Neighbors’ complaints prompt Westerly Town Council to consider a parking ban on Setting Sun Drive

Neighbors’ complaints prompt Westerly Town Council to consider a parking ban on Setting Sun Drive

Record-Journal
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Westerly Town Hall.

WESTERLY — The Town Council is considering implementing a parking ban on a section of Setting Sun Drive after hearing from residents who said the road becomes dangerously clogged with patrons of a nearby restaurant and others who are using the road to avoid beach parking fees.

Robert Saglio, a Setting Sun Drive resident, asked the council on Monday to ban parking on the entire length of the road, saying he frequently observes people park on the road and then bicycle away for hours.

“We had first, and very evidently, this summer beach parking ... people would park their cars there and down the street, down the street, down the street, so they could avoid paying the fees” for beach parking, Saglio said.

The problem is exacerbated, Saglio said, by patrons of the Cooked Goose, located at the corner of Watch Hill Road and Setting Sun Drive, who park on Setting Sun Drive whether or not there are parking spaces available in the restaurant’s parking lot.

Additionally, Saglio said, Setting Sun Drive is beset with motorists who consistently exceed the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit and use the road as a cut-through to Shore Road.

Saglio prefaced his remarks by saying he did not want to befoul the Cooked Goose or denigrate its owners, Andrew and Jennifer Nathan.

“Andrew and Jennifer have done a tremendous job building the business at the Cooked Goose. I really don’t want to hurt their business in any way,” Saglio said.

In August, other residents of Setting Sun Drive also complained of parking on their road but asked for a no-parking zone limited to a five-car-length area on the east side of Setting Sun Drive, beginning at its intersection with Watch Hill Road.

The comments from the residents in August prompted the Town Council to propose an ordinance that would prohibit parking on both sides of Setting Sun Drive, from Watch Hill Road to Leeward Drive.

Councilor Jack Carson said he believed the problem was limited to the town’s busy summer season.

“I never heard it was more than a seasonal issue. That’s a very popular restaurant there, but you can’t find a better person to deal with than Andrew [Nathan],” Carson said.

Councilor Mario Celico said he was initially skeptical of reports that beachgoers were using the road for parking but observed apparent beachgoers parking on the road as he was on his way to church on a recent Sunday. But Celico said he also observed the vehicles are parked off the road.

“So does it have to be addressed? I don’t know,” Celico said during the council’s Aug. 21 meeting.

On Wednesday, Nathan said he would not resist eliminating parking from the section of Setting Sun Drive nearest to his restaurant.

“I agree with that. I just want to be a good neighbor,” Nathan said. “I love my neighbors and hope they feel the same way about us.”

He said he would likely attend a future council meeting to discuss his neighbors’ concerns.

After 12 years in business, Nathan has built a year-round following.

“I’m blessed with a great business. I’m very, very lucky to be one of the top breakfast spots,” Nathan said.

dfaulkner@thewesterlysun.com


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