Topics: Municipal Planning and Zoning

Local Planning Committee To Guide Comprehensive Plan

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectmen have agreed to appoint a wide-ranging local planning committee to craft a new local comprehensive plan for the town. The committee is expected to work with consultants in shaping a plan for defining the future of the community. Voters in the May 2019 annual town meeting approved $200,000 to update the 2011 local comprehensive plan, which is supposed to be revisited every five years. Town Pl...

ORLEANS — The tables were set for 36, but more than 80 townspeople pulled up chairs at the senior center Nov. 19 to help sketch the future of the Route 6A corridor. With a sewer system being built from West Road to the Eastham rotary, the town must be ready with zoning that protects community character while encouraging the kind of development that will provide what the town needs. “We want to test our ideas...

Moratorium In Place For Proposed West Harwich DCPC

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There is a “hard moratorium” in place on development and development permits in the proposed District of Critical Planning Concern along a stretch of Route 28 in West Harwich from just west of the Herring River to the Dennis town line. The moratorium puts a hold on any development activity in the proposed 43-acre district while the Cape Cod Commission weighs whether it will accept a DCPC nomination p...

Planning Board Gets Commission’s Pitch On DCPCs

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The planning board received a detailed presentation on the use of a district of critical planning concern to buy time to make zoning adjustments by Cape Cod Commission historic preservation staff member Sarah Korjeff last week. There has been a focus on using the tool to protect historic characteristics along what has become known as Captains’ Row, a section of Route 28 in West Harwich extending from...

CHATHAM – Voters spent some $60 million at the annual town meeting, and while the major expenditures received coverage last week, there were numerous smaller appropriations that didn't make the news but nonetheless deserve attention. There were also several articles that were not acted upon, including changes to the Monomoy Regional School district agreement. Although the changes mostly involved removing referen...

Planning Board Gives Nod To Stone Horse Dormitories

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The planning board last week approved a site plan review and special permit for the redevelopment of the Stone Horse Motel property and opted not to refer the redevelopment project to the Cape Cod Commission, despite requests from neighbors. The redevelopment plan for the former motel calls for constructing two dormitories with 42 rooms in each building, two beds per room, to be used primarily to prov...

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...