COMMENTS RECEIVED DURING COMMUNITY SURVEY PROCESS
- Howes Street Beach entrance should be plowed out and a ramp install to enable all beach goers opportunity to go to the beach. There are two handicap places for parking, but no handicap person can climb over the dunes to get to the beach which is a taxpayer funded recreational area. Cold Storage and Bayview are accessible even tho dunes are flattened out for an entrance. Discrimination!
- Princess Beach is a disgrace – litter, glass, bathrooms.
- There isn’t one basketball hoop in Dennisport
- Pine Street ball fields need to be maintained.
- Seaview needs active recreation, ball court, ball fields
- Town House Park in South Yarmouth should be the example to strive for
- How about volunteer committees to clean up/maintain? Use high schoolers/community service
- Presently there is no way to pump out sailboats as only station is north of the bridge.
- Town docks and marina on the Bass River south of the bridge with a pump out station for sailboats
- Utilize already existing land in this case tidal river and pond of Swan River for additional aquaculture grant sites for substantial increase in aquaculture farming in our town, clearly a “win win”
- Transform the Barn of Fun area into a recreational park tennis basketballetc. And use the natural water that has always been there by dredging and removing some land and growth for a beautiful water front look
- Concerning the Barn of Fun area I really think that expanding the water in a creative scenic way, with assorted appropriate fauna blended with a park facility would be not only the most beautiful park in Dennis but a way to revitalize the “port” in Dennisport
- Each plan will be judged on its individual merits it would be great to see a 1-2 year plan/objectives and a 3-5 year plan/objectives
- A seasonal resident since 1940, its very important to me that the non-commercial nature of Dennis be preserved. Open space will help that.
- When new businesses go under, the buildings should be demolished or used within a short time (1 year). Perhaps part of the requirement to start a new business in a newly constructed building should include money set aside for the demolishment of the building if the new business doesn’t work. Similar to a first, security and last payments needed so much these days for apartments. We have too many vacant buildings.
- At present, county the beaches, we have more open space than 90% of the town in the state
- I supported the acquisition of open space even before we were receiving assistance, from the state. However, we now have more than enough and cannot afford the maintenance of same.
- I live on Route 28 and I like to bike but without a bike path on Route 28 it is truly dangerous.
- Our town needs to become more attractive and affordable for young families – we are in need of recreational facilities particularly for teenagers and we are in need of affordable housing in young families.
- Stop issuing variances for high density housing
- More passive recreation and places to walk that are quiet
- Town marina cannot be used as the slots are taken up by non-residents
- Beaches need to be cleaned
- Stop allowing high density developments that do not meet current zoning
- Put town residents into slips at Sesuit. No reason to have non-residents ahead of residents, Chapter 91 does not require it
- I feel the town already has an adequate supply of open space, parks, passive and active recreation areas, etc. I would like to see funds appropriated for maintaining what we already have rather than trying to acquire more new parcels. The senior center will need to be updated on the near future or replaced completely. Combining that project with a recreational facility, similar to the town of Harwich, makes sense. It should be located on land the town of Dennis already owns..
- Continue roadway work in Crowe’s Pasture to expand access for the public.
- Although I reside in South Dennis and use Johnny Kelley Park constantly I volunteer at Dennis Public Library and feel there is such a need to do something to involve these young people in Dennisport. They don’t seem to have anything to do after school. I question their adult supervision as it should be. Its very sad and should concern all of us. In the summertime it seems worse but it continues all year long.
- There is no mention of golf, but I feel the golf department needs additional funding. To little of the golf revenue is left for course maintenance.
- More boating facilities mean more boats. Dennis rivers and harbors are too crowded and have too many boats with excessive horsepower. Limit boats and horsepower.
- Have community/neighborhood groups adopt areas to perform maintenance.
- Conservation land should not be used for active recreation, but left in its natural state
- Would be great to pursue again having the YMCA here, but no on conservation land.
- If state or federal funds are used in acquisition, how can we not allow everyone to use these lands?
- I strongly urge the town to resist efforts to nibble away at conservation lands for other uses, however worthy they may be. Once open space is gone, it is gone almost forever, yet it becomes more and more essential and desirable as a counterbalance to increased development throughout the town as a whole.
