Downtown Hotel Plans Move Forward

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Bourne's Downtown, News | 0 comments

New Buzzards Bay Hotel Gets Waiver From Dimension Regulations By MICHAEL J. RAUSCH, BOURNE ENTERPRISE  Plans to bring a new Hampton Inn to Buzzards Bay have taken another step forward. The Bourne Planning Board approved a site plan review/special permit for the new hotel during its meeting Thursday evening, March 23. The hotel is the first piece of a multi-use project covering 11.6 acres that has been touted as also including condominiums, retail space and a restaurant. Developers are planning a 100-room hotel that would be five stories tall. The town’s zoning regulations allow for four stories but five stories can be granted with a special permit.  Additionally, the town’s zoning requires hotels to have 1,500 square feet of land per room. For 100 rooms that would total 150,000. The Hampton Inn, however, would cover just 117,000 square feet, or 2.7 acres. The board’s approval granted developers relief from dimensional...

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Ribbon-cutting Celebrates New Major Development

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Bourne's Downtown | 0 comments

The first project in Bourne’s Downtown Growth Incentive Zone was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in July. Keystone Place at Buzzards Bay, a senior living community, was ready for residents about 15 months after a February 2014 ground breaking. The four-story building includes 106 market‐rate residential units: 31 for independent living, 55 for assisted living and 20 for memory care. The development also includes both underground and above ground parking, several dining rooms and kitchens, indoor hospitality areas and outdoor amenities, and is next to accessible paths in the new downtown conservation area leading to the Cape Cod Canal. The building is designed to conform with the Downtown District Zoning By-laws that were adopted by an overwhelmingly positive Town Meeting vote and with the architectural standards and guidelines also adopted by an overwhelmingly positive Town Meeting vote. It has been designed to meet the Town’s interest in smart growth principles and low impact design. The project is expected to bring about 100 new year-round jobs to Bourne’s Downtown, increase tax revenues to the Town and bring visitors – relatives and friends of the residents – who will purchase goods and services. People interested in living at Keystone Place may call 774 302-4539 for more...

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Town Votes to Join MBTA, Extending Commuter Rail to Bourne’s Downtown

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Bourne's Downtown, News | 0 comments

In May 2015, Bourne residents voted with a significant margin to join the MBTA. The vote came after more than a year of study by Town leaders (see below) and followed one of the MBTA’s worst performance seasons. In April 2016, MBTA leaders conducted a public forum in Bourne to introduce the concept of a “Pilot Feeder Service,” a way to test the potential ridership of a train from Buzzards Bay to the Lakevile/Middleborough station. See Post: Commuter Rail Forum.    The success of a summer-time, weekend passenger train had triggered intense interest in extending commuter rail an additional 18 miles from the Middleborough/Lakeville stop to Buzzards Bay. The idea quickly earned support from state transportation leaders and Bourne residents. A public hearing in January 2014 demonstrated energetic support. In the spring of 2014 the  Chair of the Town’s Board of Selectmen encouraged the Board to make the commuter train extension one of its goals. Then the Town’s Transportation Advisory Committee took up the question: would commuter rail be a benefit to Bourne’s Downtown? In May 2015 Town voters answered: “yes.” The Committee defined a series of questions that members thought voters were likely to ask. The Town’s Board of Selectmen requested that the Cape Cod Commission planning staff work with the Committee to provide technical assistance in identifying the answers. The first item under discussion was a definition of the process to join the MBTA. It was soon defined as requiring two steps: 1) a Town Meeting vote was required to authorize adding a question to the next Town election ballot as to whether the Town should join the MBTA. That vote easily passed the February 2015 Town Meeting. 2) the May Town election ballot included the question about joining the MBTA. It also easily passed with voters approval. Once the process was defined, the Committee continued researching such questions as: how much will the Town be assessed, and where will commuters’ cars park? In March 2015 the Committee accepted a report from Commission staff that responded to the questions. After additional deliberation, the Committee recommended to the Board of Selectmen that they support a vote to join the MBTA. The Committee’s conclusion was: Our research has convinced us that bringing commuter rail service to Buzzards Bay will provide the catalyst needed to trigger redevelopment of underutilized properties along Main Street and create a vibrant downtown for Bourne. There are enormous benefits to be gained by the entire town from this action with very little financial liability and few potential problems. The Transportation Advisory Committee supports a positive vote to join the MBTA in order to send a strong signal to our elected official and potential developers and...

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Park restoration and update continues in Phase 2

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Bourne's Downtown, News | 0 comments

