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February 15, 2019 in Local News, CCYP News, Local Government and Civic Engagement

CCYP's Quick-and-Dirty February Public Policy Digest

Updated February Public Policy Digest

Barnstable

What is happening?

Eastham, Orleans, Barnstable, and Falmouth, in partnership with the Cape Cod Commission, recently launched a Visual Preference Survey to gauge residents' preference for new local buildings. The survey is part of the Cape Cod Commission’s Community Resiliency by Design Project, an initiative designed to meet the demand for affordable, compact housing while maintaining community character. With the survey now closed, CCYP will be monitoring for incoming results.

Results of the survey for Barnstable will be presented at an upcoming workshop hosted by the Barnstable Planning Board. The workshop is scheduled for Monday, February 11 at 5:30 PM at the Barnstable Town Hall.

Why does this matter?

Affordable housing initiatives are often met with concerns about retaining community character. The Cape Cod Commission’s Community Resiliency by Design Project is a method of meeting both the housing needs of the community and maintenance of community charm. Rather than seeing affordable housing as a threat to Cape Cod character, this project proves that affordable housing is not only just critical to the vibrancy of our community, but can be adapted to fit into community context.

Where can I learn more?

Community Resiliency by Design, Cape Cod Commission

Survey on Preferred Housing Now Live The Reporter, Sep 21, 2018

Barnstable Planning Board to Host 2nd Community Resiliency by Design Workshop CapeCod.com, Jan. 31, 2019

Bourne

What is happening?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently conducting a multiyear Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Study of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges in an effort to determine whether major rehabilitation or replacement of either or both bridges is needed and feasible. The survey will result in a final report evaluating risk and reliability of the bridges as well evaluation of alternative solutions.

As part of their study, USACE is seeking public input concerning the current state of the bridges. Input can be submitted at CapeCodCanalBridgesStudy.com.

Why does this matter?

Being the most used method of transportation on and off Cape Cod, major assessment or replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges would affect not just the Town of Bourne, but the entire Cape and Islands. Both the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges were built 83 years ago and, while not unsafe or unreliable to use, are considered functionally obsolete.

Where can I learn more?

CapeCodCanalBridgesStudy.com

Frequently Asked Questions U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

Future of Cape Cod Canal Bridges a regional concern Cape Cod Times, Dec 12, 2018

Brewster

What is happening?

This past December, residents of Brewster voted in favor of an accessory dwelling bylaw amendment. The zoning amendment will allow the addition of ADUs on Brewster homes and requires these units to be year-round rentals.

Why does this matter?

The approval of Brewster’s ADU bylaw amendment is a strong indicator that Cape Cod residents are in support of creating creative affordable housing options for year-round residents. While ADUs alone will not solve the Cape’s housing crisis, Brewster’s ADU bylaw will help set the stage for continued work to bring accessible housing to all who want to live and work on Cape.

Where can I learn more?

Brewster Town Meeting Approves of Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw CapeCod.com, Dec 5, 2018

Brewster Zoning Bylaw Amendment Cape Cod Commission

Smarter Housing for Cape Codders

Chatham

What is happening?

Similar to Brewster, the Town of Chatham is working to draft a zoning amendment that would allow for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the town. Across the country, ADUs are being touted as an important tool for increasing housing options. Chatham’s Planning Board will hold a new public hearing on February 26th in the Town Annex Large Meeting Room and, if a revised proposal is available, residents will vote on a zoning amendment in May.

Why does this matter?

To maintain year-round vibrancy and sustain Cape communities long-term, local zoning must allow for a variety of housing options that meet needs for people at various stages of life and income levels. ADUs present a unique opportunity to leverage existing residential development and provide increased housing options – particularly rental options - without a lot of new building or development. Additionally, ADUs allow homeowners to reap benefits from their home investment by making extra income on the side. Nationally and here on the Cape, ADUs have taken center stage in local debates over zoning and land use, which means community input on this issue is needed to help shape future housing and development options.

Where can I learn more?

