Dennis has Environmental Justice Areas in large portions of Dennis Port and West Dennis along with a small portion of South Dennis adjacent to these two villages. Our Environmental Justice Areas are due to concentrations of low income people.
While we have a need to ensure these areas have quality workforce housing that is attainable on Cape Cod wages, we need to also be sure our policies provide opportunities for these workers to live throughout town. We also need to ensure equal access to parks, playgrounds and other amenities important to life in Dennis.
The Economic Development Committee and Planning Board have the first of what will be several zoning changes seeking to improve the local employment situation coming to Spring Town Meeting. The Collaborative Workspace proposal will seek to help the town address the 21st century economy. Soon we will have changes for Exit 9 and near the Route 28 bend in Dennis Port.
Both the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen have supported the Collaborative Workspace zoning proposal for the May Town Meeting. The Boston Globe article below discusses one aspect that could make use of such space.
Imagine taking advantage of the OpenCape fiber network, that runs down Route 28 in Dennis Port, to open the empty storefronts up to the new digital frontier. Not familiar with the concept? ABC and Sony Pictures created a TV series on the concept of workers putting their futures on the line through the cost advantage of Collaborative Workspaces, see Alex Inc.
The Globe article focuses on exactly the line of work Alex Schuman pursues while starting a new company in a shared work environment. Dennis is strategically located to allow podcasting, blogging, and video blogging on all the Cape has to offer. Podcast Garage in Allston provides a model for a Cape Start-up if proper zoning can be provided where high-speed internet services can be provided.
So, read the Globe article, and think about the future the Collaborative Workspace zoning proposal can bring to Dennis.
“From 1968 to 2008, a span of 40 years, there was only one year in which fewer new housing units were built than in 2017—and this despite rising demand in a growing economy,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “We estimate that over the next decade, young adults will add about 20 million households — and those households will need a place to live.”
The Cape Cod Commission projects that Dennis will grow by about 1,000 people in the coming decade, moving back towards our 2000 census numbers. Given the continuing strong second housing market, housing growth will be especially important to attract these households to Dennis. It will be especially important that the housing be available at levels attainable by young professionals.
We are trying, but have a lot of work to do. Multi-family zones, West Dennis and Dennis Port. A relatively successful Affordable Housing By-law.
Future efforts underway, promoting a better Accessory Dwelling Unit by-law; creating shared housing opportunities as Collaborative Living Space to compete with the Air B&B market; and a concentrated development center at Exit 9 which will promote a higher density, live, work, shop smart growth economic center.