EASTHAM — Despite concerns about potential conflicts of interest, Scott Kerry, Eastham’s town moderator, will remain chair of the town’s T-Time Development Committee.
The T-Time committee voted unanimously to maintain its current structure with Kerry at the helm at its July 21 meeting.
The committee also voted to reevaluate that structure again next January, which would be a year after the group’s start date.
At a June 30 meeting, the committee discussed a potential restructuring, which town committees often discuss annually in July. In this case, the town had received a letter raising the issue of a potential conflict of interest if Kerry maintained both roles.
The letter and discussion at a select board meeting in June had prompted select board member Jared Collins to recommend that Kerry step down as chair, “in order to prevent any questions coming up in the future about conflict.”
“There might never be a problem,” Collins said at the June 30 T-Time committee meeting, “and it has nothing to do with your character at all.”
The question of conflict did not prevent other members from supporting Kerry in his current role.
At the virtual meeting, the committee also continued to discuss potential uses for the property — 11 acres of town-owned land on Route 6 that once was the T-Time driving range.
A community center, retail space, and commercial kitchen have been among the suggested uses. Kerry has said he also would support housing as an option for development of the land, although in 2016 he was outspoken against a plan for affordable housing on the site.
At the time, Kerry’s objection was reportedly not to affordable housing per se, but to the plan then being proposed by Stratford Capital Group, a Peabody developer. That plan was for 50 units of housing for people earning between 30 and 60 percent of area median income.
According to an April 29, 2016, report by K.C. Myers, then at the Cape Cod Times, Kerry said Eastham needed housing for people earning up to 120 percent of the area median income.
The current T-Time committee is not focused on housing specifically.
Town Planner Paul Lagg has applied for a $25,000 grant, which could help cover the costs of a market study to evaluate which kinds of space the town needs. Lagg told the committee that they’d likely learn if they have received the grant in August.
Kerry talked to the committee about bringing on a high school intern to gauge what young people might want out of the space and working creatively to get community input on the lot.
Town Manager Jackie Beebe told the committee she believes that it will be possible to bring recommendations to the town in the spring or summer of next year.
The committee will meet again on Sept. 1 at 5 p.m.