Category Archives: Local Comprehensive Plan

This Is How the Federal Government Is Going to Force Your State to Prepare for Climate Change | Mother Jones

This Is How the Federal Government Is Going to Force Your State to Prepare for Climate Change | Mother Jones.

A good opportunity to encourage participation in our attempt to seek funding for house lifting in the flood zones once again.

Gray-water plan to be proposed for new S.F. buildings – San Francisco Chronicle

One of the biggest hurdles facing job growth on Cape Cod is the handling of waste water. Re-using gray water (water from sinks, bath tubs, and washing machines) provides opportunities for reducing water demand and reducing nitrogen in  sewage. As we try to address regional concerns with regulatory relief in Dennis Port and think about a new vision for Exit 9 we might want to see what benefits we can achieve in nitrogen reduction with gray water diversion programs.

Gray-water plan to be proposed for new S.F. buildings – San Francisco Chronicle.

Growth Limitations

I have never been a big fan of growth limitation by-laws that make a very small number of building permits available.   Especially egregious are ones that make a small number available just once a year. Generally, the result is a small number of builders being able to obtain the right to build within a community.

The Eliot example, while providing for 20% of the permits for affordable housing,  still limits growth to less than half a percent. And, limits affordable housing creation to about a tenth of a percent of total housing. While moratoria may be necessary for short periods of time, long term building limits, as are typical in New Hampshire and Maine, serve little real purpose.

Growth limitations tend to drive up home prices and make communities more exclusionary.

Three people snagged all eight Eliot building permits

Affordable Housing Looking Back At 2014 And Forward To 2015

Housing affordability is the No. 1 problem facing Dennis.  The lack of affordable housing creates a situation where young people cannot afford to live in town. This means young people educated in Dennis cannot bring their knowledge or skills to town.  It threatens everything that makes the Dennis a great place to live. Expensive housing prices make it impossible for more than a wealthy class to live here year round or for a second home market to thrive.

Dennis has done more work on this issue than most are aware of probably over the past several years. Our approach proceeds from two primary ideas:

1. Try many different solutions.

Solutions are hard to come by, we need to recognize the driving forces that push housing prices up, and tackle these head on.  Dennis needs to add to the overall housing supply,  fix regulations and invest in subsidized housing. The scale of the problem calls for us to make use of all of these strategies at one time.

2. All our villages are in this together.

Affordable housing is not just a one village issue. East Dennis may have the highest concentration (measured in percent of all housing units) and South Dennis the largest number of affordable housing, no where is the supply even near the demand. In every village over 40% of the year round population spends more than a third of their income on housing. Over 10% of the population is below the federal poverty rate.  In short, Dennis has a tremendous amount of need for affordable housing.

The housing supply situation is even more dismal.  During the first decade of this century we shifted to a predominately second home community,  with nearly 52% of our housing count being listed as seasonal by the Census. Locally employed home buyers are outbid for modestly priced homes that get torn down and replaced with luxurious second homes or by investors who know they can earn more on weekly rentals than the average family can afford for a mortgage.

What follows is a snapshot of what Dennis has achieved in housing, where we’ve been set back, and what is before us in the upcoming year:

Achievements

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The Dennis Affordable Housing Trust Fund  establishes a focal point funding for affordable housing.  Dennis made a major step forward with the creation of the Housing Trust Fund. Housing is expensive to create — the average unit in Dennis costs over $200,000 to build, excluding land costs.  Housing that is subsidized to be affordable isn’t any less expensive to build.  Given land costs, it takes close to $300,000 dollars to make a single unit affordable in Dennis.  Many sources of funding have never been available to Dennis for creating affordable housing, while other sources of funds have disappeared as the federal and state governments have dramatically cut their assistance over the past decade. The Dennis Affordable Housing Trust Fund, when coupled with Community Preservation Funds will provide a dedicated source of local funding.

Public/Private Partnerships in Housing Creation.

Housing under the control of the Dennis Housing Authority plays a critical role in meeting housing affordability needs. The Authority is the single largest owner of housing, deed rstricted or otherwise, in Dennis. Due to declining state and federal funding programs, the Authority has not been positioed to add to its housing stock. In its place the Town has stepped up to work with Habitat for Humanity, the Housing Assistance Corporation and other private entities to fill this void.

Habitat for Humanity has constructed two affordable ownership units on land provided by the Town. The Housing Assistance Corporation has broken ground on 27 units of rental housing on Route 134.  Private projects include ground breaking on 8 ownership housing units, two deed restricted affordable, in Dennis Port and completion of the rental conversion on Route 134 now providing 18 rental units, with 5 of these units deed restricted affordable.