Should Accessory Dwelling Units Be Allowed By Right? Planning Board Wrestles With Question Cape Cod Chronicle, January 16, 2019

Can Accessory Dwelling Units Help Solve Our Affordable Housing Crisis? The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU 88.5, Sep 26, 2018

Smarter Housing for Cape Codders

Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod's 2018 Housing on Cape Cod Report

What to Know if You Go

Legal Notice - Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw Public Hearing

Dennis-Yarmouth

What is happening?

Following CCYP's December Public Policy Update, residents of Dennis and Yarmouth headed to the polls to vote on a proposal to build a regional new middle school. The vote was approved by a margin of 32 votes. This past January, two recounts were completed, both of which still showed a small majority voted in favor of the school. The Cape Cod Times has been closely following developments in this story, so check out their website for the most recent news.

Why does this matter?

The discussion of how to maintain younger populations on Cape Cod is not unique to Dennis and Yarmouth, but rather a topic our entire region and beyond are addressing. The issue of the proposed middle school will likely remain in local news, potentially impacting many young families and residents.

Where can I learn more?

DYNewSchoolBuilding.com

Dennis, Yarmouth split on new school vote Cape Cod Times, Dec 4, 2018

Yarmouth files suit over middle school vote Cape Cod Times, Feb, 9, 2019

Provincetown

What is happening?

Affordable childcare for families was identified as one of the biggest obstacles of living and working successfully on Cape Cod in our 2018 Community Needs Survey. In Provincetown, retaining young families has become a town-wide initiative and culminated in the successful approval of three ballot questions during the recent town election: $120,000 for universal prekindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds, $100,000 for preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, and $88,000 to pay Wee Care tuition for infants and toddlers.

Why does this matter?

Provincetown is leading the charge in initiatives to retain young families, and their successful funding of universal preschool sets the standard for other towns in our region. Accessible and affordable child care options are key to helping young families in a region not well-known for affordable cost of living.

Where can I learn more?

Provincetown voters put priority on child care Cape Cod Times, Apr 2, 2018

Provincetown voters approve universal pre-k, capital projects at town meeting CapeCod.com, Apr 4, 2018

Provincetown Annual Town Election Results - May 1, 2018 Town of Provincetown

Mashpee

What is happening?

The Town of Mashpee is developing an Inclusion and Diversity Committee in an effort to promote, embrace, and support the cultural enrichment of Mashpee’s population. The committee is in the early stages of development, but aims to foster a more inclusive environment within the town.

Why does this matter?

Diversity and inclusion is an important issue on Cape Cod as all vibrant and successful communities consistently embrace and support residents of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, religions, etc. The Town of Mashpee is taking an important step forward in our community’s efforts to be a welcoming environment to all those who wish to create a life of Cape Cod.

Where can I learn more?

Mashpee Inclusion and Diversity Committee MashpeeMA.Gov

What is happening?

The Town of Mashpee has recently release their 2019 Annual Election Nomination Papers for the positions of Housing Authority, Library Trustee, Moderator, Planning Board, School Committee, Selectmen, and Water Commissioner. Nomination Papers must be submitted by April 2nd and Mashpee's Annual Election will be held on May 21st. Any questions can be directed to the Town's Clerk's Office at (508) 539-1418.

What does this matter?

CCYP encourages all young professionals to be active participants within their local government. If you are a current resident of Mashpee, consider becoming a community advocate and leader!

Where can I learn more?

Town of Mashpee Makes Nomination Papers Available Town of Masphee, Jan 29, 2019

Regional

What is happening?

The Cape Cod Commission hosted their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Stakeholder Kickoff at the end of January. The CEDS builds on economic development goals and identifies regional priority projects that move Cape Cod’s economy toward a sustainable future.

Why does this matter?

Economic development is key to keeping our community a vibrant place to live and work. The Cape Cod Commission and the CEDS strategic plan builds feasible goals that help foster a healthy and diverse economy. In partnership with other organizations, the focus on a sustainable economic future is key to keeping our region thriving.

Where can I learn more?

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Cape Cod Commission