Just What is a Cape Cod Cottage?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about just what is a “Cape Cod Cottage?” A lot of this discussion has been generated due to the rezoning in Dennisport creating the Seasonal Resort Community Zoning District.

In 2010 the town and a large number or residents put in numerous hours crafting a new zoning by-law which, for the first time in nearly 40 years, recognized the proper place in the future of Dennis for our cottage colonies.

This effort sprouted from our efforts to modernize the Dennis hotel stock.  One thing we heard over and over during the several years we worked on the Hotel Resort Zoning was that the Dennis summer accommodations were tired, cramped and dated. This chorus carried over to our efforts in the Seasonal Resort Community.

For RV’s we were told how important it was to accommodate the larger, Park Model RV’s, which, along with a larger footprint than an over-the-road RVs, come equipped with loft sleeping areas. And, we heard, that it was equally important to allow the pre-fabricated three-season rooms alongside the RV’s.  Overall, these changes will more than double the footprint of RVs in the future as older RV’s are swapped out for newer models.

For cottages, we were reminded time and again that these structures were accommodating more people than they were designed to. Personally, I visited cottages during the summer of 2010 where kids sleeping areas were “lofts” that provided, at best, 3 feet of headroom; bathrooms were nearly inaccessible; and “living rooms” served as dining rooms as well as family sleeping quarters. During these visits I heard time and again how nice it would be if the cottage were larger or taller.

Now, some have questioned whether larger, taller cottages re truly “Cape Cod.” Below are examples of a number of cottages, mostly in Dennis, to illustrate the varied nature of the “Cape Cod Cottage.”  Some of these cottages range up to 1,400 sf of footprint or larger, most are 1 1/2 stories tall, and one is 2 stories tall.  The conclusion, cottages, even cottages in Dennis, come in all shapes and sizes.



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