Sesuit Harbor Zoning Updates – October 10th Discussion

On October 10th we met once again in the West Dennis Graded School House to discuss the Sesuit Harbor Zoning Issues. My goal for this meeting was to start to create the parameters for each of the Principle Uses identified on October 3rd. The goal for the first meeting was to see how far we could get with the parameters for the use “Private Marina.”

We went into this discussion trying to determine what facilities were common to a Private Marina and what design elements should be included as part of future zoning compliant permitting for such uses. The fruits of this discussion is below.

I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL INTERESTED PARTIES TO REVIEW THIS CAREFULLY, PER PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS THE DESIRE IS FOR THIS TO BE A DEFINITIVE LIST NOT ONE WHICH STATES “INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO.”

Private Marina Facilities:

  • Hauling and launching facilities
  • Docks and Slips
  • Ramps
  • “Working” Boating, i.e. fisherman, lobstermen etc., not included in what we eventually determine to be “accessory” under the term “excursion/charter”
  • Recreational Boating
  • Single level boat storage
  • Mooring
  • Slips
  • Boat Repair (not including repair to trailers)
  • Fuel service

The discussion on “facilities” led to modifications to the “Accessory Use” list created on October 3rd. This type of feedback loop should be anticipated through-out this process. The revised Accessory Use List now includes:

  • Food Service
  • Ship’s Supply Store
  • Rack Boat Storage
  • Boat Sales and Rentals
  • Employee Housing (Seasonal/Security)
  • Excursion and Charter Boats

As with the Principle Uses, each of these Accessory Uses will need to be carefully refined to ensure we all have a firm understanding of what they comprise.

Along with the discussion of facilities, we also started the process of determining the design elements that should be required for Private Marinas in the Sesuit Harbor Zoning District. The design elements, which still need much refining, are listed below:

DESIGN ELEMENTS REQUIRED OF PRIVATE MARINAS

  • Signage consistent with Dennis Sign Code and Old King’s Highway design standards
  • Emergency Services (Dennis Fire Department has been asked for input to develop what these standards should be)
  • Boat Pump Out
  • Adequate Parking for cars and trailers
  • Restrooms
  • Public access to water
  • Safe access
  • Showers (especially for overnight stays)
  • Balance between various boating uses
  • Visual Character – includes green spaces, landscaping, screening, and site design/layout
  • Enhanced Historic Review (to be discussed with Old King’s Highway)
  • Ground level parking only whether indoors our outside. No multi-level parking.
  • No Recreational Vehicle Parking
  • Bus Parking needs to be accommodated, but with appropriate restrictions on number, location and idling (consistent with state law).

As you can see, this is beginning to take real shape. Some important issues are being addressed. I know buses have been an issue in past discussions. Yesterday the discussion focused on a few aspects. First, we cannot, outright, prohibit buses on public streets. If an entity were to hire a bus to bring a group to the harbor as part of a charter of, say a couple fishing boats, would we want them discharging passengers in the street? Would we want the bus to have to leave the area (empty) and return (empty), or is it better that they can park (and reduce two extra vehicle trips. or, worst case, if buses were discouraged, would we want all the cars that would have been accommodated by a 20 seat mini-bus, or a larger bus on Sesuit Neck Road? It was determined that accommodating and designing for such parking would be best for this area.

Next Thursday, 9 am at the West Dennis Graded School House I will be updating the Dennis Economic Development Committee on the progress made.

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