TRURO NON-RESIDENT TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION
PO Box 324 Truro, MA 02666
Spring 2003 Vol. 7 No.1
TPRTA 2002-2003 Board of Directors
Alan Frankel, President
Anthony Garrett, Past President
Frank Korahais, Secretary
Regan McCarthy, Treasurer
Mark Poster, Nominations
Fred Schilpp, Communications
Alice Bergman Mary Frankel
Gwyn Korahais Neil Moynihan
Wendy Levine Larry Parcell
Larry Pisapio Kenneth Reich
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
The signs of spring have finally begun to appear and a summer season in Truro awaits. We hope you will plan on attending our Annual Membership Meeting Saturday, July 5 at 10:00 AM at the Truro Central School. We also urge you to complete and return the enclosed envelope addressed to TPRTA with your annual membership renewal. Your support is vital to the continued growth and action of our organization.
Since our Fall newsletter, there has been no further movement on the proposed Truro Stop&Shop. The next step remains the filing of a final Environmental Impact Report to the Cape Cod Commission by Stop&Shop. During the winter the newspapers reported on the declining condition and questionable financial practices of Royal Ahold, Stop&Shop’s parent company. TPRTA has provided e-mail alerts to you on our website and has informed the public through several letters in local newspapers as well as by providing copies of pertinent articles to our town officials. Importantly, four of our five Selectmen have announced their opposition to the project.
As a result of TPRTA’s work with the Chairperson of the Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator, non-voting seasonal residents will now have the ability to speak at Town Meeting. We sponsored, along with year-round residents, a warrant article to add lifeguards on Town ocean beaches. And, we have begun discussions with Town officials on the long term issue of water resources and what role TPRTA can play in raising the understanding of the overriding importance of our water assets to the future of the community.
We are pleased to make available to you, “Know Your Town A Guide to Town Government,” a publication prepared by the League of Women Voters of the Cape Cod Area. The pamphlet will be available at the July Membership Meeting, or you may request a copy by con-
tacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan N. Frankel
visit TPRTA website
contact us: email@example.com
TOWN MEETING RESULTS
April’s Town Meeting contained several issues of interest and importance to all Truro residents. The major item on the agenda was the request for funding to construct a joint Community Center/Council on Aging Facility. The project won approval and was subsequently approved by the voters in the recent election.
Two articles dealing with land use issues met with different results. A proposal to limit annual building permits for homes to 40 was approved. While TPRTA was in favor of the concept of building caps, we did not make public comment on the specific article because of concerns with the warrant’s language. We do believe that having a building cap in place is a positive step.
Past efforts at limiting growth in a similar manner had been defeated, primarily because of the opposition of local building trades people. This latest effort was successful because several business persons saw the value in preserving future opportunities for local businesses and openly supported the warrant article.
A second article would have attempted to limit strip development by providing for a single-use definition for properties. While the intent of the proposal was to discourage the development of strip malls along Route 6, a result that appears to be overwhelmingly favored by the residents, the article was seen as precluding uses which would be more in keeping with community goals. An accompanying article by Larry Pisapio explains the various perspectives on this issue. TPRTA would be in favor of a limitation on commercial growth along Route 6 outside of the planned commercial areas. We hope that greater care in the crafting of a future warrant article may enable passage of a provision that can meet the objective of eliminating strip mall development.
We are pleased to advise that approval was given for the funding of a lifeguard on a Town ocean beach. This is an issue the membership brought before the Board at last year’s Membership Meeting and TPRTA worked closely with the Town Administrator and the Selectmen to bring this subject before the voters and to gain its approval. Our goal is to increase the number of lifeguards over time as the budget permits.
TOWN MEETING AND THE STRIP MALL ARTICLE
On April 30, 2003, the second day of the Annual Town Meeting, Article 18 was voted on and did not pass. It required a 2/3rds majority. The vote was 54 in favor, 55 against.
