Meetings are held remotely. Go to eastham-ma.gov/calendar-by-event-type/16 and click on the meeting you’re interested to read its agenda and find information about how to view and take part remotely.
Monday, Sept. 21
- Eastham Elementary School Committee, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 22
- Conservation Commission On-site Public Meeting, 8:15 a.m.
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 23
- Open Space Committee Workshop and Meeting, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 24
- Board of Health, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26
- Select Board, 9:30 a.m.
- Annual Town Meeting, 10 a.m., Nauset Regional High School football field
As of Sept. 9, there were zero active cases of Covid-19 in Eastham, 14 cases considered recovered, and no deaths.
The design of the harbormaster building presented to the select board Monday was met with concerns by residents questioning, among other things, whether the project was going beyond what town meeting approved in May 2018.
“The scope of this project has grown significantly beyond what was put to public vote,” Diane Martin read from a letter from residents of Goody Hallett Drive, Keene Way, Bridge Road, and Dyer Prince Road. “The harbormaster’s building has morphed from the initially proposed 240-square-foot functional office space into a 609-square-foot year-round building with a viewing platform, rinse station, and a demountable band shell pavilion.”
Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said voters in 2018 were encouraged to support the project after they expressed concerns that the $1.3 million project would benefit only the 50 slip holders who used the harbor.
“We said we want to make it a place the whole community can enjoy,” said Beebe. “This is a public road you live on. It goes to a public beach and it goes to a public harbor.”
Representatives from Kuth Ranieri Architects presented the proposal for a building sited on a wedge of land just north of the boat ramp. Project Manager Rob Marcalow said the building would be raised about 10 feet above grade to an overall height of 29½ feet to keep it above 2070 flood projections and would include an extensive ramp with occasional landings per Americans with Disabilities Act mandates.
“We actually see those landings not as requirements but as opportunities,” said Marcalow. The series of platforms could be used to survey the harbor.
The open-concept office space would include a reception desk, storage, and a staff restroom.
Materials included terra cotta shingles resembling cedar but more durable, a metal roof, stainless steel railings, wire mesh safety guards, and black locust decking, which Marcalow noted is highly durable and widely available.
The current parking for boat trailers is state owned, but the project calls for parking spaces along the outer edge of the existing paved lot for visitors and slip holders. The plans also include a seating and picnic area, information kiosk, and rinse station.
While many residents questioned the transparency of the project, Beebe said it was still in its preliminary stages of design and development and had not yet begun the permitting process, when abutters would receive notification.
Traffic on Dyer Prince Road was already a safety issue, said resident Dana Paradis. “The road is not adequate for the kind of traffic you guys are wanting to generate with all these additional attractions at the harbor,” said Paradis. “I think it’s wrong to do any kind of a promotion of this area and put all of our lives at risk and our properties at risk.”
Dyer Prince Road resident Nicolas Debs said he found it absurd that any building was being considered in a flood zone at a time when no building should be happening along the coastline. “I find this profoundly upsetting,” he said.
Beebe stressed that the project was still in the vetting stage and encouraged constructive input.
“I understand your concern,” said Beebe. “I think we’re hearing you do not want it and we will meet with you to try to figure out ways to make it more palatable.” —Linda Culhane