Dennisport Village Center Updates

Just a quick update on where a number of different initiatives stand regarding Dennisport Village Center.

1.  Dennisport Village Center Regional Review Relief

The town has been working with the Cape Cod Commission for several months now to to come to an agreement on relief from regional review thresholds for development and redevelopment in Dennisport Village Center.  I believe we are very close to having a proposal ready to take to a public hearing which will seek to raise the commercial floor space thresholds from 10,000 sf to 15,000 sf and to place residential investment in mixed use structures on equal footing with residential subdivision development.  These small change will remove most commercial properties from the Development of Regional Impact Review requirement and will promote the live-work-shop environment we have been promoting for the village center.

2.  Innovative Residential Development Proposal

For the last few years we have been working on a zoning proposal under Chapter 40R of the state laws.  This section of  state law provides communities with financial support for housing programs promoting a mix of market rate and affordable housing.  The idea is to promote the conversion of the property off of Candlewood Lane that presently is a non-conforming industrial use in a residential neighborhood, to a residential use.  I have had an initial review of the proposal with the state officials responsible for this program.  There are a few items that need to be added, verbiage required by the state and a form describing existing and proposed zoning allowances, but overall it appears to be in pretty good shape.

3.  Farmer’s Market

Please respond to the survey. I know those who have been involved with the Farmer’s Market in the past have some frustrations.  I am working on ensuring town support, I will need some assistance in getting it all pulled together.

4.  Further Modifications to the Village Center Zoning

I have had a few people suggest that, should we accomplish item 1 above, the next issue we should look at is whether we can ease/relax the local permitting process in the village.  Essentially maintaining design review by the Planning Board, but providing the property owners with a greater level of assurance that investments consistent with the zoning requirements will be approved.  This idea would make the densities allowed in the district become “by-right” but, at the same time retain control over what the buildings will look like.  We will be exploring this question over the coming months and possibly be seeking advice the state folks involved with Chapter 40R, as the housing densities we have already approved for the village center could become eligible for reimbursement under Chapter 40R.

5.  Other Items

Finally, keep your ideas coming in.  I will be preparing a discussion soon on the many ideas that have come to me from various people for the village.  Many good, and interesting ideas.  We might need to put a more modern twist on some, but it could prove interesting.

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