Addressing the Seasonal Housing Market.

The housing crisis has many facets.  Two market forces artificially drive up housing prices, second homes and weekly rentals. Sites like ineedavacation.com and airbnb have made it easier for homeowners to find weekly vacation renters. The increase in units rented weekly, reduces available year round rentals for local employees and drives up the rental costs for the limited remaining rental properties.

The Town has attempted to address these issues. Heritage Sands is the first purpose built seasonal home project in Dennis in years. The 60+ units of housing, plus a smaller 5 unit cottage conversion on the north side, provide options for second home buyers and relieves pressure on the year round housing market.

Looking Ahead to 2015.

A Renewed Focus On Housing

The coming year will see a renewed focus on housing, and housing affordability. The Town has many irons in the fire; reuse of town owned land; zoning initiatives; pursuing projects under current zoning; and Community Preservation funding for housing all  are on the radar screen.

MelPet Housing

After years of delay, the Community at MelPet is finally coming to fruition. Ground was broken this year with hopes to have residents in place before the 2015 holiday season.

Elkannah Howland Road and Janall Drive

Two projects approved by the Planning Board in recent years provide opportunity for additions to our affordable housing stock. Elkannah Howland Road is approved for the creation of 18 housing units, 9 deed restricted affordable to 80% of median income and the remainder restricted to 120% of median. This project has been held up in court for years. On Janall Drive eight housing units, two deed restricted affordable have been approved for construction.

Dennis Port Townhouses

Ground has broken on another eight unit project in Dennis Port. Two of these units will be deed restricted affordable. One of the affordable units will be fully accessible.

Candlewood Lane Housing

Years ago we started discussing  a Chapter 40R housing project on Candlewood Lane. The concept is to rezone all the land adjacent to Candlewood Lane to allow for a higher density compact neighborhood. The concept would be similar to what is being built at Heritge Sands, but for year round housing. The proposal would call for a mix ofone and one and a half story residences with footprints between 700 and 900 sf. Conceptually, the site could accommodate 51 units of housing.

Route 28 Rezoning

We are exploring the possibility of rezoning Route 28 from the Dennis Port Village Center Zoning District to around the Cape Shoe Mart area. This effort would seek to encourage making this stretch of Route 28 into a walkable residentially oriented, yet still mixed use, area connected to the Dennis Port Village Center. The working concept would include top of the shop housing, townhouse development and clustered single family dwellings interspersed with rehabilitated and redeveloped commercial space.

Exit 9 Economic Center

Another big initiative calls for a new approach to the future of the land area south of Exit 9. The Economic Development Committee is exploring creating a Planned Unit Development approach for this area. The concept presently under consideration calls for a floor area ratio approaching 2.0. There would be three general land use categories, with development projects being required to draw floor space uses from each of the categories. At least 1/3rd of the floor space would be required to be residential,  with a 25% affordability requirement.

Hokum Rock Road Community

Town Meeting approved land on Hokum Rock Road for the creation of a community for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The community will provide affordable living arrangements for a population that is at great risk of becoming homeless.

Beyond 2015

Looking to the future, there is still much to do.

Reform the planning process to welcome projects that fit within the zoning.

Dennis needs to consider moving certain zoning districts to “by-right” development with more reliance on properly defined Site Plan Review control as opposed to Special Permit control. Dennis Port and West Dennis Village Centers could benefit economically from a more certain development approval process. Changes in these two areas would also make the villages eligible for Chapter 40R consideration.

Innovative “Small” Housing  Within The Affordable Housing Bylaw

As we have delved into the Candlewood Lane housing concept, its application on other sites has also been considered. The verbiage is being crafted to allow it to be applied elsewhere. Several sites come to mind, both public and private ones. Public sites include the former DPW site on Bob Crowell Road and parcels the town has foreclosed on around town. Private sites could include two properties that might make ideal mixed use sites.  These properties could also combine use of Community Preservation Act Historic Preservation and Affordable Housing funding. These sites, in village centers, include the Columns site in West Dennis and the former Karl’s Landmark site in Dennis Port.

Affordable Housing Land Acquisitions

Since the initial creation of the Land Bank, Dennis has used Land Bank and Community Preservation Act funds to acquire land for conservation purposes.  The Community Preservation Act funds could also be considered for targeted acquisitions of sites that are found to be optimal locations for creation of affordable housing. Willing seller sites currently exist, sites that are on market.