- We need to be able to keep up existing open and conservation spaces and parks before acquiring more land which town is not in a financial position to do.
- Better to encourage people to put large undeveloped tracts of land in conservation restriction in return for tax reductions.
- Wish there were more tennis courts and general playing fields like Yarmouth Townhouse Road.
- RE Community Gardens: They are so ugly all fall and winter. People shold be made to clean up their plot of ugly dead plants and fences and poles. Just drive by the one in West Dennis and you’ll see what I mean.
- Sidewalks, sidewalks, sidewalks……
- Extend the rail trail west from Route 134.
- If we cannot support the land, we must not buy it.
- I feel strongly that we stop buying land until we can support fully what we already have, i.e. Playland/Seaview.
- Keep the life course in top notch shape. Pick up the litter along the trail constantly. Get rid of the stuffed animals.
- Bike land on all roadways but not nest to the cars, on the other side of the sidewalk for safety. Make sure to consult Scandinavia or Holland. USA does a terrible job of trying to reinvent the wheel in this area. It has already been done well so just learn from them.
- Keep away from plastic, use real wood and maintain it by replacing when necessary and keeping people in jobs.
- All town land purchased as open space should always remain open space. No land swapping. No limited development, even for municipal purposes.
- We feel that Dennis is a special town and we love living here.
- RE Community Gardens: Although I do not participate I may in retirement. Also I think farming is a key attribute to the history and character of the Town of Dennis. We have great potential here with utilization of the Melpet Farm area for community farming and gardening and what a boon to residents and to perhaps tourism.
- Farming, horse farms, salt works, crafts are long neglected factors in unitque tourisme opportunities for our town.
- I favor preserving land to retain our historic and life-sustaining character as a town: learn that “less can beget more” through new local farming ventures either private or by communities.
- RE Campgrounds: Area wise the Dennis region is quite small and the availability of such is minimal. We also have Brewster’s Nickerson State Park available nearby.
- RE: Bike Paths: Yes, provided they are minimally intrusive to the flora and fauna that exist in our preserved land regions.
- Further active regular work to maintain a stable, safe existence of flora and fauna on conservation land and our pods, kettleholes lakes by the environmental enforcement authorities.
- Stop buying commercial properties. Reducing the tax base is double taxation
- Allow dogs on beaches in summer. Even one beach – even after 4 pm. Tourists bring their dogs but residents obey the law. Even one section of West Dennis Beach and nclude trash cans and clean-up.
- No mention of affordable housing. Seems that is as important, if not more, than other things for the future of the town.
- Building active recreational facilities are a function of private enterprise. We should no be wasting tax dollars in building facilities we will not be able to support or maintain in the future.
- Go for a swim or walk, we have the most beautiful beaches in the world.
- The town has been a poor custodian of its public passive conservation lands. There is no maintenance or removal of dead wood in trails that 20 years ago you could gallop horses two abreast through. You have ever increasing encroachments of private land owners on public conservation (Fieldstone Drive/public blueberry and New Boston Road/Romig properties). The fire lanes are now overgrown and impassible. Both here and the fire land that was parallel to New Boston Road.
Some of the most peaceful passive conservation lands owned by our town are becoming a significant fire threat to developed areas. Yes they are pristine, but 25-30 years ago and before they were passable to emergency equipment and friendly for hiking. Instead of developing, how about practicing husbandry.
- Thank you for your work
- Do not purchase any more land for conservation – use funds to develop parcels owned by town.
- Develop the Bass River as first priority and Seaview second.
- Encourage citizen participation in preserving open space.
- Use of volunteer groups for maintenance and construction.
- We desperately need walkways and a bike path on Lower County Road and on Swan Pond Road.
- Do not auction off any town land, transfer to conservation commission or private land trust.
- Skateboard park is needed, more bathrooms at each beach and park in village centers.
- Bathhouses need to be updated and snack bars.
- Repair bulkheads and floats.
- Spend some money
- Children need a year round recreation building and pool.
- Dennis needs to spend money to upgrade beach areas, boating and Johnny Kelley Park we need year round areas for children.
- Cluster development to allow for open spaces.
- Bike train to Route 6A from Route 134-new bridge over Route 6 should have connection if not too disruptive to flow of traffic.
