Chilmark selectmen approved a warrant for a special town meeting Feb. 2 that aims to clear the way for a major restoration project at Squibnocket Beach. Voters will be asked whether to approve a plan developed by a town committee last year.
A re-routed roadway running partly across a wetland, a new location for the parking lot and removal of an oceanfront stone revetment are among the draft recommendations. A public hearing is set for Dec. 18.
Town leaders are now discussing the possibility of acquiring land for a new parking lot in several locations. The final recommendation will address the need for parking, beach access, and access to the homes at Squibnocket Farm.
Nearly six months after a Squibnocket Beach restoration plan was narrowly defeated by voters, a town committee that has been working to develop alternative proposals will deliver a progress report to the town.
Chilmark has reapplied for a major state grant to restore Squibnocket Beach after learning recently that the original award was in jeopardy. The selectmen have also approved $20,000 to fund cost estimates for alternative plans for the beach.
Facing an unforeseen deadline for spending a major state grant, a town committee has stepped up the pace in the effort to restore Squibnocket Beach. The issue has been marked by intense environmental study and also politics.