More Seasonal Housing Target Areas

The Heritage Sands community of seasonal homes has succeeded in reducing some of the demand for seasonal housing in surrounding neighborhoods in Dennis. Similar projects have the potential for reducing some competition for existing home resales, leaving more existing homes for the year round population in Dennis.  We need to further analyze the dynamics behind the sales at Heritage Sands and find areas where such housing can be created. Modfications to, and expansion of, the Seasonal Resort Zoning District might be in order. Additional cottage colonies should be considered for inclusion in this district. In addition, the present by-law does not allow for increased density, perhaps, increased density could be allowed provided the building separation standards placed in the by-law are adhered to. The more purpose built, seasonal, housing we can create, the lower the home price pressures will be on the existing year round housing stock.

Tackling Weekly Rentals

This is a two step issue. First is the question of whether we should pursue measures to reduce the spread of weekly rentals, the second is the question of pursuing rooms taxes on weekly rentals like several of our neighbors are doing but with an affordable housing twist.

The advent of websites such as ineedavacation.com and airbnb have increased the marketability of weekly rentals. They have also placed the ability to rent a house for a few days or a week easily into most people’s hands.  These sites have also increased the reach of investors into otherwise residential neighborhoods, turning homes into business properties.  Some have recognized this transition, and have started to regulate weekly rentals as commercial land uses, rather than residential ones.  This may need to be considered for portions of Dennis. Restricting weekly rentals in portions of town will protect a portion of the housing stock from potentially being investor owned. In Hawaii zoning districts are established that allow weekly rentals, and others that prohibit such districts. In San Francisco, they have defined residential properties as ones that are owner/leaseholder occupied for at least 275 days per year. Closer to home, the Town of Hull has determined that homes rented on a weekly basis constitute businesses in residential zoning districts and has determined that such uses are banned under their existing zoning. Looking at rental permit history, it should be possible to develop districts that allow weekly rentals, while prohibiting such businesses in some other areas.

The second issue is the rooms tax.  Weekly rentals of homes do not pay the hotel rooms tax like hotels are required to do.  Our neighbors have been pursuing expanding the rooms tax to these rentals on a fairness argument, basically stating that these rentals generate the same impacts on their communities as hotels. As I have laid out above, weekly rentals turn residential properties into commercial investment properties. The return on a weekly rental in July far exceeds what a local employee might be able to pay even for one month’s mortgage payment. These commercial investment properties drive up the selling price for homes and decreases the housing supply available to low or moderate income households working in the local economy. The local option rooms tax on weekly rentals could be earmarked to directly serve the portion of the local economy most directly impacted by these price increases.  The tax on these weekly rentals could be dedicated to the Affordable Housing Trust for programs to increase the supply of affordable housing.

Dennis stands committed to meeting our affordable housing challenge. We look forward to continued community support for affordable housing.

TOWN OF DENNIS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY For Fiscal Year 2015

The following Town of Dennis Community Development Strategy will be the subject of a Public Hearing at 4:30 pm on December 15th in the Large Hearing Room at Dennis Town Hall, 485 Main Street, South Dennis.  Comments are welcome.

The Town of Dennis adopted Local Comprehensive Plan on September 22, 2002.  The Plan was adopted by the Dennis Town Meeting after a series of Public Hearings on the draft document over the preceding twelve months.

The process to develop this plan was long and comprehensive. Initiated in the spring of 1994, the Local Planning Committee, with the assistance of the Town Planner and the Cape Cod Commission, held a series of community workshops led by a professional facilitator.  Questionnaires were sent to 6,500 residents and responses were used to initiate the development of this plan.

Although this is the primary planning document referred to in our Community Development Strategy, the town also has a Housing Action Plan, an Open Space and Recreation Plan, Village Plans for Dennis Port and West Dennis and files an annual Commonwealth Capital Submittal.  As Dennis is an integral part of a larger region, referred to as Barnstable County or simply “Cape Cod”, we also participate in numerous regional planning initiatives including the update to the Regional Policy Plan and Cape Cod Commission affordable housing efforts.  When reviewing all of the listed planning documents, the Local Comprehensive Plan is the most appropriate and thorough document to cite in our Community Development Strategy.

The Town of Dennis’ Community Development Strategy is as follows.

