Hard line on kayaks should be reviewed

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To the Editor:

Kayakers have been leaving their kayaks along the fence at the Chilmark Town Dock for so many years that the town had to be reminded that once upon a time they wrote a rule forbidding it. The ostensible reason was that kayaks along the fence made it difficult to launch boats. Kayaks are placed on the grassy dirt area by the fence, away from the hard top, and those launching boats and the kayaks have co-existed for many years. The town this week posted a sign that the kayaks must be removed by the arbitrary date of August 3. Most of the kayak owners do not even know about this rule, or the arbitrary deadline.

Chilmark usually does much better than this. Instead of placing an arbitrary deadline in the middle of summer prohibiting something that has been tacitly permitted for years, they should have taken time for a fresh look at whether this rule is still appropriate, and figure out how the town can allow more rather than fewer Chilmark residents to benefit from the Town Dock. For example, should the town issue permits for residents who park their car or kayak there? This may alleviate some issues and concerns of there being too many kayaks, as well as fund compliance efforts.

The town should reconsider its arbitrary rulemaking and work on a solution that benefits more Chilmark residents.

Ted Storey
Chilmark