Town of Nantucket, MA
Nantucket County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Nantucket 4-6-1987 by Art. 31, approved 7-15-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 56-1 Purpose; applicability to private and public beaches.

[Amended 5-5-1992 ATM by Art. 68, approved 5-28-1992; 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the beaches of Nantucket by controlling the use and operation of motor vehicles thereon as well as to regulate commercial activities on the beaches of Nantucket, as such uses, are deemed to have a significant effect on wetlands values, including but not limited to flood control, erosion control, storm damage prevention, fisheries, shellfish, wildlife and recreation; on beach scenic views; on excessive noise; on the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic qualities of the beach environment on Nantucket; on the public safety and welfare; and on the preservation of peace and good order. Such protection is extended to private as well as public beaches as a correlate to owners giving express or implied consent to the use of beach area for commercial use and/or operation of motor vehicles thereon.

§ 56-2 Definitions.

In this chapter, the following terms, unless a contrary meaning is required by the context or as specifically prescribed, shall have the following meanings:
BEACH
All land situated between Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, on one side, and the primary coastal bank, the line of upland vegetation, on the other side, except that such term shall include all dunes, whether or not between such perimeters.
COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
Refers to any activity or event where money is paid to an individual or business entity for services rendered on the beach. Not included in this definition is any commercial activity sponsored by the Town of Nantucket, the Nantucket Islands Land Bank, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the United States, and any instrumentality thereof.
[Added 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
MOTOR VEHICLES
All land vehicle machines or devices which include an internal combustion engine or other mechanical nonhuman source of power.
RECREATION VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle designed or modified for use over unimproved terrain. Such recreation vehicles are sometimes referred to as "off-road vehicles" (ORV) or "all-terrain vehicles" (ATV). Recreation vehicles excluded from the scope of MGL c. 90B are to the same extent excluded from this definition.
[Added 5-17-1988 ATM by Art. 108, approved 9-28-1988]

§ 56-3 Promulgation of rules and regulations.

[Amended 5-5-1992 ATM by Art. 68, approved 5-28-1992; 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993; 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
After due notice, the Board of Selectmen may promulgate rules and regulations relating to the use and operation of motor vehicles on Nantucket beaches and to regulate commercial activities on the beaches of Nantucket, to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. Failure by the Board to promulgate such rules and regulations or a legal declaration of their invalidity by a court of law shall not act to suspend or invalidate the effect of this chapter. Such rules and regulations relating to the use and operation of motor vehicles on Nantucket beaches shall be specifically detailed in materials given to purchasers of Town beach stickers when application is made for the sticker. Such rules and regulations relating to the permitting of commercial activity on Nantucket beaches shall be made available to applicants for commercial activity permits.

§ 56-4 Exemptions.

[Amended 5-17-1988 ATM by Art. 108, approved 9-28-1988; 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993]
A. 
This chapter shall not apply to any law enforcement, fire/rescue or official vehicle of the Town or Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any other vehicle engaged in any bona fide emergency response.
B. 
This chapter shall not apply to electric wheelchairs or other disability-related mobility aids.
[Added 4-12-1994 ATM by Art. 71, approved 4-29-1994]

§ 56-5 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 5-5-1992 ATM by Art. 68, approved 5-28-1992; 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993; 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
A. 
Whoever operates or allows to be operated a vehicle, which is in violation of this chapter or who violates any other section or provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of $300 for the first violation. Each day during which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense. Subsequent violations may result in revocation of a Town beach sticker, subject to the right of the offender to an appeal to the Board of Selectmen.
B. 
Any police officer or Town beach monitor or beach manager is designated as enforcing persons who may utilize the noncriminal disposition specified in MGL c. 40, § 21D.

§ 56-6 Prohibited activities.

[Added 5-17-1988 ATM by Art. 108, approved 9-28-1988; amended 5-5-1992 ATM by Art. 68, approved 5-28-1992; 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993]
A. 
No person shall operate or allow to be operated upon any beach any two-, three- or four-wheeled unregistered recreational vehicle without the expressed written permission of the property owner.
[Amended 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
B. 
No person shall operate or allow to be operated upon any beach any vehicle which is in violation of § 56-3 or the rules and regulations promulgated under the authority granted to the Board of Selectmen herein.
[Amended 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
C. 
No person shall operate or allow to be operated upon any beach any vehicle which is in violation of any law, rule or regulation relevant to the safe operation of said vehicle.
D. 
No person shall operate or allow to be operated upon any beach any vehicle which does not have a beach vehicle sticker issued and displayed in accordance with this chapter.

