The goals described in this section are the long-range aspirations of the Town of Dennis for the protection of natural resources and the provision of recreational opportunities for its citizens and visitors. The objectives are conceptual steps to be undertaken to achieve these goals. Specific, tangible actions to implement the objectives are found in Section 9.

These goals and objectives were developed by the Local Comprehensive Planning Committee with input from the community through public opinion surveys and public hearings. Previous town studies, particularly the 1986, 1998 and 2003 Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plans, were consulted for current applicability and compatibility. The goals and policies of the 2003 Cape Cod Commission Regional Policy Plan (RPP), the Massachusetts Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, the Open Space and Recreation Plan Workbook (revised March 2008), the Open Space and Recreation Plan Requirements (revised March 2008) and other elements of the town’s current local comprehensive plan were also referenced for compatibility, where appropriate. As the town is required to consider and strive for consistency with the Cape Cod Commission Regional Policy Plan, the RPP goals, policies and standards are also included verbatim, or modified to fit Dennis’ needs.

The following provides a set of goals and objectives for the 2008 Dennis Open Space and Recreation Plan. These draw upon the Local Comprehensive Plan adopted by the September 23, 2002 Dennis Town Meeting and the 1998 Open Space and Recreation Plan, and add to it the realities of the intervening years. The section is divided into a set of goals and objectives that are drawn from the preceding chapters of this document, followed by a recognition of the Cape Cod Commission Regional Policy Plan goals as they relate specifically to Dennis. Under the next section the town will highlight particular accomplishments to implement the past recommendations of the Open Space and Recreation Plan and to illustrate ongoing consistency of local efforts with the requirements of the Cape Cod Commission.


GOAL 1 – Preserve Land for Open Space and Recreation


1A Continue to support the use of Community Preservation Act funding for the acquisition of important open space parcels for conservation, passive and active recreational purposes.

1B Continue to work with the Dennis Conservation Trust and Dennis Water District to protect lands with important resources.

GOAL 2 – Maintain and improve existing open space and recreational facilities.


2A Compile a list of all town owned open space and recreation properties by agency responsible.

2B Determine the maintenance needs (daily, annual or major investments) for all town owned open space and recreation properties.

2C As part of the town budgetary process identify a dedicated funding level to provide for the proper levels of maintenance for these parcels.

GOAL 3 – Provide funding to implement the priority facility needs identified by the town Open Space and Recreation Plan Survey.


3A Provide bicycle facilities as part of all roadway or sidewalk improvement projects.

3B Improve public access to the water for fishing and boating by identifying town owned parcels which can provide varying levels of access depending on the environmental conditions on the site and water body conditions.

3C Provide local neighborhood parks throughout the town. In particular, review the disposition of tax title properties in relation to the possibility of meeting localized recreational needs.

3D Identify a funding source for the long planned recreation center building.

3E. Identify a funding source for the upgrade to, or replacement of, the Dennis Senior Center, possibly in coordination with item 3D above.

GOAL 4 – Preserve the Historic and Scenic Character of the Town


4A Retain and promote agricultural lands and uses in Dennis

4B Retain and protect natural, historic, scenic and archeological resources in Dennis.

GOAL 5 – Protect and Enhance Drinking Water Supplies


5A Protect water supply from pollution.

5B Acquire critical land areas.

GOAL 6 – Enhance Recreational Opportunities Appropriate and Accessible to All Age Groups


6A Improve and increase recreational facilities, public and private to meet current and future needs.

6B Improve access to recreational facilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

6C Control recreational and agricultural uses to protect the integrity of land and water resources.

GOAL 7 – Promote a Cooperative and Regional Approach to Open Space and Resource Protection


7A Assure collective and cooperative commitment by town departments, boards and staff to accomplish the objectives of this open space plan.

7B Coordinate Dennis open space and recreational planning with actions and programs on a regional basis.

7C Ensure appropriate consistency between Dennis open space and recreational planning and the Cape Cod Commission Regional Policy Plan.

Edited June 18, 2009


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