Topics: Zoning/land use

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...

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...

Planning Board Approves Boat Storage Along Route 28

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The planning board has approved a site plan special permit for Allen Harbor Marine Service, Inc. to store between 39 and 60 boats on the lot at the east side corner of Route 28 and Grey Neck Road. The property was part of the Mill Store operation and was used for garden shed storage and sales. Brad Malo of Coastal Engineering, Inc. said Allen Harbor Marine Service is planning to purchase the 40,810-s...

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...

Town Officials Seek To Clarify Marijuana Zoning Amendments

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Town officials admitted Monday night the four annual town meeting articles related to the retail sale of recreational marijuana can be a bit confusing. They were clear, however, on their united support for banning pot sales in town. Both Police Chief David Guillemette and Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh pointed out it is legal for residents over 21 years of age to smoke marijuana at home and to grow...

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...

Harwich Sets Hearing On Recreational Marijuana Moratorium

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The planning board has scheduled a public hearing on a zoning amendment that seeks to put a moratorium in place on the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana. The moratorium would provide the town with time to study and consider the effects the activity would have on the community. The moratorium is a reaction to the approval by Massachusetts voters last November of The Regulation and Taxati...

Board Seeks Temporary Ban On Pot Shops

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — When it comes to drafting permanent regulations governing potential marijuana retailers in town, selectmen are seeking a one-year moratorium on pot shops, giving time for the legislative smoke to clear. Selectmen Monday voted to seek a zoning amendment designed to temporarily keep marijuana retailers from setting up shop in town. If approved by town meeting voters, the moratorium would ban recreati...

CHATHAM – The legal fight between the Chatham Bars Inn and the town – or at least the rhetorical battle – is escalating. In a lawsuit filed in state Land Court Jan. 17, the Shore Road inn charged the town officials instructed then-Building Commissioner Justin Post to issue cease and desist orders in October for activities on its land in retaliation for the inn seeking damages for the town's eminent domain taki...

CHATHAM – The zoning board of appeals last week sided with a Chatham Bars Inn neighbor who complained that the inn's use of a vacant lot off Claflin Landing had intensified beyond its previous uses. ZBA Chairman Robert Hessler chided CBI for failing to work with Claflin Landing resident Kathleen McCullough in what he said was essentially a “grandiose neighborhood dispute” which never should have reached his bo...

CHATHAM – How can the town encourage the reuse, rather than demolition, of commercial buildings in neighborhood centers, especially if they are historically significant? Incentives, the planning board was told recently, ranging from relief from dimensional requirements and density bonuses to reducing permit fees and tax breaks. As part of its ongoing review of recommendations for the Route 28 corridor conta...

CHATHAM – A boundary dispute prompted the planning board to reject a subdivision plan for a key parcel in the West Chatham village center. Eastward Companies, which purchased the former Sibley property at 1610 Main St. earlier this year, filed a preliminary two-lot subdivision plan in May to freeze zoning on the 87,082-square-foot parcel. At the May annual town meeting, the West Chatham flexible development ov...

HARWICH — Phase three of the Brooks Park recreation department expansion will be heading to the planning board this week for site plan special permit approval. The plan is to add tennis and basketball courts, more parking, a picnic pavilion and new restrooms while providing better connections to the bike trail. The project was funded in the annual town meeting in May with $188,000 in Community Preservation Act...