Category Archives: Cottage Colonies

Regulating “Seasonal” Uses

Since 1973 Dennis has regulated cottage colonies as “seasonal” uses with no real attempt to define what is the “season” and what level of access might be available in the off-season. Across much of town cottage colonies have condominiumized and have created their own concept of “season,” some even creating condominium documents that almost read like year round properties. A few others recognizing a “season” but granting nearly unfettered  “off-season” access.

When we crafted the Seasonal Resort Community Zoning District we tried, for the first time, to define “season” and regulate “off-season.” The Economic Development Committee looked at how the properties were accessed prior to the zoning being crafted, predominantly on weekends, and proposed an allowance that would have provided for this to continue. The EDC proposed access of up to 10 days in any 30 day period, which would have allowed for continuing the past practice. At the final Zoning By-law Committee review of this proposal, it was cut to 4 days in any 30. The Economic Development Committee went along with the change with the idea it could be revisited in the future.

We are at that point of reconsideration. There are many options:

  • Keeping it as it is, 4 days in any 30, with no changes;
  • Keeping it as it is but requiring a register be kept in the office for enforcement;
  • Reverting to the original 10 days in any 30, but add the register requirement;
  • Stating specific windows of access, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year, and February school vacation; or perhaps,
  • Weekends and holidays which could capture a number of three day weekends.

The Planning Board wants to look at this on a town-wide basis and come up with a set of standards that applies everywhere. They have formed a working group that consists of two Planning Board members (Peggy Fantozzi and Brad Bishop), one Economic Development Committee member, one member of the Dennis Port Revitalixation Committee, one person from a cottage community inside the Seasonal Resort District, one person from a cottage colony outside the SRC district, and one interested resident “at-large.”

This working group will study the issue, hold public meetings, and make a recommendation to the Planning Board.

If you are interested, please email me at:


Reclaiming “Redneck” Urbanism: What Urban Planners Can Learn From Trailer Parks

Given that “redneck” and “hillbilly” remain the last acceptable stereotypes among polite society, it isn’t surprising that the stereotypical urban home of poor, recently rural whites remains an object of scorn. The mere mention of a trailer park conjures images of criminals in wifebeaters, moldy mattresses thrown awry, and Confederate flags. As with most…

Source: Reclaiming “Redneck” Urbanism: What Urban Planners Can Learn From Trailer Parks

Just thinking, replace “trailer park” with “Tiny House”….

Realtors report steady sales – News – – Hyannis, MA

WEST YARMOUTH — The number of residential real estate closings logged in February was pretty much on par with the same time last year, but, for the second consecutive month, Realtors reported strong buyer interest and a high number of sales set to close in the coming weeks.Statistics released by Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors on Friday showed 453 single-family home sales pending at the end of February, a nearly 120-percent increase over February 2015 when there were

Source: Realtors report steady sales – News – – Hyannis, MA

Heritage Sands named “Best Residential Development in the Americas” at the final International Property Awards Summit in London – NEREJ

Heritage Sands named “Best Residential Development in the Americas” at the final International Property Awards Summit in London

Sometimes you set a goal to accomplish something that could provide for a new future for a piece of your past. We set out to create exactly that with the Seasonal Resort Community Zoning. Heritage Sands was born from the need to address waste water, flooding and other environmental issues that threatened the concept of seasonal cottage communities. Yes, these are a bit different from the seasonal cottages and recreational vehicles that stood on this site before, but the multi-million dollar waste water needs could not have supported continued seasonal use without these changes. When we set out on the rezoning discussion it was with the idea that this site would either become seven waterfront year-round houses, or a new motel. Now we have a seasonal cottage community that should still be welcoming summer residents to Dennis and Cape Cod in the year 2100!

Great to see Dennis Port finally getting some international attention!

Our Planning Efforts Get More Recognition

Last week the Town of Dennis Seasonal Resort Zoning effort as implemented through the Heritage Sands project and designed by Union Studios was recognized for excellence. The Heritage Sands project was recognized by the Builders and Remodelers of Greater Boston as part of their annual Prism Awards. The Awards include:

Best Land Planning Gold Winner (Top Prize)

11201172_1061289320556236_3952997442177305037_nBest Detached Home Under 2,500 sf Gold Winner

Best Multi-Unit For-Sale Community: Detached Homes Silver Winner

Best Interior Merchandising Of A Model – Average Sales Price $350,000 – $650,000 Gold Winner