Topics: Municipal Planning and Zoning

Special Permit OK’d For Orleans Pot Shop

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – One of two businesses authorized to operate a recreational marijuana establishment in town won approval from the zoning board of appeals last week. After some discussion about whether or not it could begin its review, the zoning board voted unanimously June 15 to award a special permit to Seaside Joint Ventures, Inc., which plans to operate under the name Seaside Cannabis Co. on Lots Hollow Road. ...

ORLEANS – With the start of the summer season about a month away, the Barley Neck Inn is still wrestling to secure the permitting it needs to host music outdoors. The inn's owner, Phil Ruggieri, is appealing a determination from Building Commissioner Thomas Evers that amplified outdoor music constitutes "an intensification" of the inn's preexisting nonconforming use, and that a special permit is first needed f...

ORLEANS – With a draft economic development plan in hand, the town's planning board now wants to hear from residents. A virtual public presentation of the plan, developed in partnership with Streetsense Consulting, is scheduled for April 26. Those attending via Zoom are invited to ask questions and offer comments following the presentation. The planning board has been working with Streetsense since November...

ORLEANS – A new town position and committee are being recommended to help steer economic development efforts downtown and in the area of Town Cove. Creating an economic development and tourism director position and corresponding committee was among several recommendations in a draft economic development plan presented to the planning board last week. The planning board has been working with Streetsense Cons...

Selectmen Wrestle With Planning Board Appointment

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – The planning board is two members short, but tempers are flaring over efforts to fill one of the seats. Selectmen are being asked to consider a reduction in membership, foregoing the need for appointing additional members. At the selectmen’s Feb. 28 meeting, the board’s interview committee nominated Sandy McLardy for the planning board appointment. Selectmen Chairman Michael MacAskill took issue with...

ORLEANS – If Orleans wants to boost its economic profile, it needs to make better use of its waterfront and downtown areas. That's according to the consulting firm Streetsense, which the town hired in the fall to steer its economic development plan. The planning board was updated on the firm's findings to date at its Jan. 25 meeting. Streetsense's work began in November with a tour of the town's downtown ar...

ORLEANS – Town officials want to have all of the information they need in place if and when the time comes to demolish the existing Governor Prence Inn buildings. The select board and the affordable housing trust board, which together co-own the 5.5-acre property on Route 6A, voted during a joint meeting Jan. 18 to begin the process of undertaking site reconstruction and a topological survey, funding for which...

CHATHAM – In 2016, town meeting passed zoning amendments setting up an overlay district that created the South Chatham Neighborhood Center. It was the first neighborhood center established based on recommendations in the town's 2003 comprehensive plan. Since 2019, the planning board has been focusing on the next neighborhood center. The board has developed draft zoning changes that would bring the West Chatham...

Harwich Seeking Local Planning Committee Members

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – Volunteers are being sought to serve on a planning committee to do the groundwork for an update of the local comprehensive plan. The local planning committee will be an 11-member body, and selectmen have been charged with appointing the five community at-large members. The six additional members will be chosen from volunteers serving on town boards and committees. The committee will be advisory to th...

Orleans To Explore Short-Term Rental Bylaw

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- Short-term rentals are bringing in added revenue for the town, but the lack of regulations is creating problems for residents. Count Kevin Galligan among them. The select board member said Dec. 1 that he has seen how unregulated rentals have negatively impacted his neighborhood and others around town. In particular, Galligan took issue with homes that are not being rented to vacationers but th...

Plans For Harwich Center Improvements Are Scant

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – The town is looking at ways to make improvements to Harwich Center to benefit residents, merchants and cyclists, but exactly what improvements should be made is not clear. Town Administrator Joseph Powers made a presentation to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) on Nov. 2 on the application the town has filed with the committee seeking $100,000 in Community Preservation Act funding for the im...

CHATHAM – The planning board last week approved plans for two key properties in the downtown area. A preliminary site plan was approved for a 100-seat restaurant and apartment at the former Cumberland Farms building at 859 Main St., and the board gave final approval to a five-lot subdivision of the former Monomoy Theatre property. More than a dozen conditions were attached to the Monomoy Theatre approval, a...

Stakeholder Engagement Critical In Comprehensive Planning

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – It’s been a little more than a decade since the town updated its local comprehensive plan. Officials said it's about time to do so again, especially since town meeting approved the funds for the plan update in 2019. “I’ve been pressing for the plan for a year-and-a-half to two years,” Selectman Larry Ballantine said at the board’s meeting Aug. 25.  The initial master plan was done in 1969, said Di...

ORLEANS - What will Orleans look like in 20 years? It’s a big question to tackle, but the planning board hopes that an economic development study will help put it on the right path toward shaping the town’s future. Board members talked with members of the finance committee Aug. 10 about the plan, how it should be formulated and what they thought the town needs to plan for moving ahead. The planning board...

Draft Bylaw Incentivizes Historic Preservation

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Having had limited luck with the stick, town officials are hoping to use a new carrot to keep developers from tearing down historic homes. The historical commission has drafted a historic preservation incentive bylaw that would allow property owners renovating certain historic buildings to construct larger additions closer to the property line, in exchange for a pledge to preserve the structure forev...

Signs Get High Priority In Orleans Complete Street Plan

By: Debra Lawless

ORLEANS – Residents have until Sunday, Nov. 22 to offer their comments to town officials or Cape Cod Commission staff regarding the Orleans Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. Lev Malakhoff, commission transportation planner, recommends that people who wish to comment should first look at the materials pertaining to the Complete Streets plan on the commission's website. On Nov. 5, the commission held a vi...