- Increase maintenance budget for recreation and conservation areas.
- Town could do a better jog “selling” the idea of open space as a more cost-efficient alternative to development, especially as it affects infrastructure costs.
- Not enough public beaches
- Imaginative cluster zoning is needed to maximize contiguous open space.
- Beach parking or shuttle bus is needed
- I love and am very thankful for the wonderful beaches in Dennis. The growing network of bike trails and open space ranging from Quivett Neck to the Dennis Village Park. We are blessed with a great base to build on. I’d love to see consideration of more “de-development” in targeted ares like how Yarmouth has done great new parks on Route 28.
- De-development like on Route 28, Dennis Village gas stations.
- If the town is in need of parks for children to play organized and adult supervised athletics, we should evaluate using some of the land for this purpose. There are never enough fields for children to use. Participating in rec leagues or school sports (as well as other extra-curricular activities) makes for better students academically and socially. It’s also great to see open spaces and trees.
- We should explore any funding opportunities available. We must accept gifts with no strings attached. We must continue to appropriate funds for open spaces from our tax dollars.
- Any time we an opportunity to give children – up to 12th grad – a place to go or something to do that will be productive and supervised by a caring and nurturing adult I support i. Look at filed day that Dustin puts together for the kids! It’s AMAZING to see all those kids there, all those kids at camp. The kids that play sports on the weekend. If they weren’t doing those things, what would they be doing? As they get older we lose the teenagers to the dark side because we don’t have an alternative place to go with things to do!! A rec center would be great if it were well planned out and staffed. Make it big enough to be able to hold 200 people. Then you could rent it to make$ to support it. Make it with a stage for community theatre of the schools to use if the need to. Imagine….
- As a second class summer only resident, it would be difficult for me to attend meetings during the off season. I’m thrilled you even asked for my opinion. I’m a summer resident now, but in a few years we plan to retire there so I’ll be able to do more. My in-laws have had a house there since 1974, now they have two. We are fortunate to have our little piece of dirt in Dennis too. It’s a great little town because the boards and administrators work so hard to keep the character small-town. We get mad sometimes about the rules, but it’s why we love it here and chose this town over all others on the cape. We discuss this topic at the beach with neighbors in the summer…and we all agree that it’s what makes our town special. Thank you all.
- I’m impressed by the town administrators dedication to land preservation. I’m very pleased when the town purchases land for conservation. I’m very pleased with the parks/rec dept. and the variety of services that they offer. I’m happy to see this survey! As the parent of two teenagers, the void I see in this age group. Just remember, if you build it, they will come!
- Land should be acquired only if it is feasible to purchase and if its land that can’t be put on the tax role.
- I support conservation/open space areas as long as you allow planned growth and development areas through-out the town, so proper growth at a reasonable pace, enabling work and taxes to continue.
- There are no signs advertising environmental sensitivity.
- Acquire land by tax payer contribution (IRS deductible) and additional incentives by concessions of the town to encourage contribution by owner/investor twenty to twenty-five years away, then reverting land to non-building (non-septic) either for redistribution to abutters or conservation. The town should additionally acquire land by owner/investor tax-payer contribution (full IRS deductible in year of commitment or deed restriction to the town) plus additional incentives, or concessions by the town. Meaning: encourage contributions to town by making offers too good to refuse. E.g.: owner/investor buys land today (or already owns it), gets income until costs are offset. Twenty to twenty-five years down the line the town receives the land “in-hand” (comes into town control). Investor gets income and limited profit (or some other advantage) until income pays investor for acquisition which is then reverted to the town (building demolished too by investor) then land is converted to non-building (non-septic) use for redistribution to abutters (with new lots lines redrawn) or to conservation use in perpetuity. Pretty simple. No one does it (that I know of). Think revolutionary idea, think leadership, think Dennis Port and congestion and septic issues, etc. etc. etc. Caveat: Will require legal consultation. All perfectly feasible and practical.
- I am a farmer type – that is private land. While farming is neat for fun on public land – the land should be for the people first and the farming neatness second! And the people not subject to farming restrictions – such as haying – no walk zones, pesticide threat, etc. On private lands – a farmer can keep people out of hay fields, use horrible chemicals – farmers should not take precedence over towns folks on public lands just because we (myself included) love the look of farms.
