EASTHAM — As sunset approached Monday, a figure emerged from the trees and began to cross Eastham’s field of dreams. It seemed to glide through the knee-high brush.
On closer inspection, the figure was not Shoeless Joe Jackson but Dave Hobbs, a member of the T-Time Development Committee that was gathering to walk the 11-acre site of the former driving range now owned by the town. Hobbs, who lives across from the eastern border of the property and the Cape Cod Rail Trail, said he still finds golf balls while digging in his backyard.
“Before we look at what could be here, we ought to look at how it might work,” committee chair Scott Kerry said of the eight curb cuts between the Ponderosa Marketplace & Garden Center and Willy’s Gym to the south. “Everyone who has a business on Route 6,” he said, “and the planning board and the zoning board are looking for fewer curb cuts.”
Prior to setting out, the committee studied a plan of the property provided by surveyor Ron Sassi. He pointed out that what looks like a straight shot back from Route 6 to the bike trail actually includes an extensive jog to the north behind Ponderosa.
That location, which Kerry said has potential for bays for economic development and parking, is a sorry sight with random items such as a piece of concrete scattered there. The section appears accessible from Route 6 through a drive used by Ponderosa, but an approach from the east would require crossing the rail trail.
A dirt access road at the back of the property that separates it from the bike trail proved tempting. Members considered its potential as another route to businesses on Route 6.
“This has always been what I thought was the crown jewel,” Kerry said. “It goes all the way to Brackett Road,” a little less than a mile to the south, and continues north to Wellfleet.
Hobbs said Eversource uses the road to maintain its overhead power lines. “Before running down a rabbit hole,” member David Ritchie said, the committee should find out whether the utility would accept cars passing close to its high-tension wires.
“I haven’t seen roads next to utilities,” Sassi said. With a smile, another member suggested, “Just put up a solar farm and get rid of Eversource.”
On the walk back to Route 6, Hobbs pointed out low pine and cedar trees that are reclaiming the overgrown field. There was even a tiny apple tree with bare branches.
“It’s a nice piece of land,” he said. “I’d like to see it used.” And with that, he reached down and lifted a well-aged golf ball. “I have hundreds,” he said.
The committee was scheduled to discuss its observations on Tuesday, but that meeting was postponed because the town website was down.