New Compo Beach policies praised, condemned at meeting

WESTPORT — The day before the calendar marked the official start of summer, residents packed a small room in Town Hall to air their grievances — and praise — for the town’s new beach policies.

“There’s nothing my kids can do that doesn’t get them in trouble,” resident Jeanette Floto said of the increased enforcement of a rule restricting ball-playing to designated areas at Compo Beach.

Resident Judy Holod took the opposite view, arguing for more enforcement of the no-ball-playing rule, adding that when her kids were young, the rule was enforced and no games were allowed on the beach.

Several residents called for beach staff to more vigilantly enforce Compo’s parking rules, saying in past weeks they have seen nonresident vehicles parked in the residents-only beach parking lot.

“This is a work in progress,” Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Charles Haberstroh said of the new beach policies and their enforcement, adding the commission will make no changes to beach policy until after the summer season is complete.

First Selectman Jim Marpe presented his five-year capital plan for parks projects following the discussion on Compo policies. Projects on the horizon include a golf pro shop and clubhouse at Longshore Golf Course, replacement of fields at several town and school playing fields, and more improvements to Compo, including new bathrooms and a pedestrian walkway on South Beach, to be completed for the 2019 beach season.

svaughan@hearst; 203-842-2638; @SophieCVaughan1