Category Archives: Planning Board

October 17th Town Meeting Zoning Amendments

Town Meeting on October 17th will have two zoning amendments up for a vote. One asking whether recreational marijuana should be prohibited in Dennis and the second asking to make changes to the Seasonal Resort Community length of season and off-season recordkeeping requirements.  These two proposals are as follows:

To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw by adding a new Section 14, MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENTS, that would provide as follows, and further to amend the Table of Contents to add Section 14, “Marijuana Establishments”: Section 14 Marijuana Establishments.

Consistent with G.L. c.94G, § 3(a)(2), all types of non-medical “marijuana establishments” as defined in G.L. c.94G, §1, including marijuana cultivators, independent testing laboratory, marijuana product manufacturers, marijuana retailers or any other types of licensed marijuana-related businesses, shall be prohibited within the Town of Dennis.

Or take any action relative thereto.

The Planning Board held a public hearing on this amendment on September 18th and voted unanimously to recommend Town Meeting support.

The second zoning amendment is a citizens petition and reads as follows:

To Amend Section 12.6 of the petition and reads as follows: A proposal that Section 12.6 of the Town of Dennis Seasonal Resort Community Bylaw be amended by (italicizing) the language to be stricken below, and inserting the language bolded below.

12.6 Provisions Affection All Seasonal Resort Communities

A. Seasonal Resort Communities may be open between April 1st and (October 31st )
December 31st, inclusive. Seasonal Resort Communities may provide for short term (use) overnight occupancy, up to four days in any thirty day period, during the remainder of the year, provided that there is an occupancy permit which ensures sanitary facilities are provided.

B. Seasonal Resort Community facility office and recordkeeping. All seasonal resort communities (shall) may maintain an office on the premises. (The office shall be occupied at all times the Seasonal Resort Community is open for occupation by residents.) Each Seasonal Resort Community shall maintain a record of unit occupancy between January 1st and March 31st, which shall be available for inspection by the Building Commission upon request.

The Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing on this petition on October 16th and will report to Town Meeting as to their recommendation.

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Recent Affordable Housing Accomplishments #Housing4All #affordablehousing #OurHomesOurVoices

The Dennis Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, Housing Coordinator, Planning Office and Planning Board have been quite busy in recent months on the affordable housing front. Here are some highlights since January 1st .

1. 98 South Yarmouth Road – Habitat for Humanity has received approval for a three bedroom house at 98 South Yarmouth Road. The Special Permit has been finalized, with no challenges, and Habitat can proceed with this project.

2. Janall Drive – Habitat has acquired, through donation, the two affordable lots that were a part of the Janall Drive affordable housing development. The Planning Board approved modifications to the Special Permit and Site Plan for these two homes, and they are expected to proceed to construction.

3. FORWARD Housing at the Rock – The FORWARD project has received its Special Permit for construction of two four-bedroom dwellings within a duplex structure. It is our hope that FORWARD will soon be the recipient of a state housing grant to support this project.

4. Dennis Port Motel Conversion – The Planning Board has approved the conversion of the long vacant Dennis Port Motel into twelve rental apartments. The conversion will involve the combining of hotel rooms into a mixture of efficiency, studio and one- bedroom apartments. While rents on all the units will probably be within range of many workers in town, three units are required to be deed restricted affordable. I have already received inquiries about potentially living in these new apartments from residents of Dennis.

5. 317 Sea Street, Dennis Port – The Planning Board approved the conversion of the three bay garage located at 317 Sea Street in Dennis Port into four one-bedroom apartments. One unit will be accessed by way of a ramp for handicap accessibility. The existing, wide open driveway will be reduced in size with landscaping added. One of the four units will be deed restricted affordable.

6. 72/74 Swan River Road – The Dennis Municipal Affordable Housing Trust has acquired the property at 72/74 Swan River Road. The property will be added to our affordable housing rental stock, with both units being deed restricted affordable.

PRESS RELEASE TOWN OF Dennis – Community Compact Signing

On Tuesday July 25th Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and State Representative Tim Whelan came to the Town of Dennis joining the Selectmen and Administration in Signing a Community Compact agreement. The Community Contract is a voluntary agreement between individual Towns and the Commonwealth. Each Community Compact is unique and tailored to best practices that Community selects.

Under the Community Compact, the Commonwealth will offer technical assistance, extra incentive points on grants, and additional grant programs offered only to designated Community Compact Towns.

The Town of Dennis applied for a Community Compact with the following best practices: Mixed Use Development – The Town selected Mixed Use Development as a best practice area as it meets the needs for promoting concentrated development where housing and employment can work together. The mixed use development approach allows for coordination of infrastructure that serves all community needs in one area. By concentrating development under the auspices of M.G.L. Chapter 40R, Dennis will be able to focus transportation, wastewater, recreation, and other municipal infrastructure in a manner that serves the greatest need.

Affordable Housing – The Town of Dennis adopted an affordable housing zoning bylaw in 2001 and have had numerous applications approved under this bylaw since then. In 2004 and 2007, Dennis enhanced its affordable housing zoning by making multi-family housing available in the Dennis Port Village Center (2004) and West Dennis Village Center (2007) with 25% affordability requirements.

With this Community Compact, the Town of Dennis hopes to explore an array grant opportunities including ones for wastewater as Dennis explores community partnerships and looks to the future.

Seasonal Resort Community Discussion of “season,” “off-season” and a workable solution to monitoring “off-season access”

Over the past several months there has been much discussion about the length of season, off-season accessibility and how to effectively monitor and enforce off-season access to the properties in the Seasonal Resort Community Zoning District. The Planning Board, after a couple house keeping items, will dedicate its August 7, 2017 agenda to a discussion of these issues with the hope of figuring out where we go from here. It is the Planning Board’s hope that all those with an interest in this issue will try to attend. Of course, written comments would also be welcome.

The Planning Board meeting will start at 6:30 in the Stone Hearing Room 685 Route 134, South Dennis MA.

FORWARD Housing Proposal

The FORWARD housing proposal is preparing to get its final set of permits. In the coming weeks, they will appear before the Planning Board for approval of its duplex on Hokum Rock Road as well as before Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee for design approval. Below are portions of the plans submitted to the Planning Board for their application.

Note, the site plan illustrates a parking lot for potential access to trails in the old sandpit. This parking lot is not being built as part of this project. As part of the Request For Proposals process, we asked that the designs not preclude the town from considering such access in the future. The Dennis Board of Selectmen would need to decide, in the future, whether they want to open this area up to any formal recreational access.

The Site Plan:

The duplex will be located about 35 feet off of the northerly property boundary, generally behind the Hokum Rock site. This is about 150 feet off of the boundary to the active town sand pit to the west.

A vegetated buffer to the north will be maintained, and in-fill vegetation will be added to provide for screening and privacy for the residents of both properties.

The home will consist of two living units connected by an enclosed corridor. It is possible that the enclosed corridor could include sitting areas as well as being a link between the two wings of the duplex. There will be a patio located between the two wings, which, as designed will be protected on three sides and will access a grass lawn area.

The floor plan for the duplex is mirrored on both sides. Each side will have four bedroom suites, oriented towards the exterior walls. Each suite will have a sleeping area, bathroom, closet and sitting area. A great room is included for meals, watching television, etc. Each side will also have an office for the staff that will be on-site.

Finally, as you enter the property, this is the view you will see from the driveway.

The design meets the goals of the town when Town Meeting voted to make this property available to create a safe home for autistic adults in the community.  The duplex will accommodate eight adults when completed.