May 8, 2023
To Watch Hill Fire District Residents and Property Owners:
We hope everyone has had a good year and look forward to seeing the return of many of you as the weather turns warmer. Below please find our schedule for pick-up of our “Spring Packets,” including Resident Parking Stickers. In addition, we are writing to you today to share information about a recent action taken on behalf of the Watch Hill Fire District to continue to preserve and protect Napatree, meet our commitments to all our dependent constituencies, provide safe pedestrian access, and not reduce parking in our Village Lot.
The Watch Hill Fire District has repeatedly, over decades, tried to resolve disagreement with the Town of Westerly about property rights and rights of way through our village parking lots, to and across Napatree Point. The current Westerly Town Council has taken actions which have made it impossible for us to stand by and ignore. We, along with The Watch Hill Conservancy, had no choice but to file a complaint in Rhode Island Superior Court seeking to prevent the Town of Westerly from a “taking” that could result in a 20-foot wide road or right of way through downtown parking, from Bay Street all the way through the Napatree Point dunes. The Watch Hill Fire District owns approximately 68 of the 74 acres that comprise Napatree Point, and we have placed most of that land under a conservation easement. The road proposed by the Town would violate the provisions in the conservation easements that protect the dunes and other unique natural features of Napatree Point. The Town’s current efforts are misinformed and misguided, under the guise of promoting “public access.” As our complaint states, “WHFD and WHC do not seek through this lawsuit to end or curtail the public’s access to the Protected Property.” We have permitted pedestrian access for well over 50 years, with as many as 40,000 visits to Napatree in 2022 alone. The WHFD and WHC have and will continue to protect the property through diligent management and financial commitment. We encourage you to review the materials pertaining to the situation in the latest news.
On a positive note, as referenced above, our new and greatly improved website is up and running with additional content and updates coming weekly!
Fire District Spring Packets, including Resident Parking Stickers and other pertinent summer information, will be available beginning Saturday, May 27, 2023, with special extended pick-up hours over Memorial Day weekend. They will be held at the District Office in the basement of the firehouse at 222 Watch Hill Road.
The hours for pickup over Memorial Day weekend are as follows:
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Sunday, May 28, 2023
Monday, May 29, 2023
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
9:00 am to 12:00 noon
9:00 am to 12:00 noon
After Memorial Day weekend, through Labor Day weekend, the packets can be picked up during normal office hours. Please check the website for additional hours beginning in June.
To authorize someone to pick up your packet for you, or should special circumstances require a different pickup time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on the office phone (401) 348-6540 to make other arrangements.
Joan Beth Brown