Topics: Municipal Planning and Zoning

CHATHAM – Despite warnings that delays would escalate costs, concerns about the size and location of a new senior center led voters to reject the $6.6 million project and send it back to the drawing board on the first night of the annual town meeting. Also Monday, voters approved a zoning bylaw that will allow the creation of apartments in single-family homes, which advocates say will increase the stock of mar...

CHATHAM – The annual town meeting begins Monday at 6 p.m. at the Monomoy Regional Middle School on Crowell Road. Voters should prepare to settle in for a longer-than-usual annual legislative session covering a number of significant topics, including funding for a new council on aging facility, a controversial accessory dwelling unit bylaw, funding for a shark barrier at Oyster Pond, bans on plastic bottles and st...

Chatham 365 Forums Saturday And Wednesday

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – There's an imbalance in Chatham—economic and demographic— that the Chatham 365 task force is working to identify and find solutions to. There's an age imbalance: 14 percent of residents are 19 years old and under; 44.5 percent are 62 and older. The number of school-age students had dropped by 35 since 2010. There's an average of about 25 to 30 births in town annually, and 150 to 190 deaths. There'...

CHATHAM – With growing concern over the loss of historic homes and the replacement of modest houses with buildings several times larger, the planning board is diving into the process of finding a way to limit the scale of residential structures.  Developing a zoning bylaw to accomplish that goal is likely to require study and analysis, perhaps with assistance from the Cape Cod Commission, said Planning Board C...

Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw To Get Hearing

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Depending on one’s perspective, accessory dwelling units – or ADUs – are either a good first step toward addressing the housing shortage or a radical zoning change that won’t achieve the desired results. Either way, the draft bylaw amendment is now on its way to the planning board for a public hearing. An outgrowth of a 2015 survey showing that local seniors are worried about housing options to all...

Harwich Center Revitalization Forum Draws A Crowd

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Suggestions to revitalize Harwich Center were clearly stated by the nearly 50 participants in the Harwich Center initiative committee's forum last Thursday. The session focused more on traffic and infrastructure improvements than economic vitality. Residents and business owners in and around the village spoke about the needs for improvements to three key intersections, more parking, better sidewalks ...

ORLEANS — Phil Howarth says the former Beth Bishop store on Route 28 “is a building my wife fell in love with on our honeymoon in 1994.” That's one of the reasons the owner of Bluefish Outfitters, the parent company of the Goose Hummock shop, signed a lease purchase agreement for the property recently. There are other people who love it, too, including Gail and Rick Runyon, whose home is directly behind the ...

Harwich Center Committee Sets Stakeholders Meeting

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There was consensus among the Harwich Center initiative committee last week that input is needed from stakeholders – property owners – in shaping a direction for improving the vitality of the village. Acting committee chairman Paul Doane told the committee his mother years ago offered a program, including a slide show of the village in the 1950s, '60s and '80s . At the time, he said, the center was u...

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...