- Reason I put XX Poor in General Open Space is that I feel the Dennis is more focused on making money than caring for its land. There is NO other reason for them totally disregarding the importance of Crowe’s Pasture beach allowing too many vehicles to crowd the beach, to abuse the sandbar and to use the beach as a drag-race zone. It is not only disgusting, it is dangerous for those who actually like to sit on the beach with kids or to relax walking on the beach.
- RE Town beaches open to non-residents: They will find a way to go anyway. But there should be CONTROLS – a fee just implies in my mind that once again – Dennis is only caring about money. You need to focus on the health of the land and not just money-grab because by focusing on money – you allow the land to degrade and then you merely attract people wo don[t care and that is MUCH more expensive in the long run.
- Again – the boating thing. MY experience is that boating needs to be defined. You have motor boat people who use our ponds and waterways as drag-ways. You have fisherman who are caretakers at times of the waterways. You have other fisherman who use fishing as a means to escape and don’t really care about the waterways. You have canoe and kayak people who tend to be boating for the wildlife experience or nature experience. All very different – you can’t lump them. I am assuming – due to this being Dennis – that boating for the purposes of this survey is the first type p the dragway type of boater.
- Manage building I high priority zones such that wildlife corridors are protected, special habitat is protected, and protect better the land you have. Dennis has some lovely areas but you allow them to be destroyed and trashed. That should be an equal priority as purchasing new land.
I mean it – Crowe’s Pasture is (was) one of the very nicest beaches in all of the cape. And it is dying. While I understand the interest in aquaculture – it has been overdone. Obviously it is again – a focus on leasing land for money. It is not only obtrusive to look at, it is difficult to walk on the sandbar these days without “trespassing” on “their” plots. For those yahoos that drive on the beach – how can they be expected to respect the beach if the “farmers” out there are driving daily to their “plots”, leaking oil and gas on a daily basis. The beach is becoming degraded – just go feel that sand out there near the plots.
Please consider controlling the number of plots, get the lazy farmers to actually walk to the plots some of the time WITHOUT dragging stuff across the sand/grasses, limit the number of off road vehicle permits during the year, and have the conservation officers pay attention to people who are in the wrong areas out on the sandbar with their cars, etc. There is much to do.
- See my comments about Crowe’s Pasture. Other trails and places are better but only due to it requiring people to WALK to enjoy them. My goodness – to think people might actually walk onto the beach these days.
- I have given great thought to Crowe’s Pasture usage. It is a place I have loved and cherished for over 40 years. The efforts to protect conservation land into the beach area backfired in my mind – instead of focusing on this special conservation area – it is billed as a great place “to drive your vehicle on the beach”. To further “entice” people to pay for the land – the “parking areas” (which are almost never used) were created, the road was turned into a highway and now geez – you need speed limit signs – that is disgusting, and unlimited of road passes are sold to anyone for the purpose of making money
There is NO safe place for people who cherished the beach for its solitude, rareness, beauty and quiet. The wildlife is disappearing. I’d like to have people consider multiple use – in its purest term – right now it is only focusing on heavy recreational use. Right now it is only for the vehicle people in reality.
My proposal would be to shut down just the middle of the beach to vehicles. Allow them to go down to the creek area where they love to park and mingle. And onto the beach that has access to the sandbar an on the sandbar. Keep them OFF the main middle portion of the beach – it gives walkers, people with kids, people who want to sit on the beach – a safe place to go without having to tuck up under or near the rope barrier for their safety.
Here is a picture trying to describe a first pass idea of this concept.
I can’t comfortably bring my younger relatives to the Crowe’s Pasture beach on high tide days because I can’t relax while they play in the sand – I must be on the lookout for them being hit by a car.
My proposal still allows people to drive to certain areas of the beach and onto the sandbar. BUT it prevents:
1) the extreme explosion on 4th of July where people line up and down the beach – use the dunes as a bathroom, erode the dunes and cause traffic jams on the “dirt” road,
2) the people who do vehicle laps up and down the beach – entering the beach at one spot – driving down to the creek and back up behind the dunes- only to repeat the entire thing – NEVER EVEN OPENING the windows of their car. These are not beach people!
