Despite Concerns, Dennis Zoning Board Unanimously OK’s Housing Project

DENNIS – A unanimous vote by the Zoning Board of Appeals in Dennis on Monday night approved plans for a 28-unit housing project.

The board voted to approve a special permit to build the mixed affordable and market-rate condominium complex along Route 6A. They made the unanimous decision depite voiced concerns from some residents of possible public safety hazards and potential water pollution.

The complex, to be named Maritime Landing, will be located at 601 Route 6A.

Of the 28 units to be constructed, Maritime Landing will offer 21 market-rate condos, with two-bedrooms selling at roughly $544,000 and three-bedrooms at $569,000.

The remaining seven units will be deed-restricted as affordable, with five two-bedroom units priced at $192,000 each and two three-bedroom units at $215,000.

A retired 47-year deputy of the Dennis Fire Department, Paul Prue opposes the project due to safety concerns. He said that multiple hazards have caused himself and other fire officials to come to the conclusion that it’s ‘designed for disaster.’

“How is it designed for disaster? Dead end streets. Duplexes at the end of the streets that are going to house elderly people and young families and create problems getting out of a 20-foot-wide street,” Prue explained.

“One way in and one way out of the whole complex, with dead ends restricting fire lanes for fire apparatus that can’t make turns. These are all things that have to be addressed,” he continued.

The state granted the permit for the complex under the Affordable Housing Statute Chapter 40B.

Numerous opponents of the project attended the Monday meeting, including members of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of the Town of Dennis, and their Boston-based attorney Daniel Hill.

Hill and the group presented the findings of multiple consultants who argue that the construction of the complex would present numerous environmental impacts.

Project engineer Tarja McGrail, of Coastal Engineering, said the designers have been working to address some of the concerns addressed by the group.

She said Coastal Engineering has received several comments in a letter from Attorney Hill over the past week regarding numerous improvements the Coalition of Concerned Citizens have regarding the structure.

“This letter included a comment regarding the length of the driveways and the location of proposed sidewalks. In response to this comment, which we felt was a well justified comment, we wanted to make a revision to improve the driveways and the parking on the property,” explained McGrail.

“In doing this, we’ve revised the plan to remove the sidewalk which was previously proposed around the loop portion of the circulation drive. In doing this we’re able to propose 20-foot long driveways, and we are focusing pedestrian activity toward the central green of the property and are proposing three different crosswalks to provide access to the central green.”

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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