Letters to the Editor, July 5

Single-family Home Or Dorm?


I was surprised to read about the Chatham Zoning Board of Appeals decision to allow Chatham Bars Inn to convert the 20 Chatham Bars Ave. property into a quasi dorm under the disguise of a “single family dwelling.” I believe the voters and taxpayers in Chatham have always believed that the definition of a “single family dwelling” was just that, a single family dwelling. People who have the same DNA, last name or who are married or related within the same family. When did a group of people working at a business become a “family?” CBI and their lawyers are stretching it! I don’t understand why the board accepted their interpretation. If this would be the case, then all single family dwellings in Chatham can become rooming houses and dorms. I really don’t think that is what we wanted or want for our town.

It seems that, one more time, we are being coerced into accepting someone else’s interpretation of one of our bylaws. If that is the case and we “cave,” then I might ask the community development director and the planning board to amend our zoning bylaws and redefine the definition of a "single family dwelling"/home, #38 “Dwelling Unit" and the definition of #40 “Family” in the protective bylaws, so that this kind of malarkey doesn’t continue to happen. An incomplete definition of # 38 and #40 seems to be the issue here. Let’s tighten those definitions and try to protect our town the best we can.

The ZBA members are entrusted to administer the zoning bylaw, amendments of which have been voted by a two-thirds majority of town meeting. If your interpretation is that a group of unrelated individuals who share the same place of employment are to be considered as a “family,” I believe that most townspeople would strongly disagree.

Ginny Nickerson

North Chatham


Editor's note: The decision referred to above did not sanction the use of the building in question as a dorm; the zoning board upheld the issuance of a building permit to add a kitchen to the structure. The dorm issue is likely to be subject to further review.


Seven Gardens, Many Sponsors


On Saturday, June 23, the Orleans Improvement Association held its 30th annual garden tour of seven secret gardens in Orleans. The forecast of clouds and rain didn’t stop over 500 intrepid gardeners from touring these beautiful hidden gems. Special thanks go to the seven homeowners who prepared and opened their beautiful gardens to us all.

Thanks to Carol Dumas at The Cape Codder and Justin Alex at The Cape Cod Chronicle for their inspiring articles published prior to the event.

Many volunteers came together to play an important role in the success of the tour as well as local businesses, art galleries, town departments and our dedicated OIA members. Tickets were sold by Snows, Friends Marketplace, Agway Orleans, Chatham and Dennis and The Farm. Our generous tour sponsors included Friends Marketplace and Agway, which featured displays in the gardens, as well as Ponderosa Marketplace, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, Cape Cod Stone, Hawk Design, Hole in One, Mahoney’s Atlantic Bar and Grill, oldCape Sotheby’s, Snow’s Home and Garden, The Farm, William Raveis Real Estate, Bartlett Tree, Bird Watcher’s General Store, Brewster Sand and Gravel, Cooke’s Seafood, Cove Road Real Estate, Crocker Nurseries, Fore and Aft, Hardman/Liberles at old Cape Sotheby’s, Hot Chocolate Sparrow, Land Ho!, Lobster Claw, Nauset Grill, Pretty Picky Properties, PRO Fence, Rosie’s Landscaping, Sunbird, The Beacon Room, The Knack, The Local Scoop, which had the Popmobile at one of the gardens, Unique Properties, Yardarm and Zia Pizzeria and Cafe. Halcyon Farm in Brewster had tours of their vegetable gardens while a nutritionist spoke about the benefits of healthy nutrition.

Stop and Shop donated the balloons, Armonk Print Shop of Armonk, N.Y. printed our tickets and OIA member Nancy Jorgensen took many photographs. Master gardeners from the Barnstable Master Gardener Association were again present in the gardens. Plein air artists Jonathan McPhillips, Maryalice Eizenberg and Linda Beach of Addison Gallery, Sissi Sneve-Schultze and Mary Wojciechowski of Gallery 31 and Hillary Osborn from Tree’s Place painted in the gardens between raindrops. Their paintings were on display at receptions after the tour which were generously hosted by the gallery owners.

Because of the generosity of so many businesses and individuals, OIA is able to continue to fund its special projects and events for the benefit of us all.

Julie Mackie

Dianne Fromm

Co-chairs, OIA Garden Tour


Don't Wall Off Chatham


I attended the Chatham Alliance for Preservation and Conservation on June 24 where esteemed Tim Wood was the moderator. It was a standing-room-only crowd at the top floor of the community center. There were interesting points of view and thoughts from the five panel members. Tim opened up the floor to questions, not comments, for the last half hour. I had a few comments, but could not phrase them in a question that would have been appropriate. However, I cannot let go of one statement that has been spinning in my head since Saturday. A few people brought up tour buses and what a hindrance they are to town and that they should be banned.

While tour buses are big and perhaps unsightly, they bring money into our town. They eat at our restaurants, they shop in our stores and stay at our inns and hotels. This brings money to not only the town, but to the people that depend on the tourist dollar to make it through the year. One man in the audience had the gall to say that we do not need day trippers, either. Should we just put a wall around Chatham and only allow in the people who own homes, second homes or who are staying for a week?
I do not want Chatham to lose its charm as much as the next person. I have lived here for 28 years (the last two in Brewster because of another issue: attainable year round housing). What I do suggest is to have another meeting of this kind in the off season when a more diverse demographic could be represented. Right now, many of us are trying to make money to make it through the winter.

Sue Linnell



Walk Again For Love And Housing


Chatham Ecumenical Council Helping Prevent Homelessness and the Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing are working together to promote their Mini Love Walk.  This fund-raising event will be held on July 12.  At the parking lot of the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church at 8:30 a.m., Pastor John Sullivan will give a blessing and we will be off walking to the First Congregational Church in Harwich Center where lunch will be served at 11:30.  These two councils help people struggling with housing issues, loss of employment, medical issues and family tragedies. Donations may be made to CECH, P.O. Box 81, West Chatham, MA 02633.  Please walk for as long as you like as comfort cars will pick up walkers as needed.  Thank you for helping.

Diane Kennedy, co-president



Town Knew Of License Sale


Intrigued by the claim that the town was never apprised of the sale of Certo's liquor license, I reviewed the bankruptcy docket. On Aug. 31, 2017, the trustee in bankruptcy, a rather thorough fellow, filed a notice of intent to sell the license. The town was notified. On Sept. 22, 2017, the town filed an objection to the sale. On Sept. 28, 2017 a hearing was held at which the town's objection was denied. A public auction was held soon thereafter. To claim that the town was never apprised of the sale appears rather disingenuous.

Thomas Raftery

North Chatham