Topics: Economic development

Building Activity, Values Ramp Up In 2018

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The number of new homes as well as additions and renovations to existing houses increased in 2018, but last year also saw a decrease in the number of demolition permits issued by the town. The estimated value of both new homes and additions and renovations also increased substantially last year. According to the community development department, 1,060 building permits were issued in 2018, a 16.6 p...

Harwich Center Initiative Group Goes On Hiatus

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Harwich Center initiative committee will be taking a hiatus until next fall. The decision was made at a session at the end of February in which some committee members expressed both frustration with the process and a sense that other town committees are conducting parallel examinations of the same issues. Harwich Center resident Peter Antonellis asked if the committee was working in cooperatio...

HARWICH — Walking through the Harwich Cultural Center, one can feel an energy from the days when the former middle school was filled with students. Now, however, it's coming from the artists who occupy the building, many of whom are teaching their crafts to enthusiastic residents. “It's not just for the artists, it's for everyone,” said Community Center Director Carolyn Carey, who oversees the cultural center ...

Could Demo Ban Boost School Enrollment?

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – A former finance committee member is urging the board of selectmen to “think outside the box” and impose a moratorium on tear downs to prevent developers from converting more affordable year-round housing to expensive summer homes. Doing so could provide more opportunities for families to remain in town and stem declining school enrollment, which is playing havoc with the budget process. Roslyn Colem...

CHATHAM – For the past month, the hottest topic in town has been a letter to the editor headlined “Why Pay To Keep Young Families In Chatham?” The letter from Beverly Nelson, a Natick resident with a second home in Chatham, sparked a passionate response that went viral, spreading through social media and becoming the subject of conversation in coffee shops and town committee meetings. The Boston media even pic...

Opinions Sought On Harwich Center Revitalization

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Stakeholders and residents throughout the community are being urged to attend a Harwich Center initiative committee public forum and provide input on restoring the economic, aesthetic and historic vibrancy of the village. The committee, formed by the board of selectmen at the urging of residents of the village, has established a mission to develop and advocate specific, well thought-out recommendatio...

Cultural Districts Create A Community Story Line

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Cultural districts should serve to develop the character and a story line for their communities, Luis Cotto, of the Massachusetts Cultural Council told stakeholders in Harwich recently. Cotto, the council’s program manager, came to help local officials plan for two cultural districts in town. In two meetings on Thursday, proponents off the districts in Harwich Center and Harwich Port met with Cotto a...

Harwich Center Initiative Group Wants Stakeholder Input

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Storefronts in the village should be living entities generating economic growth and stimulus, members of the newly formed Harwich Center initiative committee agreed during their first session last week. There was certainly renewed energy behind the revitalization of Harwich Center expressed at the gathering, with more than a dozen people coming together with the committee and expressing ideas on how ...

CHATHAM — As a concrete step toward helping young families afford to live in town year-round, selectmen are examining the possibility of offering child care vouchers to subsidize the cost of preschool care. The recommendation is one made by the town’s economic development committee in 2016 and brought to the fore by the new Chatham 365 Task Force. Though several different models are under consideration, u...

CHATHAM – With public safety their top priority, selectmen voted Monday to investigate ways to set up a net or other barrier around the swimming area at Oyster Pond Beach to keep out both seals and sharks. The step is a short-term measure the town can implement next summer in response to citizen concerns about the increasing number of seals and sharks in local waters, board members said. Actually reducing shar...

HARWICH — The energy level was high as stakeholders gathered last week to push for a cultural district designation for Harwich Center. The district is seen as one of the cogs in the wheels that could get the vitality of the village rolling once again. During the session led by Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams at the Harwich Cultural Center last Tuesday,...

CHATHAM – With public safety their top priority, selectmen voted Monday to investigate ways to set up a net or other barrier around the swimming area at Oyster Pond Beach to keep out both seals and sharks. The step is a short-term measure the town can implement next summer in response to citizen concerns about the increasing number of seals and sharks in local waters, board members said. Actually reducing shar...

Sustainability Task Force Gains Momentum

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Finding ways to attract and retain year-round residents is more than an exercise in strategic planning; it’s an urgent task that deserves immediate attention, selectmen said Monday. The board is hoping to convene a new task force shortly that will examine ways to encourage a sustainable year-round population that includes all age groups, not just young families. “This is really the number one prior...

New Harwich Center Initiative Committee Established

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — It's been 18 years since the initial Harwich Center Initiative study was done with the goal of bringing economic vitality to the historic village. There have been several additional attempts to revive the effort since then, and selectmen agreed Monday night to make another attempt. “We have several people who have shown an active interest,” Selectman Larry Ballantine said. “There is enthusiasm and I'...

Task Force To Focus On Retaining Young Families

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Saying the time for rhetoric has passed, the board of selectmen this week resolved to find concrete steps to help attract and retain young families in town. They voted to create a task force to investigate the town’s demographic and economic imbalances, ultimately leading to actions designed to ease the burdens on young working families. Census data confirms what most people already know: the popul...

CHATHAM – The former Cumberland Farms store at 859 Main St. may have a new life as an office building. Next Tuesday, June 12, the planning board will hear a proposal to change the use of the property from retail to professional offices. SV Design, which currently has offices at 403 Main St., is proposing to move its architectural and design firm to the former convenience store/gas station. “We're committed ...