Are More Hotel Rooms Needed?
To the editor:
I am writing in support of Mr. Scott Ravelson’s, Mr. Robert Anderson’s, and Mr. Patrick Patrick’s effort “to annul the variances and special permits granted by the planning and zoning boards, and to issue an injunction preventing the current or future owners of the [Old Reliable] fish house property from building the proposed project or others that are similar in scope.” [“Abutters’ Lawsuits Put Hotel Project on Hold,” Dec. 24, page 4.]
The developer says the project “will bring immense public benefits to the town … and much needed hotel rooms.” Do we need additional hotel rooms in Provincetown? Commercial Street, our beaches, and the Stop & Shop are already uncomfortably crowded during the summer.
You also reported the developer’s goal of creating a “downtown destination.” Provincetown and its downtown in particular are destinations in their own right, with no shortage of very good restaurants and bars.
The planning and zoning boards may have issued permits, but I’m not sure that “the community at large have overwhelmingly supported this venture,” as the developer states in the article.
If the developer and current owner are interested in doing something that will benefit the town, maybe they could create an “open space destination” — perhaps a fee-based park with benches, tables, chairs, umbrellas, and lavatories.
To the editor:
The Provincetown Historic District Commission (HDC) is considering a proposal to construct an enormous and incongruous eyesore right in the heart of Provincetown — an industrial-sized project that would cover a large portion of the Riley Brothers Realty parking lot with eight slanted canopies supporting 1,675 solar panels 14 to 18 feet off the ground and mounted on I-beams.
The HDC almost approved this application on Dec. 16 without hearing public comment until town staff called to its attention more than 20 letters from neighbors expressing concern about and opposition to the proposal. When the telephone line was then opened, public comment was overwhelmingly negative.
We’d undoubtedly all like to see more renewable energy deployed in Provincetown, but this is not the purview of the HDC. A solar “factory,” surrounded by historic district residential properties on Conwell, Center, and Standish streets, and on Railroad Avenue, would not serve the purpose of the historic district spelled out in section 15-1 of the bylaws: “the encouragement of design compatible with buildings existing in the area, so as to continue to maintain the historic village, fishing, artistic, cultural, commercial and residential and other qualities which distinguish the town as a desirable community for permanent and seasonal residents and visitors.” If anything, this proposal is utterly inconsistent with everything around it.
Other boards and commissions are better suited than the HDC to make judgments about where a giant solar project should be built, and who should benefit from it. Perhaps we should consider installing such a facility above the bus and RV parking lot along Route 6, where the distinctive historic characteristics of the town would be considerably less affected. Such a project’s benefits could then accrue to the town’s taxpayers or electric consumers, rather than flowing solely to large absentee owners.
Provincetown and Washington, D.C.
A Welcoming Read
To the editor:
It was more than a little comforting to read “The Year We All Became Year-Rounders” [Dec. 24, page 3].
My wife and I have been transitioning to our home in Wellfleet since 2017. This godforsaken year, it made a lot of sense that she stay here full-time while I commuted from my hospice nursing work at our previously primary home.
But even though we have been vacationing here and supporting the local economy since we were children, and had bought our home in 2017 with the intention of eventually moving here full-time, we still sensed outsider, “washashore” status. It’s understandable, we thought, and sad, off-putting, and counterproductive to the alleged desire for inclusiveness and bringing to an end the destructive divisiveness of 21st-century America.
So it was that we read Dennis Minsky’s essay with a growing sense of welcome in our forever home on the Lower Cape.