Heritage Sands Update

The Dennis Economic Development Committee met this morning to learn about the status of the Heritage Sand Seasonal Resort Community Project.  Robert Brennan, counsel to the project, provided an overview of their efforts since the zoning change passed.  The slides are below as is a link to the full Powerpoint presentation.



Full Slide Show


6 thoughts on “Heritage Sands Update

  1. Looks wonderful, we have a cottage in the grove up the street at chases, my family has been there since the 30’s, we love it. Its a great addition to the town of Dennisport, its a win win situation, and you cant dispute those.

  2. I think, when this project gets going, those at the other colonies might get some ideas for reinvestment in their cottages as well. I agree that things are looking up for this area.

  3. Leah,
    I agree it will look nice, but I’m not sure why folks don’t add up the 180+ beds that are planned to be in there? That’s as much as what it is now. New septic plan will help, but I feel bad for all those folks without a home now. I’d guessing the EDC will be heading down Old Wharf road and getting rid of all the RV parks and cottage colonies. I wonder how the market is for $300-400K condo’s? Have they sold any? I heard they can’t get financed.

  4. Interestingly, we were accused of wanting to get rid of the cottages and RV’s when we were discussing the original underlying zoning for this area which allowed hotels. For several years the EDC was looking at how to revitalize this area, focusing on the original Resort Residential Zoning which prohibited cottage colonies. Two years ago many cottage owners came forward wanting to be a part of the revitalized Dennisport. That led to the new Seasonal Resort Zoning which, for the first time in 40 years made these properties legal conforming land uses. The zoning encourages cottage owners, RV owners and property owners to think about investing in what they own. The zoning allows for both RV’s and cottages, we have not dictated how property owners use their properties. What is driving changes in this area is the cost of waste water treatment. This site and Camper’s Haven are already under consent orders to meet modern waste water treatment standards. Chase’s Ocean Grove and the Village at Nantucket Sound are on the state’s radar screen as well. Seasonal rents are already climbing on many of these properties due to these anticipated costs. How each property addresses these costs will be different. The Village At Nantucket Sound is selling the existing cottages as condominium units. There have been discussions about long term leases as well.

    As to the market for these units, the owner will start taking deposits in a couple of months for the new cottage colony.

  5. Daniel,
    Sorry I think you should have been accused of wanting to get rid of the cottages and RV parks as that’s what’s happening. I’ve not read anything written by you that shows sympathy for those families that will be forced to leave their homes behind. From what I’ve read it seems like cottage owners and Trailer owner’s felt this zoning would allow them room to expand and improve their homes where they stand, not rolling down the highway. Seems like it just allowed the land owner’s to have an excuse to build bigger and more expensive homes for the wealthy and boot out those families that have been paying into the town of Dennisport etc for centuries. Those sewer systems have been around for years, they (land owners) should have put a portion of their profits into an updated sewer system long ago, now “coincidentally” it’s only financially feasible in order to stay afloat, that their “only” choice is to build $400k condo’s. If they really cared about the long time residents they would have allowed them to take part in a condo situation with their trailers and cottages keeping things as is with a working septic system. Hiding behind the EDC to kick these people out is shameful at best. It looks like the town/you benefit too by getting new growth revenues into the town’s coffer. Rich get richer, middle class lose their homes and stay home for summer vacation.

  6. Actually a lot of this has to do with historic ownership patterns and a quirk in state waste water laws. Long term owners are not required to upgrade out of date waste water treatment systems such as the cesspools on these properties. The law requires compliance when there is a change in ownership. Thus, long term owners can keep rents lower as they are not required to make, or plan for, system upgrades. New owners, by purchase (Campers Haven or The Village at Nantucket Sound) or inheritance (Grindell’s and Chase’s Ocean Grove) are then faced with the daunting task of financing the upgrades without the historic revenue stream.

    As to the zoning, there have been cottage owners (Village at Nantucket Sound) and RV owners (Campers Haven and Old Chatham RV Park) who have sought upgrades since the zoning changed. We pursued this zoning with the assistance of cottage and RV owners. Several times during the process I pointed out that the by-law would allow cottages to replace RV’s AND RV’s to replace cottages. In fact, any of these properties are also capable of becoming single family home neighborhoods if the density is reduced. Before the zoning change, hotels and a number of other commercial uses were possible. If the town were looking at this area as a “new growth” opportunity, we would have left the zoning alone and continued to focus on the future waste water improvements to come from a future change of use. A waterfront hotel with a waterfront restaurant would provide far more revenue to the town. We, instead, listened to the numerous cottage and RV owners and property owners who turned out at weekly meetings during the summer of 2010, and crafted a by-law which provides a long-term future for the type of land uses that exist in this area. That is about all that zoning can do.

    I am sure you disagree with much of this, but we will simply have to agree to disagree.

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