Tag Archives: Wellfleet town character

It’s crowded in Wellfleet. But is it too crowded?

This town of Wellfleet always feels crowded in summer to locals. After all, most of the year most of our houses are unoccupied. The population, we’re told, swells by a factor of seven or more in summer. But the word on the street is that it is more crowded than usual this summer. Unprecedentedly crowded. […]

For a real town, taking on market forces

Cape towns need to “commit to a fundamental reimagining of what we are willing to do,” Senator Cyr is quoted in this paper a few days ago, “or we will not have year-round sustainable communities.” “Fundamental reimagining” is a challenging phrase. What might he mean by that? At Wellfleet town meeting on this coming Saturday, […]

Wellfleet’s latest revolution?

It certainly feels like a different sort of June in this Outer Cape town. Everyone has a story of pandemic-related crowding: more people at the beach, more people walking dogs, more cars on the back roads. Unprecedented traffic on Route 6. What happened to our sleepy June respite before the seasonal onslaught? And then there […]

Are we dying? Or just changing?

In Wellfleet’s recent town meeting a speaker noted, as shocking evidence of the need for affordable housing, that “in last 25 years we have lost 62% of the young people in our town.” In a column a couple of years ago I raised the question “are Outer Cape towns dying?” I had seen an article […]

Corporate siege of the Outer Cape intensifies

The front page of this newspaper recently featured two Outer Cape stories: an update on the Herring River restoration in Wellfleet and Truro, and Dollar General’s determination, despite a lot of local opposition, to put one of its 13,000 big box stores in Eastham. The Cape Cod Commission has decided to weigh in on the […]

Voting ourselves a bigger gun

The first night of Wellfleet’s recent Town Meeting, FinCom, trying hard to curb spending, suggested cutting the proposed $101,000 budget for “legal services” in half. In the debate, one selectman pointed out that we spent about that amount just in the lalte 2016 court case trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Cumberland Farms’ makeover of its existing […]

“Community”: a shallow premise for planning

A few days after the election, 80 or so of the most civic-minded Wellfleetians took time out from anguishing over the Future According to Trump to take up what seems a more manageable topic, the future of our own town. The idea was to crowdsource ideas to be incorporated in the latest update of our […]

Our transformation into a tourist town: some key questions

Wellfleet has had seasonal visitors since the late 19th century, but for many decades we were less tourist destination than a small town like most small towns, more here for ourselves than for outsiders. At some point that changed and our primary identification (and reality) began to be that of a tourist town. That crucial […]

The death, by secondhomes, of outer Cape towns.

It was a shock to read in a recent news story a summary of an independent study on Truro’s future. “By 2035, Truro’s population of year-round residents is predicted to fall from 2,003 to 1337, with new home-buyers choosing seasonal or part-time occupancy . . . . the number of young adults is expected to […]

Wellfleet’s formula biz bylaw shot down

In 2011 Wellfleet voted in a bylaw to ban “formula businesses.” The logic of the bylaw is that such chains and franchises as McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and other usual suspects would have a deleterious effect on our quality-of-life and the character of our town. Some months later Cumberland Farms proposed enlarging its long-grandfathered store […]