Two nonprofit organizations, seeking to begin construction in South Sandwich in the coming months, received the blessings of the Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals this week.
Cape Cod BMX, which plans to build a motocross track off Quaker Meetinghouse Road, was unanimously granted a special permit to build and operate the course at the ZBA’s meeting on Tuesday, April 27.
“I’m excited for Cape Cod BMX and also for my home town of Sandwich,” said Tammy Gibbs, president and track manager for the nonprofit organization.
Ms. Gibbs said lighting for the track, which would have cost more than $70,000, has been donated by Legends Golf & Family Recreation, of Hooksett, New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire company had been advertising the used and very large (triple-headed floodlights atop 35-foot poles that had lighted a driving range) for sale, but after talking to Ms. Gibbs about the BMX project, decided to donate them instead.
“He heard about our tight budget, and was happy the lights were going to do some good for another outdoor recreational facility,” Ms. Gibbs said.
At a meeting earlier this month, the ZBA questioned whether the track and parking lot lights are designed to shine down, rather than outward, to minimize light pollution of the surrounding areas.
Don Bracken, of Bracken Engineering, said the lights are adjustable and can be aimed downward. Bracken Engineering has also donated much of its time and services to the BMX project.
Building Inspector Brendan W. Brides added that the BMX track will be located in an area with no nearby residences, so the bright lights might be less of an issue.
The track will be located on 7.5 acres off Quaker Meetinghouse Road behind the Pop Warner Football Field.
At its April 13 meeting, ZBA members had also questioned whether an access road leading to the BMX’s gravel parking area was wide enough to accommodate emergency vehicles.
Fire Chief John J. Burke subsequently sent a letter to the ZBA, stating that the roadway was wide enough for emergency vehicles to maneuver.
Planning Director Ralph A. Vitacco asked how much dirt would be needed to construct the motocross course.
“It will be about 600 truckloads—7,000 cubic yards,” Ms. Gibbs replied.
The grade of the land will not change, Ms. Gibbs has said. The surface materials—mostly sand and topsoil—will be brought from Joint Base Cape Cod, the current home of the BMX track.
BMX Cape Cod has been located at the base for 30 years. The military base is looking into other uses of the acreage now occupied by the BMX track, Ms. Gibbs has said.
Ms. Gibbs said she is hoping construction can begin in the next few weeks and be finished sometime this summer.
Habitat For Humanity
The ZBA also gave unanimous approval on Tuesday night to a Habitat for Humanity proposal to build three affordable homes in South Sandwich.
The ZBA postponed a decision on the “scatter-site development,” earlier this month because town attorneys had not yet reviewed the wording of the comprehensive permit required for a 40B development, Mr. Vitacco said.
That wording was finalized and includes a condition that at least two of the affordable homes be sold to income-qualified Sandwich residents.
The board of selectmen and the community preservation committee have already signed off on the affordable home complex. The CPC voted unanimously in December to grant $150,000 in preservation funds to help with the project.
Residents at Town Meeting next week will have the final say on the preservation grant.
Two of the homes are proposed for a split lot at 167 Cotuit Road and another is proposed for 1 Nauset Street, Habitat attorney Warren Brodie has told the ZBA members.
“We’re looking forward to a wonderful project for the Town of Sandwich,” Mr. Brodie said.
Mr. Vitacco said, after the meeting, that he was pleased to see Sandwich’s affordable housing stock increase.
“I’m truly glad that these affordable homes are coming to Sandwich and will be available to Sandwich residents,” Mr. Vitacco said Wednesday. “We’ve been working for a long time to get Habitat For Humanity to build here.”
No date has been set for the groundbreaking.