Sound View Commission
Meeting Minutes — Unapproved
24th April, 2017
Town Hall Meeting Room
Present: Frank Pappalardo (Chair), Joann Reis Lishing, Michaelle Pearson (Secretary), Jackie Miano (Alternate), Harry Plaut, Sandra Ziemba (alternate), David Kelsey, Frank Maratta (Alternate)
Also Present, Ex-Officio: Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Selectman Skip Sibley; Lou Ricelli (Miami Beach Board of Directors)
7.30 pm Meeting called to order by Chairman Frank Pappalardo.
Approval of March Minutes: Joann Lishing motioned to approve, Michaelle Pearson seconded.
All in favor. David Kelsey abstained due to absence at March meeting. Minutes approved.
7.32pm: Sound View Improvements
Improvements project moving ahead. Looks to be on schedule. Bumpouts are being placed. Frank Maratta expressed his dislike of the bumpouts, saying they resulted in less parking.
7.34 New Resident Trooper: Frank Pappalardo informed us that the new Resident Trooper is Kazimiera Morse. She has a background in psychology, criminology and Human Resources. Mr. Pappalardo said he’d met with Trooper Morse to discuss the needs of policing at the beach. We know what has worked in the past, and what has not. He emphasized that it is important that the Resident Trooper understands that her “customers” are the residents and business owners, not necessarily the day trippers. She will deliver the private parking lot permits personally so she can get to know the owners. Would like to ask her to one of our meetings and/ or an SVBA meeting so the community can meet her. Mr. Pappalardo emphasized that residents do not want to hear from the Police that everything is OK when we are watching chaos
unfold every weekend. We would like Trooper Morse to be perfectly honest with us, and to have open communications. Talked about better deployment of Rangers, perhaps having them at different posts, rather than congregating in one area. We spoke about the possibility of towing, and also raised the new dynamic as to the Miami Beach Assn. fence. Need to look at overcrowding. According to formula, there should be 15 feet of beach per person. Asked Trooper Morse if she’s thought about the contingency plan for when the beach gets so crowded people can’t move.
Harry Plaut expressed concern about people becoming upset when they first encounter the fence situation on the first warm weekend, and people don't want to pay the Miami fees. The town should look at placing articles in the press so no one is surprised on arrival. Town needs pre-empt negativity by stating the facts that this is not the town of Old Lyme instituting the fence and fees, but Miami Beach Association.
Joann Lishing added that there should also be communication in the media regarding the Town’s new No Smoking policy. Need to get advance word out about this, so people are not surprised.
Frank Pappalardo said the No Smoking policy is only a policy. Police and Rangers will ask people not to smoke in the public areas. Most likely will become an ordinance, which will be enforceable in future.
Jackie Miano asked if Police are they going to announce when the beach is full, like Rocky Neck does? Frank Pappalardo said he had raised this with Trooper Morse, but was unsure how Police plan to deal with this. If the beach is at capacity at 10 or 11 am, need to have some recourse to let people know and/ or temporarily close the roads.
Frank Maratta asked about parking, if there will be enough spaces.
Sandra Ziemba said she was more concerned that the beach will be too crowded, that there would be spaces available but that the free (Sound View) section of the beach might not have room for them. People will be angry if they pay for parking and then there’s no room for them on the beach.
Harry Plaut spoke to the combination of large crowds and small amount of beach space. When you bring masses of people together, you can a have a mob mentality. Anybody that comes down and pays for parking will find a way to get on the beach.
Lou Ricelli, a Director of the Miami Beach Association (MBA), said that Miami Beach had the same concerns. This is a brand new situation and we don’t know what to expect. We are going to count on the Police to enforce, and would like to meet with new Trooper. We can anticipate some of the reaction, but not all.
Michaelle Pearson asked if Miami Beach Association was planning a press release explaining the reasons for the fence, (clean beach, past behavior, etc.) so people will be prepared to encounter the fence and fees at the beginning of the season? Mr. Ricelli said that was being discussed by the MBA Board.
Mr. Ricelli explained that MBA has hired a private security firm to walk the beach and also to collect the fees. Mark Mongillo will be in touch with the details, but MBA expects there will be a much higher level of security. Will start May 18th.
Frank Pappalardo reminded the Commission that one of the ongoing issues has been response time and staffing. There can’t be just one officer on Saturday afternoon, and/ or no one on Sunday. The mess of last year is what prompted the fence. If we didn’t have that extreme situation, it’s unlikely Miami Beach would have resorted to fencing the beach. Last year was the final straw.
