Category Archives: Zoning

Collaborative Work and Living Space – A Thought

Okay, let’s float these as trial balloons.

First, in the Dennis Port Village Center, General Commercial II, and West Dennis Village Center I am thinking we might want to add the following as an Allowed Use:

Collaborative Workspace – shared space for those looking to lease a work area and have access to a shared pool of amenities, like conference rooms, office supplies, and internet and tech connections. Facilities provide space for networking, events, working alone or with others, pop-up shops, and workshops. Collaborative Workspaces may include services such as retail sales, food services, facilities for professional office, light manufacturing, research and development, common storage, packing, and distribution. Such facilities encourage business collaboration and provide opportunities for product aggregation, information sharing, and partnering on events and market promotion.

The Economic Development Committee has been kicking this around some time as part of the Exit 9 Economic Center. Long before the television show Alex, Inc. came out an put these types of spaces into a more public view.

In the three areas discussed above, we have vacant commercial floor space that might be attractive for reuse in this fashion. Imagine, start-up space for quilters (happening int he Holyoke Innovation Center), 3-D printing services, podcasts (yes that is part of Alex, Inc. but also part of the Holyoke Innovation Center long before the television show). Videographers, computer specialists, marketing start-ups all under one roof. This might be just what we need to put into the long-vacant space in Dennis Port Plaza.

Second, to solve some of our housing needs, and attract young people to town who might be able to take advantage of the Collaborative Workspace, I want to float the same idea to create new living arrangements that could supplant the “lodging house” concept for some group living accommodations. So, here are my thoughts, borrowing from the above and verbiage used elsewhere in the country:

Collaborative Living Space  – Residential dwelling for those looking to share accommodations for economic or lifestyle reasons. and have access to a shared pool of amenities, like wi-fi, cable television, internet and tech connections, housekeeping service, trash removal, etc. Collaborative Living Space shall not be subject to the limitations found in the definition of Lodging House.

For a while I have been wrestling with a number of issues that this could resolve. One is finding a residential adaptive reuse for some of our larger antique homes scattered around town. This could allow a shared living entity, such as WeLive or Common, to acquire a house, restore it, and have it lived in by younger residents. The second is simply finding easily attainable, entry-level housing for our high-school and college graduates to be able to remain on, or return to, Cape Cod.

The need for this as part of the housing solution can be found in today’s Cape Cod Times (Youth outreach expanded in annual Cape homeless count) “Finding affordable housing on the Cape can pose a particular challenge to young people just starting out in entry-level jobs….”

Posted to both the Dennis Economic Development Blog and the Planning Department Blog for maximum exposure. Sorry if you get two notices about this.

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Planning Survey – Take 2

It helps if, when you copy an old survey to reuse the questions, you set a survey closure date that is in the future and not the past.

Every couple years we update information important to the local planning process. The questions here cover a broad spectrum of information and supports our open space, recreation, housing and economic development discussions. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey and share it with your friends who have connections to Dennis.

Please click the link to go to the survey:

Take the Survey Here

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.

Truro weighs lifting ban on year-round condos

In Dennis, “condominium” is a form of ownership, not land use. We have year-round residences, commercial bays, motels and cottages all in condominium form of ownership. Each are subject to their own set of use restrictions. The term “condominium” was litigated under Dennis zoning in the early 80’s, at that point in time the State Supreme Judicial Court found we clearly differentiated use from ownership. That distinction remains under today’s zoning scheme.

http://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20171001/truro-weighs-lifting-ban-on-year-round-condos?rssfeed=true

( Sent from Cape Cod Times )

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.