At 3 pm this afternoon the Assembly of Delegates Subcommittee will review the Dennis Land Use Vision Map and make recommendations to the full Assembly for its 4 pm meeting. Given the Land Use Vision Map has been supported by the full Cape Cod Commission already, I am expecting we will have the Assembly’s support as well. That takes us to the next step, working with the Commission to gain regulatory relief in areas of town where we have the appropriate zoning tools in place to guide the future of Dennis. The first being Dennis Port Village Center.
I will be meeting with Cape Cod Commission staff later in February to begin these discussions. We are already fairly well along on this process, as before we jumped into the Land Use Vision Map, the town had submitted a Growth Incentive Zone Nomination for the Dennis Port Village Center. This nomination sought fairly specific reductions to regional review criteria that benefits most properties in the Dennis Port Village Center, while not promoting over-development without regional coordination. Specifically, we are asking for an increase in the commercial floor area threshold from 10,000 sf to 15,000 sf and a modification to the mixed use review criteria. At present the mixed use Development of Regional Impact criteria is set at 20,000 sf of floor area. We are requesting that the floor area limitation be replaced with a residential unit threshold that would place the village on equal footing with a residential subdivision or multi-family housing project – 30 residential units. However, due to other limitations in the village, we add a provision that the trigger is either 30 units or 45 bedrooms.
The proposal is fairly modest in comparison to what the Regional Policy Plan could allow (40,000 sf DRI thresholds). However, the current thinking is that larger projects in the village might need additional review. These larger projects could also be the subject of a Development Agreement or a Limited Development of Regional Impact review. Overall, the flexibility offered to the Town with the Land Use Vision Map in place and the relief offered through Chapter H of the Commission’s Implementing Regulations will provide the Dennis Port Village Center with economic advantages not yet available anywhere else on the Cape.