Cape Cod Sea Camps Properties

 

first light

 

The Brewster Select Board and Town Administration analyzed the possible acquisition of the former Cape Cod Sea Camps properties after the business ceased operations in Fall 2020. The properties offered opportunities for significant public benefits including conservation of land, coastal dunes, and wetlands; habitat and drinking water protection; beach access; a home for a community center; extensive recreational amenities; and community housing. Acquisition for public use was aligned with community priorities identified in the Brewster Vision Plan and resident feedback from other recent strategic planning initiatives.

Brewster residents gave overwhelming approval to the Town’s purchase of the two parcels at a Special Town Meeting on September 26, 2022, and a Special Election on October 5, 2022. The Town reached a negotiated settlement for the properties:

• $6M for the Pond Parcel: 66-acre parcel at 500 W. H. Besse Cartway that extends from Route 137 (Long Pond Road) west to Long Pond.

• $20M for the Bay Parcel: 55-acre parcel at 3057 Main Street (Route 6A) that stretches from Main Street north to Cape Cod Bay.

On an interim basis, the Town opened the Bay Parcel beach from July 2022 through Columbus Day to Brewster residents. The Town invited residents to submit beach name suggestions in April and over 500 submissions were received.  The Select Board voted unanimously on May 23, 2022 to select the name “First Light Beach.” The name recognizes the long history of the area as the home of the Wampanoag people. “Wampanoag” means “People of the First Light.”

The Town is currently facilitating a public engagement process inviting input from all residents about potential future uses. To this end, the Select Board created two new advisory committees, consisting of 11 Brewster residents with diverse backgrounds. These committees are responsible for identifying existing conditions; developing short-term public access plans; assembling a public engagement strategy to ensure broad community input; identifying and evaluating potential partner organizations; and developing comprehensive long-term plans for Town Meeting consideration.  

The landscape architect firm Reed Hilderbrand was hired in November 2022 to provide expert support and design guidance to the committees as the Town plans future uses of the properties. 

The Town currently plans to open the bay property pool in Summer 2023.  Over 80 residents attended an information session on Tuesday January 17.  In preparing for our inaugural season, the Bay Property Planning Committee and Town officials provided information about pool amenities and steps needed to open the pool.  The Town also sought feedback from residents about the pool schedule, access, fees, and programs. A link to the video of the session can be found here.  The presentation can be viewed here

Residents are invited to submit comments or questions about the community pool to the Bay Property Planning Committee at bppc@brewster-ma.gov.