Sesuit Harbor Zoning

I had an interesting discussion with Town Counsel tonight regarding MGL Chapter 91 Section 10C,  zoning and harbor operations. Essentially Counsel takes a somewhat middle of the road position. Chapter 91 10C does, even in the current non-conforming status, relatively unfettered access to the transient, commercial pier. HOWEVER, where parking requirements are connected to the number of slips, there is no requirement that the vessels using the transient commercial pier have access to site parking spaces. In fact, it would seem that since no parking spaces are created for this pier, the marina would not be able to accommodate peak period parking demands associated with vessels loading passengers at this pier if those vehicles are on-site between 10 am and 3 pm most days.

So, tying our zoning and management planning together, we can manage commercial charter numbers operating from slips through the Zoning By-law; we can also state that prior to 3 pm no operations from the transient commercial pier may  make use of marina parking, this should occur both through zoning and the site’s operational guidelines; and, operationally, a process for controlling parking access must be created.

Some ideas include, segregating recreational vessel parking from charter/excursion parking; creating a clear process for determining the nature of vehicles on site such as recreational boating parking permits, placard identification tags for vehicles associated with berthed charter fishing vessels and excursions; and short-term metered parking for a percentage of site parking.

Revisiting our earlier discussions, 0.3 of the 0.65 parking spaces per slip are associated with slip holders.  Further we discussed assigning a captain’s space (slipholder) and two guest spaces to each charter fishing vessel. The remaining spaces would be short-term metered spaces which could double as parking for excursion vessel parking for the three excursion operations provided for in the by-law.

I will work out the specific numbers tomorrow.

Exit 9 Economic Center Zoning Discussion Kick-Off

On Thursday April 17th we will start the discussion regarding creating a zoning proposal for the land around Exit 9. The goal of this proposal is to create a comprehensive approach to redevelopment of this area with an eye towards managing traffic and waste water generated by the area.

During the review of Lowe’s the statement was made that this area was not appropriately zoned for mixed use activities. Not really sure how they arrived at that conclusion, but, this process will look at both development under existing zoning, as well as under a new zoning scheme.

At present the area comprises General Commercial III and Industrially zoned lands. The General Commercial III district uses include:

Consumer Services

While the Industrially zoned lands allow:

Consumer Services
Contractor’s Yards

Housing may even be possible in the Industrial Zoning District under Section 4.9 of the Dennis Zoning By-law. We have asked Town Counsel to review this.

Zoning setbacks in this area are generally 50 feet. Unfortunately, no one has built at this setback line. A simple change of approach, to make this a build-to line, for at least a portion of the site floor space would drastically change the look of the area. The 50 foot setback could then be transformed into an active pedestrian plaza. Current zoning actually allows for this.

As with all our zoning initiatives, this process will require creative thinking.



Latest on Flood Insurance

Found this posted through Twitter, then searched it to try to directly confirm it. Here are the two links:

First from an organization called Stop FEMA Now

FEMA Bulletin:The purpose of this bulletin is to stop charging full risk-rate

Second from the Florida Realtors

In May, some flood policy costs revert to 2013 levels

It looks like the reversion of the Biggert Waters Act cost increases are moving forward.

2014 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program

The FEMA website notes that the 2014 Pr-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program will be opening soon. Last year, the grant application time period began in July. It is my hope that we can try to pursue funding this year for structural elevation. the number of flood zone properties will increase dramatically on July 16th. These funds will go a long way towards assisting home owners address long term flood insurance costs.

Specifically we would be looking to FEMA to fund Structural Elevations as described below:

Structure Elevation – Physically raising and/or retrofitting an existing structure to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or higher if required by FEMA or local ordinance. Elevation may be achieved through a variety of methods, including elevating on continuous foundation walls; elevating on open foundations, such as piles, piers, posts, or columns; and elevating on fill. Foundations must be designed to properly address all loads and be appropriately connected to the floor structure above, and utilities must be properly elevated as well. FEMA encourages Applicants and subapplicants to design all structure elevation projects in accordance with the American Society of Civil Engineers/Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI) 24-05, Flood Resistant Design and Construction. For additional information about structure elevation projects, see Addendum, Part E

In order to submit such a grant FEMA is looking for detailed estimates of various costs, such as labor, materials, equipment, and subcontractor costs. We will need to identify what the federal and non-federal contributions would be (the non-federal contributions would be costs borne by the homeowner for elevating a structure).

As a part of the application, each property owner will be asked to provide the following FEMA required information:

  • The property address, original date of construction, and two color photographs for any buildings, structures, objects, or manmade sites/landscapes features that are 50 years or more in age. At least one of the two photographs provided of a building should be the front or primary façade showing the elevation;

  • Any identified federally listed threatened or endangered species and/or designated critical habitat in the project area;

  • Vegetation, including amount (area), type, and extent to be removed or affected;

  • Identification of all surface waters in the project area regardless of drainage area, size, or perceived hazard level. Information about surface waters should include dimensions, proximity of the project activity to the water, and the expected and possible impacts of the project upon surface waters, if any; and

  • A description of any adverse effects on low income or minority populations in the project area.

If a property is a repetitive loss property, the property owner will be required, at the end of the project, to provide an update to the national repetitive loss database (this includes an as-built elevation certificate).

The grant program can provide federal funding for these projects of up to 75% of the cost to elevate a structure.

Essentially I will need your cost estimate, survey plan, building elevations, existing and proposed first floor elevations, flood elevation on the property based upon the July 2014 maps, and the information noted by FEMA above. If you are interested, please let me know. I hope we can start this process when the grant application period opens.