About Daniel Fortier

Daniel Fortier is the Town Planner for the Town of Dennis. He is a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has been the Town Planner since 2001.

Sesuit Harbor Updates

A few updates on Sesuit Harbor.

First, the Planning Board is in the process of reviewing the proposed Sesuit Harbor Zoning District. This will be a slow process intermingled with its other work activities. It will be a continuous item on the Planning Board agenda for the coming meetings, but the amount of time devoted to the zoning proposal will depend upon full workload.

Second, we have received a “final draft” version of the Sesuit Harbor Use and Capacity Study. The documents can be downloaded below:

Sesuit Harbor Use and Capacity Study Draft Final

Appendix A Sesuit Asset Evaluation

Table for Section 6 Asset Evaluation

Tables For Section 9.0 Sesuit Harbor Cost Estimates – Final

Section 9.3 Final Sesuit Eastside 3A

Section 9.3 Final Sesuit Westside Concept Plan 3A

Section 9.3 Final Sesuit Westside Diagram 3A

Section 9.4 Final Eastside 3B

Section 9.4 Final Westside Concept Plan 3B

Section 9.4 Final Westside Diagram 3B

Table for Section 9.6 Dredging Estimates

Tables for Section 10 Town Marina 15 Year Pro-Forma 3A

Tables for Section 10 Town Marina 15 Year Pro-Forma 3B Fees

The Harbor Study Committee is trying to coordinate a date to meet to review this material so that it can be finalized.




Pre-Disaster Thinking

Volunteering is always encouraged. Often, when we volunteer, especially during a disaster, we do not think too much of keeping track of the time we put in or our out of pocket expenses. However, that selfless effort many put in to help their neighbors by working in shelters or providing free meals to those left homeless during a disaster has tremendous value, both for those assisted, but, as New Jersey residents are learning, in accessing federal disaster recovery funds.

The many hours put in by volunteers can have a financial value placed on it, allowing access to federal recovery funds without needing additional local financial resources. Personal out of pocket costs (that case of water donated to the shelter) also can be used to gain access to federal funds. Donated services and material can add up quickly towards the 10% local match required for accessing federal disaster recovery funds.

Poor paperwork costs Sandy towns money

As we continue to best position the Town of Dennis in the event of a future disaster, we will be seeking guidance on the necessary forms the town should use to document the value of volunteer services.

While the article above notes the value of donations towards public disaster recovery, I am also going to inquire as to whether the value of volunteer assistance on private property might be available to assist in match requirements for private disaster aid as well.

Boston Globe: The Nantucket housing shuffle

I found this article through the Oaks Bluff Planning Board page. They were using it to make a comparison between the cost of housing in their town to that on Nantucket, i.e. determining how to properly regulate while not creating a situation where islanders get forced out as the area becomes too expensive for year-round workers.

Like it or not, Cape Cod and Dennis, have the same problems. In the last census over 50% of the homes in Dennis were occupied as seasonal housing, second homes. Second homes create a unique strain on a community, driving up housing costs by bringing in disposable cash from areas outside the Cape economy.

As we continue to plan for the future of Dennis, we need to recognize that we need to plan for the second home market as much as for our local, year-round worker needs.If we do not, then we will make it harder and harder for the year-round economy to grow. Essentially, while we continue to sell summer as our primary export industry, we need to do this in a manner that does not over stress the local housing market. This means that we need to continue to consider how we accommodate the demands for seasonal living, in targeted seasonal communities, in order to relieve excess pressure on available year-round housing.

The Nantucket housing shuffle

More Flood Insurance Woes

I keep reading these stories, hearing about new flood insurance costs and comparing the costs against a FEMA sponsored insurance payout calculator and shaking my head.

Recently I had a home buyer tell me that he had received a $5300 insurance quote for a property that might get two feet of water in a 1% storm event. He has to buy the full $250,000 coverage due to a mortgage, the calculator suggests a 1% storm might cause $90,000 in damages. It will cost about $40,000 to elevate the structure. Elevating the structure now will pay for itself in less than ten years.

My recommendation to flood prone properties remains elevate now, before a storm turns your life upside down.

@STOPFEMANOW2ND: .@StopFemaNow @SenatorMenendez Whats wrong with these two pictures #flood @GovChristie http://t.co/ONFtmwhm2I http://t.co/zRN5gNQeYE
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Ten Ways to Manage Flood Risk by Designing for Exceedance | Sustainable Cities Collective

An interesting read. A key point, that needs to be reinforced over and over, site design should begin with storm water management.  All to often we are faced with project delays as applicants are asked to provide a storm water assessment. Sites are then recarved with a mish-mash approach to storm water control systems, generally not the prettiest systems and not the most cost effective.

We need property site designers to start with considering the amount of storm water that needs to be contained; design the system and the green space to accommodate this storm water; then design the site that is supported by the storm water system.

Let’s break the business as usual practice of only developing a storm water management plan after the site is designed and submitted to the Planning Board for review!

Ten Ways to Manage Flood Risk by Designing for Exceedance | Sustainable Cities Collective.