Topics: Municipal Planning and Zoning

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...

Town Planner Spitz Honored By Fellow Employees

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Approximately 40 people turned out Thursday afternoon at the Cranberry Valley Golf Course clubhouse for a farewell party for Town Planner David Spitz, who will retire on Friday. Spitz has been town planner for more than seven years and is well respected among his peers in the community development department in town hall. “It was a joy to work with him, he is a gentleman and a scholar,” Planning boar...

Spitz Speaks His Mind On Town Planning

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — “Harwich is a beautiful community, a wonderful place to live and work,” Town Planner David Spitz said this week as he prepares to retire after more than seven years at the helm of the planning department. But he admitted his experience here has been equally frustrating and rewarding. Spitz will retire on July 8 and there will be some changes to the planning department once he is gone. Selectmen wer...