GOAL I:  To encourage sustainable growth and development consistent with the carrying capacity of Dennis’ natural environment in order to maintain Dennis’ economic health and quality of life, and to encourage the preservation of village centers that provide a pleasant environment for living, working and shopping for residents and visitors.  Also to preserve and enhance the agricultural uses that are environmentally compatible…

STRATEGY:  To encourage cluster development and mixed-use residential/commercial development.  Direct development away from natural resource areas.  Improve the appearance of strip commercial development.  Zoning has been amended (Dennisport and West Dennis are examples) to allow top-of-the-shop and a third story for apartments.  The local Affordable Housing By-law further encourages the development or redevelopment of commercial structures to incorporate affordable housing.  In these by-laws (the two villages and the Affordable Housing By-law) the town has established a 25% affordable requirement.  Numerous work sessions, public hearings and visioning sessions were held to achieve public consensus.  Improve the economic health and quality of life by assisting families to be active participants in the local economy by providing assistance for childcare, employment and training to sustain household income and viability.  Relative to agricultural uses, the Town of Dennis has adopted a Right to Farm By-law and formed an Agricultural Commission to represent agriculture and aquaculture issues in town.  The Agricultural Commission worked to return Melpet Farms to active agricultural use and is now overseeing a horse farm on this property.  In addition, the town is working with Barnstable County to preserve the Aquaculture Research Corporation site in Dennis Village to protect shell fishing interests on Cape Cod.

FUNDING:   Primarily local revenues.  Assistance will be needed to improve the appearance of strip commercial development.  Changes in the sign code will help.  The town may seek funding for a commercial rehabilitation program at some point in the future.  Consensus should be achieved first regarding priorities and standards.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Redevelop First, Concentrate Development, Be Fair, Expand Housing Opportunities, and Increase Job Opportunities

GOAL II: Protect the public interest in the coast and rights for fishing, fowling, shellfishing, and navigation, to preserve and manage coastal areas.  Enhance public access to the shoreline.  Limit development in areas subject to coastal storms.  Maintain coastal water quality. 

STRATEGY:  No coastline development that interferes with public access.  Work with MCZM to enhance public education.  With the efforts of the Town of Dennis, Cape Cod Bay has been designated a No Discharge Zones.  The town has also completed the construction of a pump-out facility at Sesuit Harbor which completes the circle of facilities on Cape Cod Bay.  The town will also continue to construct public walkways, and other public facilities to promote increasepropertyd public access to the coastal waterways.

FUNDING: Local resources, CZM, DEM Coastal Access grants, DHCD barrier removal grants for public access for disabled.  Lobby federal agencies and officials for assistance with unique coastal water issues.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Restore and Enhance the Environment, Conserve Natural Resources

GOAL III: Promote economic development that is compatible with Dennis’ environmental, cultural and economic strengths. 

STRATEGY:  Encourage redevelopment over new development.  Enhance and revitalize traditional village centers, including development of village amenities such as walkways, id of historic buildings.  Provide residents with the necessary assistance to work in the community including childcare assistance, after school programs, summer recreational programs and adult day care programs.  Improve & maintain recreation facilities. Encourage off-season tourism.  Continue focusing town resources on Dennis Port (new library and Sea View Park as examples) and work with the Dennis Port Revitalization Committee to bring the results of their Charette planning process to fruition. Zoning changes in Dennis Port, recognized by Governor Romney with the first Smart Growth Award and the 2004 Massachusetts APA Outstanding Planning Project Award, and West Dennis, awarded the 2008 Massachusetts APA Outstanding Project Award, typifies the Town’s progress in this area.   In South Dennis, the town has adopted zoning for the Dennis Industrial Zoning District that promotes opportunities for the manufacturing of clean energy technologies such as the construction of solar panels and wind turbines, blending of bio-fuel etc. In addition, the Town is working on creating a South Dennis Economic Incentive Zone in the area of Exit 9 that will modify zoning to encourage the creation of higher density, mixed use development which seeks to provide new employment opportunities as well as housing for all income levels.

