The Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday night, January 11, approved the demolition and reconstruction of three beachfront homes among coastal dunes on North Shore Boulevard and Salt Marsh Road.

The two single-family homes at 112 and 114 Salt Marsh Road would replace two previous homes damaged by a storm in February 2021 that knocked one into Cape Cod Bay and damaged one beyond repair, said attorney Kevin Kirrane of Cape Cod Attorneys at Law.

The site plans propose two elevated homes with large decks, smaller driveways, dune nourishment plans and elevated fiber rollout beach walkways. The elevation is designed to encourage the movement of water and sand underneath the property in the event of a severe storm.

Additionally, Mr. Kirrane presented site plans for 95 North Shore Boulevard. The plans are similar to those for the Salt Marsh Road homes, including the elevated home and dune nourishment and replenishment.

“The major criteria for the board to consider is whether or not what is being proposed is more detrimental to the area or if the existing building is less detrimental,” Mr. Kirrane said. “The home will be on piles, the sand from the dune can move freely under the structure, which allows flood waters to float beneath the building without knocking the building down. It appears what we are talking about here is not substantially more detrimental but is an effective improvement over existing conditions.”

The board agreed with Mr. Kirrane’s assessment and unanimously approved the issuance of a special permit.

At the end of the meeting, Planning Director Ralph Vitacco advised board members that Public Health Director David Mason and Fire Chief John J. Burke suggested the board meet virtually due to the Omicron variant surge.

Though not mandated, the board agreed unanimously to meet virtually through February and to reconvene to discuss the status of the pandemic before resuming in-person meetings in March.

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