the areas that are now basically barren (overflow parking/hobbiecat areas and area where Lobsterfest is held) was a widely supported idea.
The enthusiastic crowd of attendees had many constructive and worthwhile ideas, many of them relatively simple and inexpensive to put into effect. Very few, if any, suggestions called for major capital improvements. The charrette was an excellent way to include the public, and proved that garnering Town-wide sentiment has an important place in conducting local government.