Article 18 was requested by the Planning Board and would have limited all lots in Truro, except for the two village centers, (the Truro Jams location and the North
Truro Dutra location), to one principal use. The purpose of this article was to “eliminate the possibility of strip malls along Route 6.” The Planning Board stated that “multiple-use lots on Route 6 could endanger highway safety and destroy its still remaining rural character, which has been preserved to this point by the residential zoning on the east side of the highway” (the right side heading to Provincetown).
Some of the people who spoke were concerned that they would be prevented from a “mom & pop” sort of use of their property. For example, an office owner with an apartment above his office which he rents to his 75-year-old aunt on a fixed income would be in violation of this strip mall bylaw.
However, this article was not aimed at “mom & pop” type uses, but specifically at larger strip malls with more commercial uses as clearly stated. An individual seeking this less commercial use could apply for a variance and would have a strong case for obtaining approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Planning Board did not, but should have mentioned the option of a variance in order to explain and make clearer the purpose of the article and the opportunities for owners to use their properties for smaller ventures.
Throughout the night, voters as well as town officials who spoke clearly expressed their desire to maintain Truro’s rural character. This bylaw would have assisted in retaining the rural character, as well as placed limits on increased traffic on Route 6.
Proposed changes in zoning should be accompanied with explanations and examples, showing residents that they will not lose the property rights which concern them and describing the options they have for avoiding the loss of their rights. Everyone in that room wanted to eliminate the possibility of a Cumberland Farms / Blockbuster Video / liquor store strip mall, but they were afraid
that they would also be eliminating the possibility of a family-operated vegetable stand/ice cream store establishment.
Larry Pisapio, TPRTA Board Member
SAVE THE DATE !
JULY 5, 2003
TRURO CENTRAL SCHOOL
TPRTA MEMBERSHIP DUES
TPRTA needs your continued support and membership to maintain and continue the progress and work we have achieved in our seven years of existence. We are a young organization, but we have accomplished much in those seven short years. We now have an organized presence in the town, a voice at Town Meeting, and collaboration with year-round residents on issues which affect all residents in the town.
TPRTA has worked on representing your views and opinions on issues such as the Stop&Shop project, RyderBeach/Sexton House, JetSki ban, and ocean beach lifeguards. We will continue to monitor activities and issues in the town, keep you up to date on town actions, and make the town aware of your positions.
We urge you to renew your membership for 2003-2004 or become a member of TPRTA if you have not already done so. Annual dues are $35.00 per household. It is your support and our size that give us the strength to influence events in our town.
A self-addressed envelope including a membership form inside the flap has been enclosed for your convenience. Please renew your membership or join us today.
TOWN WATER ISSUES
Truro’s Water Resources Oversight Committee is working closely with Provincetown’s Water Department to identify additional drinking water supplies that would serve as redundant sources to their existing well fields. Currently, Provincetown owns the South Hollow and Knowles Crossing well fields in Truro which are pumped at maximum capacity during the summer months. In addition, wells owned by the National Seashore at the former North Truro Air Force Base are also pumped during the summer to meet heavy demand.
If there were an emergency that shut down the wells at South Hollow during
the summer months, there would not be enough excess capacity, even at the
Air Force Base, to satisfy the resulting shortfall. Two potential well sites at North Union Field and at a site called “C5” off of Higgins Hollow Road are currently being considered as possible backup water supplies. Truro and Provincetown have also included the National Seashore in their discussions to discuss the possible use of wells on Seashore property, especially at the Air Force Base where existing wells are currently tapped for a portion of the year under a special permit that is due to expire in 2005.
Truro is pressing for the creation of a regionalized water system so that both towns would have equal weight in determining how the drinking water system is managed. A joint meeting of the Truro and Provincetown selectmen is being planned to discuss water-related issues.
Kevin Kuechler, Vice Chairman
Truro Water Resources Oversight
Grand Union Supermarkets purchased the Provincetown store from A&P this winter. They started operating the store in May.
Jams in Truro cleared their problems with the town and the validity of their building permits. Construction is moving ahead in an attempt to be open sometime this summer.
ANNUAL MEETING ON JULY 5th
SEE YOU THERE