A newly installed rope fence across from 756 Main St. in Vineyard Haven is stirring debate and speculation on social media.
“I was shocked and saddened … and still am … that this little space is now fenced off,” Debra Luce wrote on Islander’s Talk. “As long as I can remember, we have been able to pull over and enjoy the view, or lately for me — to photograph it. Did someone park there and abuse the view? Trespass?”
The post generated 33 comments, many of them speculating about the intent of the fence.
The fence along Main Street is intended to keep cars and landscaping trucks from parking there, Adam Moore, executive director for Sheriff’s Meadow, which owns the property, told The Times. Years of parking have worn away the grass, and Sheriff’s Meadow is going to replant it, Moore said.
West Chop Meadow was granted to Sheriff’s Meadow by property owners across Main Street, but several of those homes retain deeded rights to cross the meadow and get to the water, Moore said.
A sign on the property states, “West Chop Meadow was given to Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation in 1983 by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Douglas and Ms. Martha Stott Diener. Their intention was to preserve the view for all to enjoy while maintaining the meadow as wildlife habitat. We invite you to pause and enjoy the view of the outer harbor, but ask that you not enter the meadow.”
There have been some issues with trespassing, Moore said. “It can be confusing because people from the properties have deeded access to walk across,” he said.
There is already a split-rail fence on the property, but that’s back away from the road, at the request of the town. Whether the rope fence will remain once the grass is grown is something Sheriff’s Meadow will have to talk to the town about, Moore said.