Topics: Orleans news

ORLEANS – The Underground Mall off Route 6A has been vacant for years. But Chris DeSisto sees parking inside the existing buildings and landscaped greenspace breaking up the expansive pavement. More than anything, however, he sees an opportunity to provide moderately-priced housing to people in and around Orleans who need it. DeSisto, owner of Maple Hurst Builders, presented preliminary plans for building w...

ORLEANS – A proposed charter change has led to a disagreement between the finance committee and the town's finance director over how big a role the committee should have in reviewing the town's financial affairs. The charter review committee took a preliminary vote Jan. 3 not to support a proposed charter change proposed by the finance committee seeking to give it the authority to independently review all of t...

Revised Project Scope Sought For Estuary Dredging

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – The question remains as to if and how town officials can proceed with plans to dredge the Nauset Estuary, and select board members say they need more information in order to navigate a path forward. Without the town of Eastham, whose select board voted last month to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding with Orleans to partner on the project, town officials are now left to consider a new scope ...

ORLEANS – A few years ago, the family of Bill Moore, a local Korean War veteran, came to Kevin Higgins asking that his name be included on the town’s Korean War memorial in Veterans Memorial Park. The plaque on the memorial was rebronzed to include Moore’s name, and its inclusion was recognized as part of the town’s annual Memorial Day ceremony. But Moore, who was in a wheelchair, could only observe the cer...

A new year comes with New Year's resolutions, and officials in Chatham, Orleans and Harwich aren't short of them for 2022. We asked select board members from each of the three towns what's topping their list of legislative priorities this year. Perhaps not surprisingly, the creation of housing was almost universally cited as an ongoing need among officials in each community. "I'd hate to talk about anything...

ORLEANS – The Orleans School Committee is interested in hearing the town's proposal for possibly siting a new fire station on elementary school land, but members say they're not committing to anything. The committee voted 5-0 Dec. 20 to host a meeting Jan. 12 to discuss the idea in concept. Town Administrator John Kelly, Facilities Manager Ron Collins, Fire Chief Geof Deering, Orleans Elementary School Princip...

ORLEANS - It was a busy year on a host of fronts in Orleans, but once again, it was COVID-19 that drove the 2021 narrative. In a year that began hopefully with the arrival of vaccinations and ended with a resurgence of the virus, 2021 was dominated by the pandemic every bit as much as 2020. In between ongoing discussions about vaccines, masking and possible mandates, town officials grappled with a host of other i...

Orleans Businesses Lobby For A Seat At The Table

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – With noise from indoor and outdoor music a growing concern in Orleans, Town Administrator John Kelly came to the select board Dec. 1 with a potential solution. Kelly offered an amendment to the town's annual indoor entertainment license that would have required license holders for 2022 to close their windows and doors when hosting music inside. But the amendment came without any input from restaurant...

ORLEANS – Can Orleans soldier forward with dredging the Nauset Estuary without partnering with Eastham? Select board members are hopeful. The Eastham Select Board's vote Dec. 13 to back out of a memorandum of understanding between the two towns to move ahead with permitting for the dredge leaves Orleans officials with some decisions to make. But there was interest expressed by the Orleans Select Board Dec. 15 ...

ORLEANS — A consultant has been tapped to help guide the planning board in putting together its economic development strategic plan. Streetsense Consulting began work in late November. The firm was hired through $60,000 authorized through annual town meeting in May, planning board member Chip Bechtold said during the board's Dec. 14 meeting. The plan is designed to help the board, and the town, look far int...

HAC Given Control Of 107 Main Street Property

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS - Housing Assistance Corporation has been given control of property at 107 Main St., and the nonprofit also appears on track to secure funding necessary to bring housing to the site. Both the select board and the town's affordable housing trust board voted unanimously Dec. 15 to approve a land disposition agreement with HAC, giving it site control of the 1.3 acre parcel where the former Masonic Lodge c...

ORLEANS – The select board has host community agreements in place for two businesses seeking state licensing to operate retail marijuana businesses in town. But one of the businesses is seeking a separate agreement that would allow it to also manufacture its product. Seaside Joint Ventures, LLC, plans to operate a manufacturing facility out of the same space it will occupy to run retail operations at 14 Lots H...

Leash Regulations Pitched For Spring Town Meeting

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- For many dog owners, one of the simple pleasures of visiting or living in Orleans is being able to let their pets off their leash. The town does not currently require that dogs be leashed when out in public, but that could soon change. Orleans Police Chief Scott MacDonald came to the select board Dec. 8 with a proposal to update the town's animal control bylaw at the annual town meeting this spri...

ORLEANS -- One of the two businesses approved to open a recreational marijuana operation in town hopes to be up and running by the end of 2022. Ember Gardens plans to open a dispensary at 41 Route 6A, and officials gave an overview of their plans during a Zoom presentation on Dec. 7. CEO Shane Hyde said the company expects to undergo local and state review for much of the next year, starting with a traffic stu...

Eastham Withdraws From Nauset Estuary Dredging Plan

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- If Orleans plans to continue to pursue permitting to dredge out the Nauset Estuary, it will have to do it without Eastham's support. The Eastham Select Board voted 5-0 Monday to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding between the town and Orleans guiding how the project would unfold. The vote came during a joint meeting between the select boards in both towns at the Eastham Public Library. Pl...

ORLEANS -- "Tell us what the rules are, and we'll enforce them." That was the message Dec. 8 from Police Chief Scott MacDonald to the select board, which continues to work toward finding a happy medium between allowing outdoor entertainment and respecting the rights of abutters to the businesses that host it. The issue of outdoor entertainment has become a sticky one in town. The select board in March voted...