On Petition of Stephen Joyce and at least 25 registered voters, we direct the Board of Selectmen to not approve any special event requests that result in the closure of any road in the Town of Hampton. The only allowed exceptions are the Annual Seafood Festival, Neighborhood Block Parties and Parades? (Majority vote required)
What it means: The petitioners are asking the Town to not approve any events (exceptions as stated) that would close the roads in such a way as to hinder resident comings and goings during the event. It was noted at Deliberative Session that this might not be a legally enforceable Article, because the opening and closing of roads in some cases may be subject to other regulations and jurisdictions.
Those in favor say: Those who spoke at Deliberative Session expressed frustration at not being able to come and go as they wished for many hours at a time. For example, at one annual road race, Ocean Boulevard from the Beach District to High Street is closed from 8:30 – 11:00 AM. Others report not being able to get home from morning activities because all the roads surrounding their homes were blocked. Proponents encourage approving this Article if for no other reason than to send a message to the Board of Selectmen that the people in Town are very frustrated with the local closures, especially those that benefit a for-profit organization with very little upside to Hampton taxpayers.
Those against say: Aside from the legality question of the potential ordinance, opponents say the events support local businesses, and provide a venue for various athletic and other activities for the residents of Hampton as well as the many visitors. They referred to the road closures as a minor and temporary inconvenience and thought it was worth it for the benefits provided.
Fiscal Impact: No tax impact.