FUNDING:  Local revenues along with grant funding for walkways.  Mass Historic assistance with funding of historic buildings.  DHCD funding for housing rehab, childcare and downtown revitalization. Assist developers by linking them with funding sources for affordable housing and commercial redevelopment.  Work with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Redevelop First, Concentrate Development, Expand Housing Opportunities and Increase Job Opportunities

GOAL IV:  Foster a public transportation system

STRATEGY: Review proposed development based upon traffic impact. Implement complete streets strategies promoting joint use of public right-of ways by pedestrians, bicycles, public transit and vehicles. Minimize curb cuts.  Accommodate access for disabled.  Encourage mixed-use development. In particular the re-zoning of the two village centers in Dennis Port and West Dennis provide for the opportunity for increased residential densities on, or within walking distance of, existing public transportation routes.  Plus, the affordable housing by-law, which encourages inclusion of housing in new development and redevelopment of commercial properties has also resulted in the construction of a number of deed restricted affordable housing projects along public transit lines.  For instance, in recent years the town and state have worked together on projects such as the conversion of the West Dennis Motel into South Cape Apartments (24 efficiency apartments), conversion of an old church on Mill Street (5 apartments), conversion of vacant commercial space at 16 Telegraph Road (7 apartments) and the conversion of an underutilized shopping center for housing at 47 Route 134 (18 apartments).  All of these projects are either directly on, or less than one-quarter mile of, a Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Bus Route.  The land owner at 47 Route 134 even dedicated a portion of his property adjacent to the town sidewalk for a bus shelter. Employ trolleys or buses for access to beaches (for instance the town is considering such services for Chapin Beach) and summer events.  (This has been done successfully for Dennis Festival Days).

FUNDING: Local revenues. State Housing funding.  Also access state highway monies for road expansion. Seek funding for access for disabled.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Provide transportation choice.

GOAL V:  Provide adequate community facilities and regional facilities.  Encourage telecommunications facilities. Manage solid waste. 

STRATEGY:  Publicly provide adequate municipal buildings, recreational facilities, water supply and sewage collection.  Develop an integrated solid waste management system.  Use environmentally sound disposal methods for hazardous waste.  Following the provisions of the Dennis Local Comprehensive Plan and the Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan the town has been working on open space and recreational opportunities in all five villages.  These include the Accessible Playground and Bass River Park in West Dennis, Sea View Park and Metcalf Memorial Beach in Dennisport, Crowe’s Pasture in East Dennis, the Nobscusset Road Park and Playground in Dennis Village, and the extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail and improvements to Johnny Kelley Park in South Dennis.

FUNDING:  Local revenues and bonding for new police station and library.  Private, local and state revenues for open space acquisition and park facilities.  Seek funding assistance to expand water supply and initiate town sewage treatment system.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Concentrate Development and Plan Regionally

GOAL VI:  Encourage energy conservation and improve efficiency. 

STRATEGY:  Promote efficient use of energy through energy efficient construction.  Convert to underground utilities wherever possible.  Encourage carpooling, bicycling, mass transit and walking.  This has been incorporated into the new library design and construction in downtown Dennis Port.  The town is also working on the extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail westerly to Yarmouth and Barnstable.  Promote the use of alternative energy facilities.  The town has adopted a wind power zoning by-law to promote commercial scale wind facility development in the Dennis Industrial District.  The town has formed an Alternative Energy Committee.  The town has installed solar panels on the town landfill and police station. The regional school district has also erected solar on school properties.

FUNDING:  Maximize use of funding available through Cape Light Compact and other public and private groups.  Access additional state funding for bike paths, sidewalks.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Conserve Natural Resources and Plan Regionally.

GOAL VII:  Promote the provision of fair, decent, safe, affordable housing for rental or purchase.  The town shall seek to raise its affordable housing stock to 10% of all year-round units by 2015.

STRATEGY:  Encourage affordable housing in residential and mixed-use residential and commercial areas.  The town was one of the first to adopt a special permit incentive based affordable housing by-law in the region.  The by-law allows for density increases in exchange for a 25% affordable housing set aside.  The by-law has been very effective at promoting the construction of deed restricted affordable housing in Dennis.  Most of these projects, such as the ones noted above, have been constructed as in-fill and redevelopment projects. Continue to create incentives to maximize the number of affordable housing units. Maintain existing resources of affordable housing through rehabilitation of existing stock including the housing rehab program in Dennis Port village.Make every effort to “re-develop first”.  Maximize top of the shop potential.

FUNDING:  Work with private developers.  Seek HUD monies for the development of additional affordable rentals in scattered town-owned sites.  Seek DHCD funding to continue housing rehabilitation program.  Work with Habitat for Humanity, HOME funds and any other available funding source to work toward the town’s goal of 10% by 2015.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Redevelop First, Concentrate Development, Be Fair and Expand Housing Opportunities

GOAL VIII:  Protect and preserve the important historic and cultural features of the town. 

