The owner of a black Saab has about two weeks to find a new daytime parking spot, according to Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve Committee Chairwoman Sherry Jagerson. That is about how long it will take to get a sign installed announcing changes forcing visitors to stay near their vehicles.
You have to stay at the preserve, you can't just use it as a parking lot, said Jagerson. She said the Saab is there every day and nobody knows who it belongs to. At night it disappears, only to return in the morning before anyone can catch a glimpse of the owner.
Under the original rules for parking at the new preserve, only cars with a town beach emblem could use the lot. The Saab has one. The new regulations, approved at last night's Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, remove that stipulation but add that visitors must stay within a reasonable distance of their vehicle. An exception will be made for those using the boat launch if they keep the launch certificate displayed on the car's dashboard. This means the park is now more accessible to nonresidents as well, so long as they don't wander off.
This is more in keeping with the spirit of the grant, said Jagerson. The Department of Environmental Protection issued funds to help get the park going but in the application asked if it would be publicly accessible. While there is no fee to visit, forcing people who park to have beach emblems only available to residents was questionable.
Once the sign is up, the owner of the Saab will need to stay at the beach or park elsewhere. Members of the Parks and Recreation Commission believe it may be a nearby resident trying to keep his or her own driveway available for construction workers.
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