Sesuit Harbor Zoning: District Intent

Let’s get this discussion going. Sesuit Harbor lies in a residential zoning district. The uses are anything but residential. The Economic Development Committee is going to be asked to spearhead an attempt to create an appropriate Harbor Zoning District for Sesuit Harbor much like they did for the West Dennis Waterfront.

Amend Section 2.5 District Intent to add:

Sesuit Harbor (SH) – To provide for and protect harbor operations located within the lands adjacent to, and upon the waters of, Sesuit Harbor. To ensure that (1) existing water-dependent uses are not displaced by non-water-dependent uses; (2) harbor waters and the immediate shoreline and pier areas are dedicated to water-dependent uses; and (3) commercial uses allowed by the district are compatible with, support, or otherwise do not interfere with water-dependent uses of the site.

Let’s hear what you have to say.


8 thoughts on “Sesuit Harbor Zoning: District Intent

  1. Who is on this Economic Development Committee?
    What / who is the motivation behind this amendment?
    The water skiing & para sailing business certainly is within the use of the amendment.
    The wonderful lobster shack should be grandfathered; if this is an attempt to remove it …..shame on you. It is a gem, not to be tampered with.

  2. Creating appropriate zoning for the harbor has been kicking around for several years. The recent enforcement request has brought the issue to the front burner. Over the coming months there will be a number of meetings to work our way through creating a by-law. First the members of the Economic Development Committee will get a chance to look over material I have prepared and get to put their fingerprints on it. I expect to hold meetings at Carlton Hall with the public over the course of the summer to walk through and work out the details of any proposed zoning for this area.

    Everyone has their own concept as to what makes up a marina. This will take quite an effort to come to agreement, not only on the uses but as to whether they are by-right or special permit. If they are by-right, then we still need to consider what type of review is necessary for changes. I know we do not want to bring in every commercial fisherman every time they replace their boat with a larger one, but other demand related changes might need review. But what? That is the crux of the issue.

    Tour boats, personal watercraft rentals, para-sail/water skiing, restaurants, boat repair, etc. all need to be discussed. I hope you will participate in these discussions.


  3. Your poll is slanted toward economic development of the harbor and ignores the fact that the town has already permitted commercial activities to exceed the infrastructures of the harbor and surrounding neighborhoods to safely support it. Further development must be accompanied by significant infrastructure improvements to insure safety within and around the harbor and to insure ‘quality of life’ issues in the surrounding neighborhoods are fully addressed.

  4. Not sure which poll you are refering to, the one distributed on Monday is geared towards our needs assessment of the harbor. The one on this blog seeks to identify uses in a Harbor Zoning District. It does not discuss intensity, just the uses themselves. We will get to intensity, but that is dependent upon knowing what uses will comprise the harbor. If you are questioning the existence of the harbor altogether, that decision was made by Dennis Town Meeting over 50 years ago. A mistake may have been made in 1973 when this area was placed in a residential zoning district as local and federal expenditures had already determined the areas future as a harbor. Over the interceding decades additional state, federal and local resources have been committed to further secure its future. This zoning process will shape the future, but it cannot undo the commitments made to secure the federal and state funds poured into this area. So, now we discuss uses, what is it we want on this land. Soon we will get to intensity.

  5. Federal, state, and local resources have also been committed to secure the “environmental” habitat in this residentially zoned neighborhood that has permitted some nonconforming commercial elements. It took six years and about 2 million dollars to complete the environmental restoration project. This pole is skewed towards increased commercialization when perhaps the opposite should be done. Considering the amount of taxpayer money invested in restoring natural elements of this area, should we decrease commercialization to better preserve Sesuit marshes, creeks, and the fragile ecosystem?

  6. Carrie, as I posted in response to the previous comment, the poll looks at uses. Intensity will come later.

  7. Sounds like the cafe is definitely on the chopping block and that is very upsetting. The entitlment of these folks is shameful – to desire to put so many out of work. Lets not forget that there are 40 plus people who rely on these businesses for their financial well being. Or maybe you expect them to pick up a job at lowes? Instead of fighting over what’s there, we should be working together to make improvements. How about a sidewalk for pedestrians? How about looking at the cafe as an asset rather than a liability? The restaurant attracts both locals and tourists and brings in revenue for the town. If these businesses are mandated to close their doors, who is making that decision- the people of Dennis? Or a squeaky wheel with a blank check?

  8. Rebecca, We are meeting at August 29th at 9 a.m. to discuss appropriate land uses for a marina zoning district. If you can make it, the meeting is at the West Dennis Graded Schoolhouse, 67 School Street, West Dennis. We need all perspectives aired at these meetings. Presently there is an enforcement request that is in the process of being litigated. Appropriate zoning is the best resolution.

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