You would protect the middle part of the beach from the constant erosion that is going on.
It is to me a win-win situation. Vehicles still have access to some of the beach. Beach walkers/goers still have access to some of the beach. Please consider this proposal to protect the beach. I know due to rules regarding purchase monies that the beach has to be “multi-use” but that doesn’t have to equal abuse!
- Acquiring open space is very important but not if it is taking away funds to maintain public areas/buildings in need of repair.
- We need better boating and swimming accessibility. Not enough access, or enforcement of waterways in town more resources are necessary.
- I voted for the new library, fire station, police station. I anticipate that in the future we will be asking funds to build a new town hall. We need a recreational building for all ages in our town. I envy Harwich for their recreational building. For generations now, I have heard the call for just such a building. Our youth have nothing. Those of us that wished we had such a building for us when we were teens grew up & had kids & still we found ourselves wishing for a place for our kids. Now my children are grown with kids of their own. I’d like to see a building within the future that my grandchildren may use. We are decades past wishing for such a building. It’s time to build one. If kids have a place where they can safely have fun and hang out with their friends, perhaps vandalism out of boredom will cease. More than anything else on your list, this is what I would like to see. Let’s put our youth at the top of our “wish” list.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion in this way.
- I would like to see an all day camp facility in place for the children of Dennis for summer-time use. I am speaking as a parent of a child growing up here in Dennis. Over the past few years I have painstakingly sent my child off to different towns (sometimes an hour away) in order for her to get the day-camp experience. As a full-time working parent I want my child to continue being educated and be enlightened with summer-time camp experiences.
- Growing up off Cape, I used to summer as a cam counselor and found it to be a rewarding experience for both the children and myself. The set up that we have now is nice. However, for us working parents, we need to find alternative care for our children in the afternoon or on rainy days. My child is getting older and I won’t be in the need for all day care soon. However, I’m looking at the future of Dennis with our young families not staying here because there isn’t enough for the children. I feel that if we could have an al day facilities/activities area in place, this might help our young families in town. I also feel that if the facilities are year round, the town could still profit with the rental use of the facilities.
- No More Acquisitions. We can’t take care of what we have now! If we are going to acquire land, despite what I say, then make the town people vote on an appropriation from their own pockets. It’s easy to spend someone elses money!
- Don’t make Dennis a full time retirement community. Housing prices are crazy enough and this would make more out of the reach for our children and service industry worker
- The beaches are not kept clean, or replenished. The playgrounds are getting better – most have been in disrepair or outdated equipment. Open space sits unkempt – no funds (although, finally there will be some state funds for SeaView.) Boating facilties are “underpriced” (not market priced) so the wait list is crazy – 30 years for Sesuit. With so much need for town funding why are we subsidizing a rich mans sport! You want to play then you pay!!
- RE Campgrounds: OK if town owned, as long as privately operated through bid process. Great idea to bring in revenue and help take care of land we lack funds for to spruce up.
- RE Bike paths: What a great way to encourage less use of cars, healthier lifestyle for people and give visitors something “green” to do while exploring our town and the Cape.
COMMENTS RECEIVED DURING PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
A formal public comment period was initiated on July 2, 2008 and ran through August 15, 2008. The comment period included announcing the availability of the document on the Local Community Access Television station, the town website, at public meetings and on the Dennis Planning Department’s Weblog. The document was made available in both electronic format – beginning on July 2nd and in paper format on July 11th. During the comment period the Open Space and Recreation Plan documents on the weblog were accessed 170 times, an additional 100 paper copies of the document were distributed.
In addition two public hearings were held on the Open Space and Recreation Plan, the first on July 29th by the Dennis Board of Selectmen followed by August 4th by the Dennis Planning Board. Both of these hearings included Powerpoint presentations on all aspects of the Open Space and Recreation Plan. Despite the entire night on August 4th being dedicated to the Open Space and Recreation Plan, there was only a handful of people present at the hearing. However, the presentation was recorded and rebroadcast between the 4th and the 15th of August.
