All meetings in Wellfleet are remote only and can be watched online. Go to wellfleet-ma.gov and click on the meeting you want to watch, then follow the instructions on the agenda.
Thursday, Jan. 20
- Local Housing Partnership, 4 p.m.
- Select Board, 6 p.m.
- Energy and Climate Action Committee, 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 25
- Nauset Superintendent Search Committee, 8:30 a.m.
- Select Board, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 27
- Cape Cod Commission, 3 p.m.
- Joint meeting of the Nauset School Committees, 6 p.m.
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m.
ZBA Delays GFM Case
The zoning board of appeals put off a decision on whether to reverse an interim building inspector’s go-ahead on the contractor’s yard owned by Great White Realty Group and operated by GFM Enterprises on Route 6 at Old Wharf Road.
Attorney David Reid, representing the six neighbors opposing the inspector’s decision, asked to have the hearing that had been planned for Jan.13 postponed until Jan. 27. Attorney Ben Zehnder, who represents the property owners, Donna and Steve DiGiovanni, and the tenants, GFM Enterprises, also requested a delay.
“It’s worth waiting to give them the opportunity to try and convince us,” Reid said.
Controversy over the site has been ongoing since Jan. 9, 2021, when it was cleared without proper permits. Former Building Inspector Paul Fowler issued a stop-work order on Jan. 12, 2021. The ZBA later upheld that order on appeal.
Activity on the property was on hold until November, when interim Building Inspector Victor Staley gave his permission for GFM to run a contractor’s yard to store vehicles, equipment, and supplies on the lot.
Twenty passionate letter-writers expressed their displeasure about the yard at the Jan. 13 meeting, said Sharon Inger, the ZBA chair. “They would have been read tonight, but we’re not arguing the case,” she said. “We’re simply arguing when to argue the case.”
Camp Wellfleet Munitions Response
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made a virtual public presentation on Jan. 12 to explain its mitigation plan for explosive hazards lurking in the ground at Camp Wellfleet, a 1,738-acre former defense site on U.S. National Park Service land.
The military used the property to test bombs, shells, ammunition, grenades, and rifle smoke grenades, from 1942 until the early 1960s. The camp officially closed in 1961 when the U.S. Dept. of the Interior acquired the land, according to the presentation.
Munitions, however, remain in the ground.
Cleanups from 2003 to 2005 led to the removal of over 3,400 pounds of weapons-related debris. In 2019, a remedial investigation found potentially live munitions and explosives.
The Corps’s plan is to install signs at the site, limit access, and make people aware of the potential hazards via training, pamphlets, and flyers. The Corps will also conduct periodic visual inspections.
“About every year an explosive is found on one of the beaches and detonated in place,” said select board chair Ryan Curley. “It will continue to be something we’ll be dealing with for years.” —Michaela Chesin