The Cape Cod National Seashore is a truly national resource, and its unique combination of historic buildings and natural landscape are being compromised by inadequate controls on private development, and the concern is that it will look like the rest of the Cape if the Town doesn't take action.
The Seashore was enacted into law in 1961 as a unique addition to the National Park System, being the first to allow privately owned lands to remain within its borders, creating a historic mosaic of human habitation in a natural landscape. For the 55 years since it was created, the Cape Cod National Seashore has largely maintained its incomparable rural and historic character. In fact it is the only portion of the outer cape in which this unique combination of nature and culture can be experienced today. The Seashore District in Truro encompasses some 8,877 acres, which includes 517 acres of privately owned residential properties. Of the 210 developed residential properties, 153 or 73% are modest with less than 2,500 sq. ft. of habitable floor area. In addition there are five grandfathered commercial camping properties with encompassing 122 acres, of which only one 57-acre property is protected.
Most people experience the Seashore District by the few roads that cut through to the beaches or to a friend's home. Clustered along these roads are modest houses and cottages set in harmony with their natural landscape that make being in Truro a unique rural experience. The Highlands, Longnook-Higgins Hollow area, the Pamet Roads, and clusters of old houses in South Truro are still very special places with Old Cape character. Truro and Wellfleet share an enclave of mid-20th century modernist houses, some by world famous architects.