Perhaps it was because of the number of comments received during the survey, and the level of effort that was taken to address the concerns raised in the survey, but there were very few comments received during the public comment period. Two reviewers provided extensive editorial comments, these editorial comments have been used to make the document more understandable. The other comments area as follows:
From the Town of Dennis Planning Department Weblog:
Carole W. Bell
Of interest is the solid numbers indicating that respondents favored purchasing more land for open space and not necessarily for recreation. Habitat is critical to both man and animal alike. Some towns have amended their CPA terms to guarantee that land acquisition gets the lion’s share of CPA funds and not the only mandated 10%. These towns have enjoyed accelerated levels of successful land acquisition. In these towns, the act will be amended back when the inventory of open space is exhausted. Splitting up very small amounts of funding tends to drag projects out and as time passes, these projects become more expensive to implement. Wouldn’t our efforts be better spent in the pursuit of buying any and all open space before the town is completely built out? We must preserve our rural character; protect what is special about Dennis. The lat time I checked, they weren’t making any more land. We can always build structures and ballfields.
From Draft 2008 Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan Upcoming Meetings, 2008/08/07 at 5:07 PM
Ninety-four people responded in favor of protecting more open space and twenty-eight opposed. When it came to identifying sources of revenue, 93 stated federal and state funds, 67 responded acquire it by gift, 73 said use CPA funds, 24 wanted regular town appropriations for open space and 26 wanted special appropriations for open space. Another question asked what the respondents would do to preserve open space, 52 said they would place a conservation restriction on their land, 88 said they would vote for future funding for land acquisition, 62 said they would support zoning changes to protect open space, 68 would support limited development of open areas in order to generate revenue for open space protection, and 94 said they would like to see mandatory open space set-asides in developments. On another question, 44 of 132 said the would volunteer to serve on a committee to protect open space, 91 said they would attend town meeting to vote to support proposals to acquire open space, 79 said they would attend town meeting to support proposals to build town recreational facilities and 96 said they would attend town meeting to support zoning proposals that protected open space.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the levels of support found in the survey.
From Draft 2008 Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan Upcoming Meetings, 2008/08/07 at 5:40 PM
Carole W. Bell
I endorse the concept of creating some sort of committee of volunteers who would have some “power” to assist in managing the town’s many parks, including a municipal shade trees playgrounds and beaches. Most of our committees are advisory and therefore lack any real authority to implement meaningful improvements or changes that should be made.
All beaches should be managed by one department. Scargo Lake is managed by the conservation commission and yet there are two beaches. The beach committee refers all questions about maintenance to the Con. Com, who in turn point the finger back at the beach folks. If it is a beach with a playground, and a bathroom, then manage it as a beach, because that is the primary attraction.
From Draft 2008 Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan Upcoming Meetings, 2008/08/07 at 5:14 PM
I’ve been reading your draft OSRP, and it looks really great. I had just a couple of comments that you might want to think about.
1. On page 21 there is a statement that the importance of wetlands protection may diminish as improved septic technologies are developed. I’d suggest that Dennis could address in your wetlands bylaw, and in the OSRP, the importance of wetland buffer protections for other interests, including natural stormwater infiltration/sediment attenuation , wildlife habitat protection, flood protection, etc.
2. In Section 8 and 9, I’d suggest that there are other potential conservation partners (other than the DCT) that could be listed, just to spark ideas as conservation projects come up. I’m thinking about other kinds of non-profits (the Nature Conservancy and MassAudubon have contributed to projects in other cape towns where there are significant habitat interests involved), neighboring towns’ Water Districts or CPCs, the state, etc.
3. In Section 9, Dennis might consider the establishment of a Land Stewardship Committee to help with land management issues. There are a couple of models on the Cape presently, and others off-cape.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Natural Resources/Open Space Specialist
Cape Cod Commission
3225 Main Street
Barnstable, MA 02630
Bill Mick, by telephone
Ensure that the Senior Center is recognized as a recreational resource that is in need of improvements.
Ensure that plans for properties include accessibility for an aging population.
Mark Robinson, various emails
Ensure that the Dennis Conservation Trust lands are properly identified and that lands held for Conservation by the town be coded correctly.
After attending the BOS meeting last night, and seeing your presentation, I decided to complete the survey regarding open space in Dennis, it’s attached Sorry, I had the best intentions of completing and sending it in, but completely forgot.
I intend on attending the 8/4 meeting; I’m one the 71% who desire to see that more land be set aside for conservation and open space.