Harry Plaut said that putting up a fence isn’t going to stop the trespassing, and other problems, such as police response problems at the beach when there’s an accident on I-95. The police need to make sure they have adequate backup to cover the beach on busy weekends.
Frank Maratta said he thought the fence and the smoking ban were going to create a lot of problems.
Frank Pappalardo said we all know what the problems are, but we won’t really know what we’re dealing with until the day after Memorial Day. The Board of Selectmen is working on staffing. We will have 4 more town police than we had last year. Last year we had weekends where there were NO police. If there was a call across town, we had no coverage at the beach. This needs to be a coordinated effort with public safety,
Angelo Faenza, Portland Ave. asked about the “Clean Beach” passes, stating that his family sometimes has fourteen people going to the beach on a Sunday afternoon.
Mr Ricelli said that one pass would admit an entire family.
8.22 pm Zoning Board of Appeals Variance Approvals Information:
Sons of Italy Hall/ 280 Shore Rd.: Public hearing has been continued to May 8th.
UMARS, 281 Shore Rd., Public Hearing: June 12, 2017
Previously, Umars went to the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances, some of which were granted. SVC spoke against many of the variances.
1800 sq ft building approved. Now going to Zoning for special permit. Lighting, signage, hours and sidewalks are of concern to us. Dark sky lighting, no gigantic signs. Public Hearing is June 12.
8.31pm Other Business
Osprey Festival: June 17th.
Swim Lines: Harry Plaut said the swim lines will be in before May 15th.
Plantings: Sandra Ziemba asked for planting volunteers. Sound View Commission will provide flowers for the planters including the Pavilion Bar, which is maintained by Stephanie Livesey (Pavilion staff. )
Flagpole: Harry Plaut stated that he had a flag available for the Hartford Avenue pole. Sandra Ziemba said the lighting needed to be checked.
Garbage Cans: Michaelle Pearson asked that the garbage cans be painted to match the sand color that was originally specified, as was agreed last year. The black cans look like oil drums from a distance and do not add to the aesthetics of the beachfront.
Public Works: Frank Pappalardo said he’d sent a note to Ed Adanti of Public Works re mowing alleys, street sweeping, etc. The signs for the bocce courts will be put up.
Parking Lot Sub-Committee Update (Sandy Ziemba):
Selectmen understood that a lot of the subcommittee’s recommendations were for enforcement. The comments have been shared with the new Resident Trooper. Suggested that more work be done so the recommendations can become part of an ordinance, and can be enforced in future.
Will meet soon to plan summer activities. So far, have scheduled Old Lyme Town Band for June 20th, and the Army Rock Band for July 27th.
SVVD Sub-Committee: David Kelsey has not heard back from Frank Noe. Frank Maratta said Frank Noe is not demolishing the (Dance Hall) building because it’s leverage over the town, but meanwhile there’s lead paint falling off it onto the street. David Kelsey said the Noes were supposed to get us an idea of what they want to accomplish. Elevation and site plan. Have not heard back.
Frank Pappalardo said he’s raised the issue of that building every year with Fire Marshal Dave Roberge. Roberge says its not a hazard.
Frank Maratta asked if the Health Department could do something about it. Frank Pappalardo suggested that perhaps the forst step would be to call Frank Noe and let him know that there have been concerns expressed, and we would like to know his plans for the site. Will also contact the owners of the old Post Office (green building) for the same reason.
Gateway: Planning Commission
Frank Pappalardo provided copies of the Gateway Plan which the Commission had approved in May 2015 asking for a motion to submit it for consideration for 8-24 designation. This is a designation which essentially ensures that the plan is in keeping with the Town’s Plan for Conservation and Development.
David Kelsey made the motion, to submit the Gateway plan to the Planning Commission for consideration for 8-24 designation. Harry Plaut seconded.
All in favor. Motion carried. A letter will be sent to the Board of Selectmen requesting to forward to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Ricelli thanked the SVC for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Miami Beach. Frank Pappalardo thanked Mr. Ricelli for attending, saying that communications will be very important among the town and beaches. Mr. Pappalardo also suggested including the Old Colony board on the distribution list.
Joann Lishing motioned to adjourn. Frank Pappalardo seconded. All in favor. Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 8.58 pm.