STRATEGY:  Encourage redevelopment of existing structures as an alternative to new construction.  Use Commission’s Design Manual “Designing the Future to Honor the Past”.  Preserve the numerous historic structures in Dennis through preservation, respectful renovation, and historically correct alterations.  Increase public awareness.  Increase handicap access.  The Dennis Port Village Center has adopted design guidelines intended to direct the future development in the village to be respectful of, and potentially mirror the historic architectural patterns of the village, a similar set of guidelines are being developed for West Dennis.

FUNDING:  Seek funding to sponsor archeological excavations and studies around Indian tribal areas.  Seek funding for historic renovations through Mass Historic.  Find innovative, respectful ways of increasing handicap access through public funding sources including DHCD.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:  Redevelop First, Restore and Enhance the Environment.

Prioritized List of Projects and Activities which Dennis will undertake to address our Community Development Needs:

1)  Continue to implement seasonal employee housing zoning provisions to create opportunities for local seasonal employers to protect a portion of the housing stock to provide affordable seasonal rentals for seasonal employees of the area tourist economy. Accomplishments to date include provisions for employee housing in the adopted Hotel Resort Zoning District.

2) Prioritize the villages of South Dennis and Dennis Port as the target areas for the creation and expansion of housing and economic development activities.  At present the town is working to create an economic center in South Dennis that will increase employment and housing opportunities in this village.

3) Work with the Cape Cod Commission on the establishment of Economic Centers and Village Center areas within which mixed-use development, with affordable housing set-asides would be encouraged. In particular, the Exit 9 Economic Center in South Dennis.

4)         Secure funding to preserve and rehabilitate existing affordable housing and make use of Community Preservation funds to promote the creation of affordable housing and historic preservation.

5)         Continue the work on the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan.

6)         Explore the use of Transfer of Development Rights to promote economic development in priority areas while protecting important resource areas.

7)         Explore methods to relieve the regional development review burden for development and redevelopment in smart growth areas and for affordable housing initiatives that meet state objectives.

8)         Seek or initiate programs to support local families sustain household income and viability including assistance for childcare, employment and training.

9)         Work with the Cape Cod Commission on the designation of Dennis Port and West Dennis Village Centers as Growth Incentive Zones to relax regional regulatory requirements and promote mixed use development in these areas located on existing transit routes.

10)       Continue to work on the creation of a new cultural arts zoning district on the north side of Dennis to reinforce the town’s support for the activities at and in the vicinity of the Dennis Playhouse.

11) Create an Americans with Disabilities Act Self Evaluation and Transition Plan assessing the status of the town’s efforts to remove access barriers to public properties and buildings for disabled individuals.

12) Implement barrier removal to improve accessibility for disabled individuals including improving access to all public buildings, constructing curb cuts, and similar public improvements that serve disabled individuals.

13)  Create an after school literacy program under the auspices of the Dennis Public Library to serve low income children. The program will provide a safe, supportive place for disadvantaged youth and provide homework  and similar assistance.

14)  Site preparation and pre-development of potential affordable housing sites including but not limited to vacant South Yarmouth Road and Paddock’s Path properties which the town has acquired title to through tax foreclosures.

15) The town owned VIC Hall in Dennis Port serves the local Head Start program. However, the building is old, is not fully accessible, may contain hazardous materials (lead paint, asbestos) and is in dire need of rehabilitation. The Head Start Program is an important part of meeting the educational needs of low-income residents by preparing pre-school kids for school.

16) The VIC Hall, used by the Head Start Program abuts a contaminated brownfield site. The privately owned brownfield site fencing is not well maintained and does not provide full protection for the low income youths using the program.  The town seeks to properly fence the VIC Hall property to provide a safe site for the Head Start children to participate in outdoor recreational activities.

17) Dennis has an aging population. Many of our seniors rely more and more on their children for round the clock supervision. This demand strains the financial resources of many flow income families. The town is seeking to provide subsidies to provide opportunities to place elderly, low income seniors income into day programs.

18) Various churches provide haphazard emergency assistance such as rental or bill paying assistance to low income residents. However, there is no true, dedicated revenue source for such assistance.  The town seeks to create a dedicated revenue source to meet emergency financial assistance to low income residents.

There’s an App For That – Tracking Dennis History

I stumbled upon an app designed to provide local history to the public. The app has tremendous tourism, and therefore economic development,  potential. The challenge is getting Town of Dennis history added to the system.

The app was created as a teaching tool by a Marshall University professor.  I want to encourage residents to go to The Clio create an account and start adding Dennis history.

As the screen capture below shows, right now now of our tremendous history can be found in this database. It us time to change that.

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