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.
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.
The apartments at 323 Main Street, West Dennis, are coming on-line. Several months ago Ron Bourgeois received permission from the Planning Board to convert the former Dennis Partners Office Building into six apartments. The work is wrapping up, the Regulatory Agreement is nearing completion with the state, and tenants are being screened to move in.
Ron will be putting planters along the street side of the building. Out back, there will be picnic tables in the grass area for the residents.
“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.
“Difficult Development Areas (DDA) are areas with high land, construction and utility costs relative to the area median income and are based on Fair Market Rents, income limits, the 2010 census counts, and 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) data.”
What this means is, these areas are a higher priority for use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the creation of affordable housing.