On January 19th the Economic Development Committee re-visited the issue of off-season access to winterized cottages in the Seasonal Resort District. As I previously mentioned, here, when we were reviewing the Seasonal Resort Community Zoning for most of that time period we were looking at ensuring these properties were available during the off-season to attract these summer residents back for various school vacations. At the very last meeting before the by-law went to Public Hearing this was changed from allowing ten days of off-season access in any thirty day period to only four days.
As the EDC did not want this issue to be a stumbling block to the adoption of the by-law, they agreed to this change, with the promise to revisit it in the future.
Over the past few weeks, I had a poll up on the blog that asked if you supported a longer off-season stay, or the shorter four day restriction. Twenty-nine people responded, all in favor of the longer stay.
The EDC believes the longer stay will provide the following benefits to the town:
- Increased off-season spending in town by these seasonal residents as some may decide to visit during Christmas or February school vacations.
- Improved public safety/reduction in vandalism on the properties as the possibility of a cottage being occupied will increase the risk of a vandal being caught in the act.
- Improved functioning of waste water treatment facilities on these properties as having some level of off-season flow will maintain the bacteria needed to digest waste in the systems.
For those reasons, the EDC voted to recommend extending the off-season stay from the four days presently in the by-law to fifteen days. While there was discussion of allowing unfettered access to these properties in the off-season, the EDC wants to see how this works for a couple of years first.
The proposed zoning amendment is as follows:
o See if the Town of Dennis will Vote to Amend Section 12 Seasonal Resort Community Districts Subsection 12.6 Provisions Affecting All Seasonal Resort Communities Part A. by making the noted deletion (strike-through) and addition (bold italic):
A. Seasonal Resort Communities may be open between April 1st and October 31st, inclusive. Seasonal Resort Communities may provide for short term use, up to four fifteen days in any thirty day period, during the remainder of the year, provided that there is an occupancy permit which ensure sanitary facilities are provided.
By: Economic Development Committee