Brewster Plans for Community Involvement in Determining Future Uses of the Cape Cod Sea Camp Properties
Brewster, Massachusetts – The Town of Brewster is anticipating next steps if Brewster voters vote to acquire the Cape Cod Sea Camps in the two-step approval process at Special Town Meeting on September 25 and the Special Election on October 5.
If voters approve these acquisitions, the Town will close on these properties by the end of 2021. Upon completing the purchases, the Town will secure and insure the properties, and assume property management and groundskeeping responsibilities. The Select Board is seeking an initial appropriation of $200,000 at Special Town Meeting for these new operating expenses.
The Select Board will form a Master Plan Committee charged with facilitating community outreach and developing plans for both properties. The Town will issue a solicitation and engage the services of an interdisciplinary team of professionals to assist the committee in completing an ecological evaluation of both Sea Camps properties and a site assessment of buildings, facilities, and infrastructure. This process will likely incorporate other Town properties, such as Spruce Hill, the Robinson property, the Council on Aging, and Town Hall. The ongoing Brewster Elementary School Planning project, assessing the space and educational needs of our elementary schools as well as the feasibility of consolidation, will also be considered as part of this work.
The public engagement process will identify the facilities, services, and activities that Brewster residents prefer, in line with community priorities, goals, and values. Both full- and part-time Brewster residents will be encouraged to participate. This feedback will also help the Town determine which potential partners to work with as plans go forward. The warrant articles for each proposed acquisition allow for numerous prospective public uses including habitat protection, watershed protection, open space, conservation and passive recreation, active recreation, community housing, and general municipal purposes so that residents have the opportunity to provide their input on all potential uses through these planning processes.
Ultimately, a Master Plan that clearly defines the future utilization of each parcel will be developed and brought to Town Meeting for consideration. Town Meeting approval will also be needed for disposing of any property, entering into any long-term lease agreements, establishing specific public purposes for portions of the properties, and creating partnerships with other organizations. In addition, Town Meeting approval will be required for approval of operating expenses for the properties, approval of capital appropriations, and if the Select Board recommends transferring care, custody, and control of any part of the Sea Camps properties to another Town entity such as the Conservation Commission. The Town of Brewster has long been committed to stewardship of public lands, preserving over 400 acres of open space in the last 20 years available for public use and natural resource protection.
A plan allowing some access to the properties will be established early on during the public engagement process so residents may visit and view the properties shortly after the Town purchases them.
The Town of Brewster remains committed to providing accurate, factual information to voters who will be considering articles to acquire the Sea Camps on September 25. The Town’s website has a page dedicated to the Sea Camps acquisition with extensive information about all aspects of the proposed acquisition.