5/14/20 - First Selectman Jim Marpe’s Message on Beach Re-opening
First Selectman Jim Marpe provided the following message on the planned re-opening of the Compo Beach Parking Lots and Longshore Golf Course scheduled for tomorrow, May 15:
Tomorrow is the day that we reopen the Compo Beach and Soundview parking lots at 50 percent capacity for those Westporters and Westonites with valid 2020 beach emblems. The golf course at Longshore Park will be open as well with restrictions in place. I’m excited that you’ll have more opportunity for being outdoors and for enjoying our wonderful parks and beaches.
For the reopening of our beaches and golf course to succeed, caution and mutual respect is essential.
There are key requirements related to the reopening of our beaches that will help keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Following these recommendations are imperative so that the State’s rules for social distancing and limiting group sizes are implemented. Even at the beach, you must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others who are not members of your immediate household. Face coverings are required if you in a position where you are not able to socially distance. You should have a mask at the ready.
Be aware that beach capacity will be limited to 50 percent of the parking lot capacity. Parks and Recreation staff will be controlling traffic at the parking lot gates, so you may be denied admission into the beach parking lots when you get there. We will have signage at key locations on the approaches to Compo Beach to warn you of this before you arrive at the beach. You may have to pursue alternate plans, return at a later time, or prepare to visit on another day.
You may bring your own umbrellas, chairs, blankets, towels and enjoy the beach. However, please leave your tents, pop-ups, frisbees and sports equipment at home. We are not allowing any type of activity that has the potential for people encroaching on others. The playground, basketball courts, skate park, volleyball courts, pickleball courts, and softball field remain closed at this time. Porta-johns will be available and held to a stringent cleaning and sanitization protocol by our Parks maintenance staff.
There are no tables available in any location. Grills have been removed and bringing your own grill is not permitted. All of this is being done in an effort to limit gatherings.
These restrictions may be changed over time based on guidance from the Governor, Federal, State and local authorities, as well as community compliance and experience.
We ask for your patience and adherence to the established rules.
Over the past several weeks, Longshore Club Park has been heavily used by walkers, joggers, cyclists and the like. With the golf course open, these types of activities, even along the roadways, pose additional safety concerns from errant golf balls. We do not want anyone to get hit by a golf ball as it can cause serious injury. For your safety, please take part in these types of activities at other locations. In addition, starting tomorrow, a valid 2020 beach emblem is required for parking in some Longshore Club Park lots.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our residents. A good rule of thumb: Act in public like you have the virus, and that anyone you encounter has it too. We request that YOU follow the rules and guidelines closely. Remember that everyone in town is relying on your compliance. Strict adherence to social distancing and face covering requirements is imperative if we are to keep the beaches and golf course open.
During these unusual times, we need to work together to ensure the health and safety of our community, as well as to ensure that the effort to reopen our parks and beaches is successful.
Thank you for your cooperation.