CAMDEN — “Trust us guys, we’re going to work with you,” was the word from Select Board Chair Bob Falciani after a vote to revoke daysailer owner parking permits on the public landing.

The vote was 4 to 1 to revoke one space allotted to each daysail business owner, while assigning permit parking in the town-owned lot at Knox Mill. Board member Marc Ratner voted against revoking the public landing parking at this time.

The parking spaces are granted for a fee in the current daysail license.

The revocation of longtime agreements for parking on the public landing was on the board’s Nov. 16 agenda.

A parking study focusing on downtown Camden currently is underway. The study is collecting data on available public and private spaces in the downtown area, and use of those spaces. Ultimately, it will recommend strategies for optimal use of available parking, especially the most desirable spaces.

“The public landing aside from parking right on Elm and Main is the most heavily used and overutilized lot in town,” Town Manager Audra Caler said.

Before talking about parking for daysail businesses, the board revoked agreements for six parking spaces on the public landing allotted to the owners of 17, 21, 25 Main St. The original agreements date back to the late 1990s. This revocation sets off a 90-day notice period for the building owners. Board members said they would discuss arrangements with those owners for use of the spaces to load and unload goods.

Jo Ellen Stammen, owner of 21 Main Street and Jo Ellen Designs, told board members her public landing parking spaces and deck on the back of the building are essential for unloading products, and prevented this activity from blocking traffic on Main Street.

Board Chair Bob Falciani said provisions would be made to secure spaces for unloading products.

Caler recommended revoking the Main Street building parking agreements as well as daysail parking.

“What we’re doing now is removing any special parking agreements, so while we’re doing this parking study, we can start from a fresh place,” she said.

Daysailer boats lose public landing parking

The primary need for a parking space is to provide shelter for employees in a storm, said daysailer owners Aaron Lincoln, Jeff Beck and Dominic Gioia.

Employees sell tickets at tables on the town landing, and also standby to assist at the dock when boats return to the harbor.

Gioia said he could see the board was going to take the parking spaces away. He asked the board to “come up with some idea” to keep employees out of the rain.

Beck described the extra time it would take to set up daily ticket sales, if parking is moved to the Knox Mill lot. After a person unloads and sets up the ticket selling table, brochures and umbrella at the public landing, they will have to drive to the Knox Mill parking lot, and walk back, he said.

Lincoln added loading and unloading supplies, having a place to store trash removed daily and booth storage as additional reasons a parking space is needed.

“The fun thing about this is I’ve been having this same conversation for 22 years,” he said.

Lincoln asked for ongoing conversation with town officials rather than setting agenda items that cause daysail owners to run down to a meeting.

Daysail owner Ramiro De Acevedo emailed questions read by Board Chair Alison McKellar. He asked what study or data is the basis for removing only the daysailer parking permits, and if the board is going to move 20 additional permits issued for public landing parking.

“The town issues 27 parking permits every year [for the public landing], including six for windjammers, seven daysailers, five for the harbor master and his deputies and nine fishermen.”

Acevedo noted daysail contracts do not allow employees to park on the public landing, even in the public two-hour spaces. If the one space is revoked, “can our employees park on the landing like everyone else for two hours?” he asked.

Lincoln talked about “many employees of restaurants, hotels and shops that are shifting their cars around there,” as a possible reason he might support paid parking, which he has previously opposed.

Harbor Master Steve Pixley said there are five commercial fishermen using Camden Harbor, but there are 11 spaces reserved for fishermen. He suggested shifting some of those unused spaces to daysail owners.

Sophie Romana, board member and member of the parking study advisory committee, and board member Matt Siegel echoed Lincoln’s request for more conversation.

“The idea is to work with all of you to find solutions,” Romana said. “Businesses are important to the vitality of Camden and so are tourists bringing us those precious dollars. This is a beginning of discussion.”

Ratner called the Nov. 16 vote to revoke dailsail business parking “rushing to make changes to the nature of this town and moving into the future a little more quickly than we need to.”

Before the vote to revoke parking, board members briefly mentioned erecting temporary structure for shelter for the daysail boats.