That House at Ballston
To the editor:
In the first week of February, the building that was the former Pamet River Life Saving Station was moved back under emergency order and now sits on the rapidly eroding dune awaiting a final destination. The owners, who also own the neighboring property at 127 South Pamet Road and a number of other properties in Truro, would like to move it onto that neighboring lot, thus adding a second residence to a property that is already nonconforming regarding both lot size and setback. Both lots are within the Seashore zoning district. This move would require a variance and special permit from the zoning board of appeals.
Allowing two residences plus an “accessory building” on this single-residence lot would cause detriment to the neighborhood by crowding an undersized lot with three buildings and changing its visual harmony and balance; accelerate loss of the remaining natural environment through use of heavy excavating and construction equipment; accelerate loss of the Ballston Beach parking lot and traditional beach access for the community; and decrease the time left before all the buildings at 127 South Pamet will have to be relocated.
If the ZBA grants this variance, it will be trampling the Cape Cod National Seashore’s stated mission and purpose.
Citizens can make their views known by writing letters to the Truro ZBA and by attending its hearing on March 28 at 5:30 p.m., when this matter will be on the agenda. The link will be posted on the town website, truro-ma.gov.
Etna, N.H. and Truro
The writer owns the historic house and studio at 119 South Pamet Road in Truro.
Wellfleet’s ‘Financial Rotary’
To the editor:
A few weeks ago, when I wrote to the Independent about Wellfleet’s financial problems [“Financial Stability in Wellfleet,” Feb. 10], the threatened override to save ourselves was a mere $750,000. After further consideration, it appears that it will be closer to $1.3 million. I hope we have town meeting soon because doubling at this rate could bring the number into the range of $10 million.
What does the road ahead look like? That’s easy to answer because there is no road ahead. Wellfleet travels on a financial rotary. We have the same issues repeat, with the same problems, with the same resolution (more money).
We have a town of approximately 3,000 citizens, and the projected override all by itself is nearly a million and a half dollars. That’s over $400 per person just for this override. Perhaps “Override” should be a line item in the budget that gets funded routinely. What once was a stop-gap measure to overcome a financial crisis has become business as usual.
If this is passed, along with each of the other new spending proposals, there will be no end to it. The Herring River Restoration Project is a prime example. I can recall being gleefully told that this wonderful project would not cost the town anything because it was going to be grant-funded. But now the Independent reports that Wellfleet will need to hire a contractor, an engineer, and a project manager. We’ve been around this rotary before.
Perhaps it is time to consider doing away with the quaint “select board” approach to town government and go with a mayor instead. Fewer administrators, less distribution of responsibility, and a full-time commitment to the task.
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