The Cape Cod Commission
is a regional planning authority created in 1990 by an Act of the Massachusetts General Court
The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when this body also sat in judgment of judicial appeals cases...
and confirmed by a majority of Barnstable County
Barnstable County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, consisting of Cape Cod and associated islands. As of the 2010 census, the population was 216,902...
In the wake of an unprecedented growth boom in the 1980s, the Cape Cod Commission Act found that the region known as Cape Cod (Barnstable County) possesses unique natural, coastal, historical, cultural and other values which are threatened by uncoordinated or inappropriate uses of the region's land and other resources.
The Commission was established as a regional planning and regulatory agency to prepare and implement a regional land use policy plan for all of Cape Cod, review and regulate Developments of Regional Impact, and recommend designation of certain areas as Districts of Critical Planning Concern.
The Commission is a department of Barnstable County and is funded by the Cape Cod Environmental Protection Fund.
The Commission is made up of 19 members representing each of Barnstable County's 15 towns as well as the County Commissioners, minorities, Native Americans, and a governor's appointee. The members are citizen volunteers who guide a professional staff to plan for Cape Cod's future growth, provide technical assistance to towns, review and vote on major developments and act as the Commission's liaison to their communities.
Commission planners and technical staff have expertise in a wide variety of areas including: landscape architecture, land use planning, economic development, affordable housing
Affordable housing is a term used to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed "affordable" to those that have a median income. Although the term is often applied to rental housing that is within the financial means of those in the lower income ranges of a geographical area, the...
, historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...
, wetland and wildlife resources, water resources, coastal resources, waste management
Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal,managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics...
, transportation planning, and computer mapping.
The Commission's work is divided into three major areas: planning and community development, technical services, and regulation.