Topics: Municipal Planning and Zoning

Route 28 Mill Store Lot Proposed For Boat Storage

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — The planning board will conduct a site plan special permit review for the lot along Route 28 on the east corner of Grey Neck Road, which for a long time held sheds for the Mill Store operation on the opposite corner. The Mill Store is no longer in business and both the store and the 40,810-square-foot lot on the east side of Grey Neck Road are for sale. Allen Harbor Marine Service is planning to...

ORLEANS — Battered but unbowed, the stretch of Main Street between Routes 28 and 6A can look forward to a spruced-up look that will include more trees, more lighting, more places to sit, and a little less parking. Representatives from Stantec, the town's consultant, gave an update to the board of selectmen June 20 about plans for an upgrade of the street. The work was put on hold pending completion of the st...

When Is a Dorm Not A Dorm?

By: Tim Wood

Neighbors Protest Use Of Former CBI Chauffer's Quarters CHATHAM – Whether a building housing a group of unrelated people should be classified as a dormitory or a single-family home lies at the core of a complaint filed by neighbors of 20 Chatham Bars Ave. Last week, however, members of the zoning board of appeals turned aside the complaint, even though some had the very same concerns expressed by the neighb...

CHATHAM – A number of questions critical to the town's future will face voters at next Monday's annual town meeting, including upgrading drinking water infrastructure, moving forward with a new senior center, protecting Nantucket Sound beaches and mechanisms to pay for benefits for retired town employees. Voters will also be asked to decide if they want to allow retail marijuana sales in town and whether or no...

ORLEANS — The growing support for more housing options manifested itself last week when the selectmen asked the planning board to take a look at expanding its proposed apartment development bylaw amendment to include areas outside the village center district. On Tuesday night, the planning board voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the idea March 27. The extraordinary series of events was set in mot...

CHATHAM – A zoning bylaw prohibiting retail marijuana shops may not go before town meeting this May. On a tie vote, the planning board last Tuesday failed to endorse the amendment, with several board members saying they saw it as overreach. “It doesn't have the serious consequences you're thinking it will have,” said board member Robert Wirtshafter. Selectmen will decide Tuesday if they will submit the z...

CHATHAM — Depending on your point of view, a proposed change to the town’s zoning bylaw would either create new housing opportunities for working families or open the town to an untamed avalanche of residential development. The zoning amendment would allow property owners to build “accessory dwelling units” on their properties by right. It aims to replace a bylaw provision designed to encourage the developme...

Chatham Raids Harwich's Community Development Department

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Harwich's loss will be Chatham's gain as two employees in the town's community development department have informed Town Administrator Christopher Clark they have taken jobs in Chatham. Clark announced this past week that town planner Aly Sabatino and building inspector Jay W. Briggs are leaving to take positions in Chatham. Briggs has already left; he started work on Monday as Chatham's building com...

ZBA Yanks Permit For State Antenna Tower

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The town and state will have to make changes to GPS antenna tower at the department of public works yard on Crowell Road. Last Thursday, the zoning board of appeals ruled that the town had erred in issuing a building permit for construction of the antenna in a drainage swale, which was partially filled to accommodate the structure and its base. Elizabeth and Robert Crowell, who own property immediate...

Accessory Apartments Bylaw Under Scrutiny As Housing Tool

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Affordable and workforce housing has become a major focus of the board of selectmen and the planning board as the town considers establishing a housing trust and hiring a part-time housing coordinator. More than a month ago, selectmen raised the issue of tweaking the town's accessory apartment bylaw to make it easier for homeowners to provide a second housing unit on their property. One concern cente...

Plan Board Examining New Port Village Zoning District

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The planning board is in the process of putting more teeth into the Commercial Village Overlay District in Harwich Port, converting what are currently voluntary guidelines into mandatory zoning requirements. Town officials had been of the opinion the overlay district in Harwich Port was a zoning provision with the same legal force as other zoning bylaws, but that understanding was challenged when Cum...

Downtown Zoning Hearing Draws Support, Critiques

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Planning board members may have found their way forward with an even more complicated downtown zoning amendment after a third public hearing Jan. 24. Speakers were supportive of doing something to make downtown more lively, but they differed on the ways and means. After 18 months of work, the board has hammered out a plan detailed at the meeting by George Meservey, director of planning and communit...

HARWICH — Robert Widegren, who served on the board of selectmen and the planning board, along with many civic organizations, has died at the age of 87. The board of selectmen held a moment of silence in Mr. Widegren's honor Monday. Mr. Widegren came to Cape Cod in 1972, continuing his career with New England Telephone, later known as NYNEX. But he's best known for his contributions to town government and ...

Town Planner Aly Sabatino: Communication Is Key

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Zoning bylaws are dry and confusing. They set out a vision for the way land can be developed, but it can take decades before any real change happens. And getting public consensus on a common vision can be maddeningly difficult. New Harwich Town Planner Aly Sabatino said the key strategy for crafting good zoning and regulating land use is two-way communication. Town officials need to help ordinary c...

Chatham Cautiously Moving Ahead With E-permitting

By: Tim Wood

For a number of years now, local boaters have been able to renew their mooring permits online. While the system has worked, in a limited way, for the public, for staff on the back end of things, it's been a nightmare. “We have not realized the efficiencies we had hoped for on the staff side,” is how Robert Duncanson, director of the department of natural resources, which includes the harbormaster's department,...

Harwich Port Plaza Would Restore Historic Village Pattern

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Parking and inclusion of a restaurant are among the issues that need to be worked out before the Harwich Port Plaza proposal makes its way before the planning board for Village Commercial Overlay District site plan approval. Attorney Michael D. Ford detailed changes proposed for the 28,008-square-foot parcel in the center of Harwich Port during a pre-conference meeting last week. The focus was not o...