Mashpee Planning Board Recommends Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw


MASHPEE – An amendment to an existing zoning bylaw that would allow the construction and renting of accessory dwelling units was unanimously approved by the Mashpee Planning Board this month.

Many residents at the meeting voiced their support for the amendment as well, including native Elana Doyle of Sunset Strip.

“As someone who is born and raised and wanted to remain on Cape Cod, housing is an issue that is very personal to me,” said resident Elana Doyle.

“There is a clear need for more units, but building regulations and lending practices has changed so drastically in the past four decades that the demand cannot be kept up with the lack of production at affordable price points.”

Doyle said accessory dwelling units would be a way homeowners could gain a new stream of income as well as assisting offset the current housing crisis while maintaining living standards and without violating wastewater requirements.

 “Changing our bylaw will create a more seamless process which will hopefully attract home owners to consider creating an ADU on their property,” said Doyle.

As the law stands, the owner of the property must be the one who resides in the main building, with only the accessory building being allowed for renting.

Lauren Kanzer of Riverview Avenue asked that it may be considered at some point whether this part of the law may be reviewed as well to allow seniors to age in the smaller home while larger, younger families make use of the bigger residence.

Kanzer also brought up the cost of building an ADU.

“I would encourage you to look at some loan programs as part of this bylaw,” she said to the board.

“As a Realtor, I see day in and day out the struggle that many people have at securing housing. Housing costs have skyrocketed in just the past few years. If we want to continue to lose year-rounders, we’ll see a huge shortage of year round workers, such as CNA’s and home health aids,” said Katie Martin, a science teacher and real estate agent in Mashpee.

“If we also continue to lose year round residents, year round businesses will take a financial hit and may be forced to operate only seasonally,” said Martin.

“What we’re doing now is not working, and Mashpee needs to be open to evolving with the needs of its town people. Sharing space and resources is a sure way to protect and promote Mashpee at the same time.”

Any official changes to the zoning bylaw will be voted on at a Special Town Meeting October 21.

About Grady Culhane

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