Letters to the Editor, June 20

Letters to the editor.

An Open Letter To Harwich

Our town is rich in history: 325 years of community development, culture and commerce. Today, West Harwich needs your support.
Route 28 in West Harwich has over 20 buildings identified by the Massachusetts Historical Commission as potentially eligible for state registry listing, individually or collectively. These include many sea captains’ homes. Two buildings are already on the National Register of Historic Places.
A property owner on Route 28, whose parcel contains an identified historic building, plans to sell the land to a development corporation. The outcome: a 7,400-plus-square-foot retail building of undisclosed nature, likely a Dollar General. Imagine a Dollar General dropped into your residential neighborhood! Imagine the impact upon your traffic safety, the traffic congestion on your local roadways!
Harwich’s current zoning bylaws and planning board rules and regulations cannot stop this.
The retail development could be halted for a time if the planning board referred the matter to the Cape Cod Commission for review. Harwich would have to justify the referral but it could be done.
The planning board will likely decide referral at their meeting on June 25, at 6 p.m. at town hall. Come. Express your support for this referral, the only way to halt the development and maintain the character of West Harwich.
One town. Seven villages. West Harwich is at a crossroads today. It could be your village in the future. Let’s create our town’s future, celebrating the unique character of each village.

Pattie Tworek

West Harwich


Rip-off Of The Century?
Time to complete the Empire Sate Building in N.Y.C.: 14 months.
Time to complete the West Chatham Improvement Project: 24 months.
Does anyone not believe this to be the biggest rip-off in Chatham’s history?

Peter Barnes
Harwich Port

A Cry To Save Old Buildings

Our current 18-month demolition delay bylaw keeps the wrecking balls in wait for the eventual demise of Chatham’s antique homes and history. Wealth’s untethered dreams is consuming. Sprawling, sometimes unattractive manses, display their power to do so.
Pristine vistas toss away and rob our history, stories, and view of the past. In place money demonstrates what money can do with or without taste with little regard. Morris Island is an example with the loss of our antique Coast Guard building.
Our community is at risk as these homes remain unoccupied the greater part of the year. Families struggle to find affordable space, our aging population is at risk of being underserved, and school enrollment wanes while our town’s fabric moves on to more thriving communities.

We need an alliance for combined action to save our antique buildings in Chatham. Is there anyone willing to join this cry?


Janet Whittemore