UPDATE: 10/20/2017: Following an overwhelmingly positive Town Meeting vote to allocate Community Preservation Act funds to finish the park, the Town issued a Request for Proposals for the second phase work. Green Acres Landscape and Construction Co. from Lakeville won the contract and has started working.   UPDATE: 12/1/2016: The General Contractor for the park restoration and upgrade has begun to work. Marini Construction was awarded the contract following an open bid process. Marini’s work follows the site preparation completed by Town staff — clearing the Phase 1 site, amending the soil, removing the old electrical components and installing an upgraded system, upgrading the storm water control devices, and contouring the land and building the base for the new pathways. Due to the weather, work is on hold until the spring. In the meantime, the Main Street Steering Committee is in search of more funds to complete Phase 1 and to add Phase 2. UPDATE (Apr. 2016) The Community Preservation Committee has endorsed the MSSC’s request for $425,000 to continue the park restoration and upgrade project. The request will appear as Article 14 on the May 2 Town Meeting Warrant. UPDATE (Jan. 2016) The landscape architectural firm Brown, Richardson + Rowe along with Stantec have been contracted to prepare a Schematic Design for the park upgrade. A site survey is being conducted by Bracken Engineering. The Main Street Steering Committee has submitted an application for a second grant of Community Preservation Act funds. UPDATE (Sept. 2015): A Request for Qualifications has been released inviting landscape architects to indicate an interest in working with the Town and the Main Street Steering Committee on the town park restoration and upgrade. Responses were due in mid-October and a contract should be complete by December. At Bourne Town Meeting on Monday, May 4, 2015, voters approved an allocation of $350,000 of Community Preservation Act funds to support the Main Street Steering Committee’s (MSSC) request for initial-phase funds to upgrade and restore the park located at 90 Main Street in Buzzards Bay, Bourne’s Downtown. The approved funds will be used for phase one of a multi-phase project to upgrade and restore the town park located on Main Street in Buzzards Bay. Phase one will include engineering, survey and design, irrigation, electrical upgrades, lighting, landscaping and creating a park entrance with amenities. Subsequent phases would include installing a pavilion that could support out-door movies, a splash pad that could convert to an ice skating rink, play equipment, and additional entrances. The approved funds will have a double impact: 1) by supporting the Phase one activities, residents and visitors will see improvements as early as spring 2016, and 2) the survey and engineering design would strengthen...

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Sewer Commissioners endorse two-phase plan

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Bourne's Downtown | 0 comments

At its meeting on March 31, the Bourne Board of Sewer Commissioners endorsed in concept a plan for expanding wastewater treatment capacity in Bourne’s Downtown using a two-phase approach: Install a packaged plant with 100,000 gallons per day (gpd) capacity, linked to the previously identified area for subsurface disposal of treated wastewater. With permitting, engineering, manufacturing and installation, the facility could be available in two years. The plan would include dividing the existing sewer system so that flow from the western end of Main Street would continue to go to Wareham, freeing up capacity for redevelopment in that part of town, while flow from the eastern end, including from a significant development project at 23 Perry Avenue, would go to the packaged plant, leading to immediate efficiency of the new facility. Work with neighboring towns to create a regional agreement for treating wastewater and disposing  the treated effluent in the Cape Cod Canal. This plan has become possible only recently with the change in the state’s Ocean Sanctuaries Act to allow ocean outfall of treated wastewater. This phase could take up to ten years to implement. With a Canal outfall, Wareham’s plant could be expanded to treat five million gpd or more. Two million would more than meet Bourne’s needs in the long-term. Wastewater Plan for Bourne’s Downtown March...

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Growth Incentive Zone creates a business friendly environment

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Bourne's Downtown, News | 1 comment

 In the space of six weeks, the Town of Bourne saw three major revitalization initiatives come to fruition: the Cape Cod Commission’s designation of the business district of Buzzards Bay Village, Bourne’s Downtown, as a Growth Incentive Zone, thus easing the permitting process; Town Meeting’s nearly unanimous affirmation of four articles establishing architectural and sign guidelines and standards; and the start of the final phase of Main Street streetscape improvements. Each of these initiatives is part of a revitalization plan designed to make Bourne’s Downtown a more desirable place for investment and development. In addition to the recent activities, Downtown District Zoning By-laws passed in 2008 allow for greater height and greater density, and create opportunities for better return on investments. They also encourage mixed use, buildings with retail and businesses on lower floors and residential units on upper floors where they command views of the Cape Cod Canal.  Cape Cod Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the Town’s application to designate Downtown Bourne, as a Growth Incentive Zone. In a GIZ, a specified amount of development can proceed without Cape Cod Commission review, effectively removing one level of permitting for potential investors and developers. The Commissioners forwarded the document to the County Assembly of Delegates for a June vote, thus codifying the special designation that fosters mixed-use growth and redevelopment in economic centers. Specified projects in the GIZ will need only the Town’s maximum 120-day permitting process, saving developers time and expense. Town Meeting voters approved By-laws that establish architectural and sign guidelines and standards, and create a Design Review Committee. The guidelines and standards apply to projects in the Downtown Zoning District, the same area as the GIZ. All new downtown architectural projects will be reviewed by the Design Review Committee and its recommendation will be forwarded to the appropriate governing board. New or replacement signs in the Downtown District will be reviewed by the Committee and a recommendation sent to the Building Inspector. These new guidelines and standards will make it easier for potential developers to know what the Town’s vision is, thus saving time and expense by reducing the need to adjust architectural plans mid-stream. The third phase of Main Street streetscape included new sidewalks, landscaping, and other amenities beginning at Belmont Circle and extending to the end of the second phase of streetscape work completed in 2003. The project is funded by a supplemental appropriation in the state budget promoted by State Senate President Therese Murray. Through a competitive bid process, I. W, Harding Construction Company Inc. was selected for the project. These revitalization projects began in 2007 when a state grant, also championed by Sen. President Murray and other members of the Town’s legislative...

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