On behalf of the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners and the Barnstable County Economic Development Council (BCEDC), the Cape Cod Commission announced the award of a $150,000 grant through the Barnstable County License Plate Grant Program.
The grant will support a joint effort of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) and Housing Assistance Corporation which will work together on a two-year project to identify areas where the development of housing and protection of priority natural resource areas would be most beneficial.
The Cape Cod Commission Regional Policy Plan has shown that our region has extremely limited open space on which to build. Yet, existing building regulations promote, almost exclusively, building single-family homes on large lots. This approach does not efficiently use land and other resources and does not achieve the kind of housing diversity and affordability that our year-rounders need.
By working together, APCC and Housing Assistance acknowledge and act on their joint interest to carefully assess the best use for remaining open space in order to preserve and protect our environment and provide housing options for all residents.
The primary product of this collaboration will be the identification of places where environmentalists and housing advocates agree that housing should be built with the goal of having the greatest positive impact on Cape Cod’s environment, community, and economy.
This collaboration will support both Cape Cod’s environmental quality and its economic advantage. It will help preserve our unique natural environment from detrimental development. At the same time, it will help set the regulatory stage for greater diversity in housing — with an emphasis on affordable rental housing — which will directly advance economic resilience on the Cape by increasing housing stock and helping to solve the need for affordable housing.
The two nonprofits will achieve these goals by working with the Cape Cod Commission and individual towns, identifying areas where increased housing density on the Cape is consistent with regional infrastructure plans, growth centers, environmental protections, and housing needs.
They will then recommend specific actions towns can take toward realizing housing and environmental goals, such as targeted re-zoning and regulatory reform to encourage housing development; acquisition of priority parcels for housing or conservation; and recommendations for redevelopment of underutilized properties in activity centers that would be well-suited for housing.
Housing Assistance is delighted to begin this extraordinary collaboration that will bring our community together, working toward shared goals that lessen the usual conflicts around developing housing through this joint effort by two of the Cape’s most effective advocacy organizations.
Advisory Committee Members
APCC and Housing Assistance will work closely with the Cape Cod Commission and multiple departments and committees in each town on this project.
In addition, we have convened a group of community stakeholders that represent diverse perspectives and experience to help guide the project framework so that the resulting recommendations can be the most useful to people across community development and conservation disciplines. Committee members include:
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Barnstable Director of Planning and Development
- Ryan Bennett, Brewster Town Planner
- Paul Lagg, Eastham Town Planner
- Karl von Hone, Yarmouth Natural Resources Director
- Hal Minis, President, Brewster Conservation Trust
- Jessica Whritenour, 300 Committee Executive Director
- Heather McElroy, Cape Cod Commission Natural Resources Program Manager
- Tony Green, Managing Partner at the Pinehills in Plymouth
- Brad Hinote, Orleans Town Assessor
- Heather Harper, Sandwich Assistant Town Administrator
- Rick Fennucio, Principal, Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects
- Ryan Castle, Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®