Seeing Barnstable officials plowing ahead with permissive regulations despite overwhelming opposition, citizens organized and debated their own draft regs and presented them to the Town Council in February 2020. They were handed to the Zoning & Regulatory subcommittee in charge of drafting the ordinance. The subcommittee spent not one hot minute discussing them.
Let's start with the rationale. (Still waiting to hear one about the Town's regs.)
We modeled them on the Hamptons, a diverse group of seaside villages with residents, weekenders, and tourists; big houses, small houses, wealthy people, farmers, and fishermen; retirees and young beachgoers; a short northeast U.S. summer season. Sound familiar? We thought so too. With the Hamptons are a starting place, we liberalized the rules to reflect our own rental traditions.
After talking with Councilors about balancing respect for rental traditions (which no one has ever objected to) and our residential neighborhoods, Barnstable's Civic Association appreciated being asked to provide amendment ideas.
Centerville, Greater Hyannis, Osterville, and West Barnstable sent two documents to the Town Council, which you can view below. We identified amendment concepts to the proposed Zoning Code change and to the proposed General Ordinance. Where helpful, we've included illustrative language for our ideas, understanding that Town staff will be better equipped to align their existing amendment and ordinance language to our proposals if that's the Town Council's decision.
The Civic Associations are diverse, but have achieved consensus around amendment ideas that ccomplish the twin goals of preserving our longtime rental traditions and the residential neighborhoods we all call home.
Before zoning was invented, civilization relied on complaining neighbors and officials sorting things out. Read about it here (it's kinda funny) and ask yourself: must we go back to Medieval law?
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