Mashpee Commons Expansion Discussion Continues With Mixed Reception

MASHPEE – The Mashpee Select Board and Planning Board have pumped the brakes on the Mashpee Commons expansion discussion to give time for a development agreement to be fully reviewed and approved between the three parties involved.

The town, the owners of the Mashpee Commons property, and the Cape Cod Commission are in a three-party agreement working towards possible zoning amendments that would allow the Commons to expand.

Originally, the schedule called for reviewing zoning bylaw amendments ahead of their possible  appearance on the October Town Meeting warrant, but both the select and planning boards voted to wait until completion of the developmental agreement. 

The expansion of the Commons has been met with mixed reactions from the community, some of whom have raised concerns during board meetings about sprawling developments, residents’ overall control in the process and increased stress on wastewater facilities. 

Rory Eames, owner and CEO of grocery store Rory’s in the Mashpee Commons, is a supporter of the project who said that the property owners have always cared for their tenants, and that a possible expansion would go a long way towards improving the Cape’s lack of affordable housing. 

“My upper level management team that makes really good salaries can’t find a house to buy. They would love to buy a home in Mashpee Commons that they could afford and have access to walking to restaurants and going to the playground. Or walking to work. I really don’t see how this isn’t the perfect scenario for a housing crisis,” said Eames.

The Cape Cod Commission is expected to meet with the planning board in the coming weeks to discuss the development agreement process.

Planning Board Chairman John Fulone said that no action would be taken without the agreement in hand. 

“We do not intend to put forward a zoning amendment for a vote with the residents of Mashpee without a development agreement in place.”

With the select board’s postponement of bylaw considerations at town meeting echoed by the planning board’s own unanimous vote, consideration of any zoning bylaw amendment will wait until March of 2022.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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