Should Cape Cod Beaches Ban Kites, Tents and Ball Games?

Beaches in Falmouth, Massachusetts, could face stricter rules under a new proposal submitted to town leaders.

In a plan filed by the Falmouth Heights-Maravista Neighborhood Association, there would be a ban on activities common to the town's shores, such as flying a kite or tossing around a football.

"It's been the topic of greatest concern for years now," said Howard Grosser, president of the association.

In recent years, Grosser said families in the association, a few hundred in total, have become increasingly bothered by the noise and activity on the nearby beaches.

Their proposal would limit or prohibit several activities, including tents of a certain size, radios that play music beyond a 15 foot radius of its location and games that involve balls, Frisbees or lawn darts.

"They belong in parks. They belong in backyards. Not so much on crowded sand areas," Grosser said, "Ball playing when you can hardly find a place for your umbrella or towel is enormously disruptive."

The town's bylaws concerning the beaches have not been updated in 50 years, according to Grosser. However, other residents do not believe they should be altered at all.

"This is a waste of our time," said Phil Alfonso, who has started a petition to block the initiative.

As a longtime resident of Falmouth, Alfonso argued they have never had the issues the proposal is attempting to address.

"There's no issue with a ball or a kite, or I can't hear a single bit of music from anybody," Alfonso explained, "This is just more foolish legislation on a town wide level."

However, it is unclear if it will have support from town leaders.

The Board of Selectmen still must recommend the issue for consideration at a town meeting scheduled for November.

"This is a democracy," Grosser said, "If the majority of people want the beaches to be a free for all, that's what they're going to be."

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