§ 56-7 Beach vehicle stickers; penalty.

[Added 5-5-1992 ATM by Art. 68, approved 5-28-1992]
A. 
Beach vehicle stickers shall be issued, upon payment of a fee to be set by the Board of Selectmen, to owners, lessees or lessors of four-wheel-drive motor vehicles having a valid motor vehicle registration. The applicant for said sticker shall complete and sign an application and provide such information as may be required, including proof of motor vehicle liability insurance. Such applicant shall also be required to indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Nantucket and any other property owner upon whose property such applicant operates a Motor Vehicle as a condition of receiving a Town beach sticker. The issued sticker shall remain the property of the Town and may be forfeited upon any violation of this chapter. All funds generated from the sale of Town beach stickers shall be deposited in a separate revolving account pursuant to MGL c. 44, § 53E 1/2, and used solely for the implementation and enforcement of this chapter and the cleaning, protection and conservation of beaches, maintenance of public access to beaches, the hiring and training of coastal resource personnel, purchase of equipment, education and training opportunities for beach users to be administered by the Board of Selectmen, and total funds to be expended shall not exceed collected revenue.
[Amended 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993; 4-10-1995 ATM by Art. 65, approved 7-31-1995; 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003; 4-12-2004 ATM by Art. 46, approved 9-3-2004]
B. 
The beach vehicle stickers, issued in pairs, shall be affixed on or near the front and rear bumpers of the vehicle. The sticker-issuing officer shall mark each sticker with the vehicle's registration or license plate number and the date issued. Stickers shall have a distinctive color for the calendar year of issue.
C. 
Each pair of beach vehicle stickers shall bear a unique set of identifying letters or numbers and shall be kept affixed to the vehicle during its operation on a beach so that they are clearly legible in daylight. Stickers not properly displayed shall be invalid.
[Amended 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
D. 
Beach vehicle stickers are a privilege, conferring no property interest or other right, and may be revoked at any time by written notice or physical removal without due-process hearing. Beach vehicle stickers issued for a given vehicle are not valid if transferred to another vehicle. Absent a violation, they shall be valid for the calendar year of issue.
[Amended 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993]
E. 
The Board of Selectmen shall determine the fee for beach vehicle stickers. The sticker fee shall be established to provide sufficient funds to cover budgeted expenses for beach management, including but not limited to purchase of materials, construction and maintenance of fencing, police patrol expenses and hiring of employees. The sticker fee for the lessors of four-wheel-drive rental vehicles shall be not more than five times the amount of the established sticker fee, and the replacement cost of any revoked sticker shall be not more than 10 times the established fee. The collected fees shall be placed in a separate account and disbursed for the purposes designated by this chapter. Budget development shall be overseen by Town Administration.
[Amended 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993; 4-10-1995 ATM by Art. 66, approved 7-31-1995; 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
F. 
[1]The Board of Selectmen may waive any provision of this chapter for good cause shown and may appoint an administrative hearing officer to hear any request or complaint of a person aggrieved by any provisions of this chapter or by an action taken hereunder.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F, regarding four-wheel-drive vehicles without valid stickers, was repealed 5-4-1993 ATM by Art. 51, approved 5-24-1993, which provision also redesignated former Subsection G as current Subsection F.

§ 56-8 Educational program.

[Added 5-5-1992 ATM by Art. 68, approved 5-28-1992]
A. 
All operators of motor vehicles displaying beach vehicle stickers shall be notified, in writing, of the provisions of this chapter and of state laws and regulations applicable to motor vehicle use on beaches, public or private.
B. 
The Town Administrator shall, prior to June 1 of each year, prepare and distribute for persons holding or obtaining beach vehicle stickers an annual map showing ways properly open for motor vehicles access to Nantucket beaches and any time or other limits upon beach access established under this chapter or other Town bylaw or by state law or regulation.
[Amended 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003]
C. 
A copy of the current map and notice shall be in the vehicle and available to the operator during every such use.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 56-9, Promulgation of rules and regulations, added 4-10-1995 ATM by Art. 66, approved 7-31-1995, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 4-30-2003 ATM by Art. 69, approved 6-30-2003.