Every town on Cape Cod is encouraged to have a local comprehensive plan, developed in accordance with its residents’ expressed priorities, updated every 10 years, and certified by the Cape Cod Commission — the Cape’s regional planning agency. Only two of 15 towns do.
“Ten years goes by pretty quickly,” said Jon Idman, the commission’s chief regulatory officer. “Towns would spend tons of money on consultants and write these huge tomes and then 10 years would come up and they would say, ‘We just don’t have the resources to do this again.’ The focus should have been on implementation, not just developing a plan to put on a shelf.”
To remedy the situation, the Cape Cod Commission changed its rules for certification earlier this year.
“If the process you have discourages the development of plans and discourages certification that’s supposed to create a regional planning network, then you have to update your process,” Idman told the Independent.