Can You Hear Me Now?
I usually don’t get involved with too many ongoings here in our little town. But it might be time I threw one of my two cents in concerning the roadwork in front of my store.
I see that new telephone poles have been placed strategically. But has anyone informed the telephone pole company that “wireless” has been invented? I’m no interior designer, but those poles would look a heck of a lot better without all those wires hanging from them!
Appreciates Work Of Nature Columnist
I read The Chronicle from cover to cover as soon as I receive it on Thursdays. I didn't think it could be improved upon until the paper started running Mary Richmond's column, Nature Connection. I have let too much time go by before letting you know how much I cherish this new addition to your newspaper. Her writing is more than prose, it's poetry. Her subject in this week's column, walking alone, particularly struck home with me. The author has such a beautiful way of expressing the many joys of getting a little closer to the natural world. Many thanks to The Chronicle for sharing the gift of such fine writing with your subscribers.
Neighbors Should Know Plans
It is perhaps unknown to many of the townspeople of Harwich that there is a major upheaval going on in West Harwich.
Simply stated, there is a real estate developer (who has very many Dollar General tenants) who is planning on buying the property on 52 Route 28 that includes an historic Captain’s Row house known as the George Baker House. That house has come into disrepair and has been declared unsafe because the owners have not maintained it. This house is part of our architectural heritage, especially as it is at the gateway to Harwich. It has been granted a demolition delay by the historic commission until September. Yet, regarding the impending sale, the planning board has no jurisdiction to inquire as to what retail establishment will take over the property.
People who have lived in the abutting neighborhood are furious because their own history is there. They feel powerless because they have no right to know what sort of “store” will go into their neighborhood or if it would be something that would make their real estate less valuable. I have attended two of these planning board meetings, and even though I am not part of their neighborhood, the passionate stories that they have told are heartbreaking when you realize that the homes they have lived in (some for generations) are going to be affected by this change.
This speaks to three issues. There are no zoning regulations to prohibit certain businesses, nor to require architectural continuity. And abutters have no recourse to appeal to anyone. This is unfair.
First of all, we must get better zoning regulations. Even though land on Route 28 may be zoned for commercial use, when a large percentage of the land is residential there must be some strong guidelines to make the commercial businesses compatible with historic homes. Commerce can have all sorts of ugly results. People in a neighborhood should know what is going to be built right next to them and what sort of tenants could occupy that space.
Please people, look into changing the zoning bylaws! That must be done. After all, what is happening in West Harwich could happen to you!
Croquet Club Gives Thanks
The Chase Park Croquet Club wishes to thank the town of Chatham especially the park and recreation commission for their support. Thanks to Meredith Fry, chairperson, for suggesting Chase Park as our playing field. Special tanks to board members Ira Seldin, Dave Eldredge, Kimberly Robbins, Dave Mallowes, Cory Metters and Director Dan Tobin who helped us through the whole process. The club is open to all and we welcome new members. Any questions contact Diane Siptrom at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Chatham!