EASTHAM — After two years of study, surveys, and discussion, the committee charged with considering how three town-owned properties on or near Route 6 can best be used has made its initial recommendations.
The T-Time Development Committee is studying the 11-acre former T-Time Driving Range; the Town Center Plaza, whose acquisition by the town was approved in June; and the two-acre council on aging property on Nauset Road.
Responses to an earlier survey helped the group develop recommendations for the T-Time property. But just over half of the survey’s respondents (52.7 percent) were year-round residents, and 70 percent of those responding were over 55 years old. The committee hopes three public forums will generate more perspectives.
The first forum will be at 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 via Zoom. The second will be outdoors at the Salt Pond Visitor Center Amphitheater at 5 p.m. on Sept. 22 (rain date, Sept. 29). The third, another virtual meeting, is set for Oct. 6.
Last week, postcards were sent to residents age 40 and younger with directions for connecting to a another survey. Other methods, including focus groups, for reaching younger people are also in the works. Those interested in participating should write to the committee at [email protected].
So far, the group’s vision includes a community center anchored by the council on aging and recreation dept. It also includes housing, with an emphasis on senior and so-called workforce apartments, meaning housing for those who can’t afford market rents but earn too much to qualify for subsidies.
Also on the table are artist shacks, pop-up spaces for entrepreneurs, and open areas for gathering and recreation. A swimming pool made the list, too, but more information will be needed to assess its feasibility.
The list of uses deemed unacceptable for the T-Time property includes big box stores, medical and professional offices, industrial space, buildings of three or more stories, very high density use of a large percentage of the site, the sale of the property to a developer, or dedication of the entire site to any one specific purpose.
The committee set some guidelines for development. The buildings should “look and feel like Eastham,” and the property should support a mix of uses and maintain overall low density, with green space and public gathering space. Uses should support a multi-generational connection, and promote “environmental stewardship” in building design.
Some uses the committee felt were not appropriate for the T-Time site were shifted to the other two properties. Plans for Town Center Plaza must include space for the six existing businesses there.
Draft recommendations include medical office space, retail and restaurant space, and “top of shop” housing with retail below and senior and workforce housing above. That final suggested use “had come through very strongly in the survey and discussions,” said Barker.
The town will also be looking at ways to connect the T-Time and the plaza sites, which are separated by the properties where Willy’s Gym, Mac’s Market and Kitchen, Landmark Fence, and the Friendly Fisherman are located.
The committee’s draft recommendation for acceptable use of the council on aging property is focused solely on affordable, workforce, and senior housing, or other development compatible with the town’s updated housing production plan.
After the three forums, the committee will refine its recommendations for the properties. The plan is to submit them to the select board by Thanksgiving.