The town plans to sit down with residents and business owners next month to determine the kinds of commercial and housing development they would like to see along the Route 130 business corridor.
The “visioning session” is tentatively scheduled for June 19, at a yet-to-be determined time and location. The town is working with the Cape Cod Commission and the Sandwich Economic Initiative Corporation to host two workshops on the subject.
About $20,000 in state grant money will be used to pay for Union Studio—a Rhode Island-based architecture and design firm specializing in urban development—to facilitate the workshops and come up with 3D models of the ideas for the area, Planning Director Ralph A. Vitacco said Wednesday, May 22.
All interested businesses and residents are welcome to attend. The SEIC is recommending that the area of interest should extend from the beginning of Route 130’s commercial district to Snake Pond Road.
That extensive area would allow for the inclusion of a proposed mixed-use housing and commercial development known as Sandwich Green and a another “smart growth” development adjacent to the town’s industrial park that would include housing, commercial uses and renewable energy stations and wastewater facilities.
Members of the SEIC discussed the workshops and proposed areas of interest at their meeting this week. Once the workshops have been completed and the priorities set, the SEIC is recommending that the town pursue several state grants available for site preparation and development. These include MassDevelopment for planning and site readiness, state Environmental Protection Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, the Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act and the Rural Water Fund, SEIC president Richard Johnson said.
Mr. Johnson said the SEIC would like the town to create a designated development district, or DIF, that would allow the town to acquire land and post development bonds to encourage public/private partnerships. The DIF would also allow for more flexible zoning.
South Sandwich developer Mark Wisentaner has already suggested that a “smart growth overlay district” be created in the Discovery Hill area to allow for cluster housing and commercial development, such as medical and hospital facilities, light manufacturing and distribution, research and development, and hotel and restaurant uses.
The visioning process has been funded by a $35,000 state grant from the District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) program. It is administered by the Cape Cod Commission.
The Cape Cod Commission, a regional planning agency, will take the findings from the workshops “to develop a regulatory framework for South Sandwich Village commercial zoning district to facilitate the desired development types and density within the study area consistent with the desires of the community,” according to the grant application.
Mr. Vitacco said he will be meeting with representatives of the Cape Cod Commission this Friday to discuss details of the workshops.
For the past several years the state has allocated DLTA funds to the Cape Cod Commission and other regional planning agencies “to help municipalities with sustainable development and to encourage municipalities to form partnerships to achieve planning and development goals consistent with state and regional priorities,” according to the Cape Cod Commission’s website.