Topics: Municipal Planning and Zoning

CHATHAM – For more than two years, town officials, neighbors and Chatham Bars Inn have wrangled over the use of two inn-owned properties on Chatham Bars Avenue. After prolonged negotiations and a court-ordered remand, it appears as if all sides have agreed on the future of the properties. Last week the zoning board of appeals approved a special permit to allow the former bowling alley at 45 Chatham Bars Ave. t...

CHATHAM – At two public forums last week, residents encouraged the planning board to move forward with a zoning amendment allowing accessory dwelling units in single-family homes, but recommended that limits be placed on the number of units allowed annually and suggested that the language of the bylaw be tightened to prevent abuse. Support was not unanimous, however, with several residents warning that the byl...

CHATHAM – A court has ordered the town to consider revised plans for use of the warehouse building at 45 Chatham Bars Ave. owned by Chatham Bars Inn. The dispute between the town, inn and neighbors over use of the 9,500-square-foot building, once a bowling alley but used as a warehouse since the 1970s, has dragged on for nearly three years. Two previous appeals were filed with the zoning board of appeals. The ...

CHATHAM – Planning board members hope the public will provide feedback on a revised accessory dwelling unit (ADU) zoning bylaw amendment at two upcoming forums. The bylaw is designed to encourage more diverse housing choices by allowing year-round apartments in single-family homes. While the units will not have affordability restrictions, officials say allowing apartments in homes can help families meet the hi...

HARWICH — The need for affordable year-round housing is nothing new. But town officials are hoping that a new approach – the creation of accessory dwelling units – could provide some relief. Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh updated selectmen Monday on efforts to draft an ADU bylaw in time for voters to consider at the next annual town meeting. If enacted, the bylaw would allow accessory apartments within the...

Main Street Condo Plan Under Fire

By: Tim Wood

Affordable Housing Issue 'Irrelevant,' Says Zoning Board CHATHAM – The loss of workforce housing to upscale residences, one of the main concerns of those worried about the inability of young families to afford to live in town, has become a focus of a proposal to replace run-down apartments on Main Street with high-end condominiums. Opponents say the plan will force working people out of what are now four mo...

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...