WELLFLEET — In an effort to reduce crowding on town beaches, Wellfleet is moving the start date for requiring beach parking stickers forward 30 days, to May 20. And only those with resident and taxpayer stickers will be allowed to park starting then.
The town will not allow visitor permit parking until June 20, which was the original date beach stickers were to be required.
“We have to think carefully about how to achieve social distancing,” select board member Justina Carlson said. “I think this is a terrific, practical proposal.”
Select board member Kathleen Bacon suggested the earlier sticker requirement would also bring much-needed cash to town coffers.
At their May 12 meeting, with nearly 100 people in attendance via Zoom, the board voted unanimously in favor of both pushing up the required date and restricting parking to residents and property owners, but not without controversy.
New Wellfleet homeowner Matthew Rosenberg said he had bought what he hopes will be his home after he retires. He plans to rent the property out until then.
With the date for beach stickers pushed up, and the date for visitor stickers pushed out, he worried that the new regulation is too aggressive.
“If, out of fear, the select board is saying that we cannot have beach access for people who are legally renting, I’m not sure what to tell them,” he said. “Why are they making this decision absent [Gov.] Baker’s guidance?”
The response from the select board: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“The Cape is trying to figure out what the heck to do with all the people who want to flood in,” said select board chair Janet Reinhart. “We need to take it slowly.”
Wellfleet sees a population increase from about 3,000 year-round residents to around 18,000 people during the summer.