In 2010 the Town of Dennis submitted a Land Use Vision Map to the Cape Cod Commission as part of the Regional Policy Plan process, The map identified areas in town of varying levels of importance to the economic future of Dennis. These included the Hotel Resort District areas in West Dennis and Dennis Port, Dennis Port Village Center, West Dennis Village Center, Sesuit Harbor area, Aquaculture Research Corporation area, a government center area and the Exit 9/south Dennis area.
The map below illustrates the original submittal.
The map below, illustrates the study area for the Exit 9 Economic Center, as you can see, the boundaries have not changed since the Commission adopted the Land Use Vision Map in December 2010. However, there are a small commercial cluster just south of the Cape Cod Rail Trail parcel that needs to be considered in the discussion as they are currently zoned commercial.
The study area contains about 213 acres of land and includes a significant amount of development. Included in the area are larger projects like Patriot’s Square, Cranberry Square, Harney’s Plaza, Mid Cape Home Center and the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Facility. These facilities occupy over 1/3rd of the land mass in the study area. Roughly 50 acres in the study area has no development. Another 20 acres are substantially “under-utilized”, containing a flea market and cell towers. The remainder, roughly 60 acres, contain a variety of contractor’s buildings and smaller scale commercial facilities.
As previously mentioned this area is presently zoned for a variety of uses from residential to retail, office and heavy industry. Most uses are by-right, but some require Special Permitting. The project will revisit the areas design standards, uses and densities. The ultimate goal will be to establish a district with densities that promote a jobs:housing balance; provides a live, work, shop, recreate environment; and provides a sustainable infrastructure system serving the area.
As we will be looking to all available funding programs to support implementation, I have already been in contact with various state agencies about economic development incentives. Chapter 40R, which has been explored (and is still being considered) for a portion of Dennisport may provide significant opportunities. To pursue some of these programs the town will need to consider zoning with strong design guidelines that will provide the opportunity to allow significant development with only Site Plan Review, something that is present for the majority of the non-residential development potential for the area already.