truro voters support building size restrictions
Save Truro Seashore worked with the Truro Planning Board and Board of Selectmen to bring a zoning amendment for Town Meeting approval to reasonably limit future building size. At the April 25, 2017 Annual Town Meeting, our Zoning Bylaw amendment restricting house size in Truro's Cape Cod National Seashore was approved by a 2/3 majority of our voters.
"Mega-mansions" have been moving into resort destinations for over 20 years, and we need to act now before that happens to Truro's Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS). The original intent for creating the CCNS was to allow existing privately owned houses to remain but to prevent out-of-scale expansion.
Truro’s Seashore District is special and it is unlike the rest of the town. Nowhere else in town are houses surrounded by miles of open space. Nowhere else in town do the houses stand in such harmony with their surrounding landscape. Though there are a variety of architectural styles, from old capes to ranch houses and mid-century moderns, they are nearly all consistent in scale, averaging some 2,000 square feet in size.
Confronted by an inadequate and dwindling budget, the National Park Service is powerless to prevent mega-mansion creep. It requires local zoning laws to meet this threat and most particularly in Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham where 96 percent of private inholdings in the Seashore are located. The other two towns have acted. Truro is the doughnut hole.
Zoning bylaws exist in almost every community in the country, seeking to balance the rights of individual property owners with the public interest. Zoning bylaws must be reasonable and fair. The rationale behind zoning is that it promotes the good of the entire community.
Ultimately, this issue is unique to the Seashore District because 70 percent of Truro is important to all Americans. Our fellow countrymen have a vested interest in its preservation; Truro must perform its stewardship role. The proposed amendment to the Seashore District zoning bylaw will not deny Truro’s residents the right to live in large houses. But it will protect the District from the onslaught of HUGE 6,000 or even 10,000 square foot mega-mansions that will dominate the landscape and change forever Truro’s most incomparable asset. And it will preserve for millions of Americans our own serene national resource.