Two articles came out in local papers regarding the Parking/Surfer issue at Higgins Beach.
“Not stoked about surfers” Scarborough Leader. A great title.
“Parking at Higgins Beach makes waves with surfers, residents” in the Current.
Janice Parente, Chair of Northern New England Surfrider, did a great job as a voice of reason and logic on behalf of surfers and all beach-goers.
Day two of the windswell. Sunny and close to 40 degrees. Balmy. Chest to head, offshore, fast and barrel-ly. A few more images here.
A few more images here.
Janice Parente, Chair of our local Surfrider Chapter, attended the Scarborough town meeting as they voted on proposed changes to the “No Parking” restrictions at Higgins Beach. Below are her observations of the meeting.
At last night’s Town meeting the proposed changes to the on-street parking at Higgins was voted down. No Parking remains April 1 – October 1 for now. It will go back to the ordinance committee for further review. Nothing was really lost here. We just didn’t gain anything either.
More unfortunate however was the presentation of a seemingly mounting campaign against surfers at Higgins beach. Property Owners were there in numbers with 8×10 glossies of “surfer behavior” at Higgins. Made a HUGE impression on the Counsel members. Concerns like Congestion, Pedestrian safety, emergency access, traffic safety and lewd behavior were sited as surfer derived issues on “mid to big wave” days. Absolutely no other Beach User Type was spoken about.
What I was told was that the parking lot is being plowed and the gate will be open from dawn to dusk. A request was made that surfers police ourselves and encourage use of this lot.
Public Works agreed to post the snow ban hotline on the website. The number is 730-4300. No on-street parking when the snow ban is in effect. Respect the Snowplow.
Nice weather pattern after a two week flat spell. Chest to overhead, offshore wind. Water 40. Air 25. More images here.
The town of Scarborough has been discussing the relaxation of it’s ‘No Parking’ restrictions at Higgins Beach from “No Parking April 1 – October 1” to “No Parking May 1 – September 15” allowing parking on the streets for 6 additional weeks each year.
There is an on-going ‘public access issue’ between beach-goers and some Higgins Beach residents. The “Higgins Beach Property Owners Group” is attempting to stop this change in parking rules by circulating a e-mail petition, (see below) wanting the topic ‘tabled’ until the parking lot issue is resolved.
The parking lot sale is not a done deal, surfers need to stand up for public access and attend this meeting, especially if you are a Scarborough resident.
“Higgins Beach Property Owners Group” e-mail:
As you may or may not know, there has been some discussion at the Town Council level about changing the dates of the parking restrictions at Higgins FROM “No parking April 1 – October 1” TO “No parking May 1 – September 15” effectively allowing parking on the streets for 6 additional weeks each year.. This proposal passed the first reading at the January 6 Council meeting and is scheduled for a public hearing at the January 20th Council meeting (Town Hall 7PM). Many owners have expressed concerns about this proposal. These concerns include the usual problems of congestion, pedestrian safety, emergency vehicle access and traffic safety.
But first things first. In reality, consideration of changes to the parking ordinance seems premature given that the town is in negotiations to purchase the parking lot. It seems that the best course of action is to request that the Council table discussion about this change until after the parking lot purchase has been completed and a comprehensive discussion can be conducted. Given the short notice until the January 20th meeting and the number of owners who are out of town, we thought an electronic petition might be the most effective way for like minded owners to band together to ask the Council to table the discussion on changing the dates for allowing on street parking. Bill Donovan, of 8 Morning Street, has graciously drafted the following petition to the Council (see below) to request that they table this discussion at this time. *If you would like to join in signing this petition,* please reply to this e-mail and your name will be added as a signatory. This petition will be presented to the council at the January 20th meeting. You should, of course, always feel free to contact the councilors on your own and certainly we encourage those of you who live locally to attend the January 20 council meeting (7PM, Town Hall to make your opinions known.
We, homeowners at Higgins Beach, submit this petition to the Scarborough Town Council to request that the Council table the proposal to increase permitted parking on all streets at Higgins Beach from the current provision of October 1-April 1 to a proposed provision of September 15-May 1.
We believe any change in dates should be considered in conjunction with the Town’s purchase of the Ocean Avenue parking lot and the planning process for how the parking lot will be used to address concerns people have about traffic and parking at Higgins Beach.
Twenty-three homeowners in Goose Rocks have sued the town of Kennebunkport, claiming the beach in front of their homes is private property. Here is some recent media coverage and links.
Our local Surfrider chapter
If the 23 homeowners win, this could set a legal precedent for all of Maine’s coastline.
Monster Boards is a great surf-blog I have been following recently.
“Eef” builds his own wave riding devices, mostly out of plywood, and pedals his really cool bike to the Dutch North Sea to surf.
View video-> Finless Surfari.
There is a lot to see on this site. Look around, and bookmark Monster Boards. Eef is good about posting, and is always entertaining.