The redesignation of the Downtown Hyannis Growth Incentive Zone provided an opportunity for the Cape Cod Commission to reconsider the framework for considering all future GIZ designations. Working in concert with the Town of Barnstable, the Commission developed comprehensive changes to the GIZ framework to ensure regulations promote and support both the county’s Regional Policy Plan and Town goals.
The result of the collaboration is a longer range systems planning and regulatory approach centered on community goal setting, infrastructure and investment, an affirmative strategic plan and the development of performance measures to evaluate progress toward community goals.
A Growth Incentive Zone is a planning tool that allows communities to exempt certain development activities from Cape Cod Commission regulatory review. The intent is to encourage residential and commercial development and redevelopment in geographically defined economic centers supported by community amenities and appropriate infrastructure.
The Growth Incentive Zone regulations were amended and approved by the Assembly of Delegates on April 4, 2018, followed by the unanimous approval of the Hyannis GIZ redesignation by the Cape Cod Commission at its April 18, 2018 meeting.
Barnstable worked with the Commission on the redesignation application for the Downtown Hyannis Growth Incentive Zone, first adopted in 2006.
Town of Barnstable and Commission staff engaged in an extensive stakeholder process, performed an infrastructure and amenities analysis, a zoning analysis and developed a GIZ capital improvement plan, investment strategy and strategic plan. This led to a comprehensive analysis of the natural, social and built systems supporting economic development rather than a hard numeric cap or simple square footage/unit counts as a measures of progress. The Hyannis GIZ decision recognizes the links between investment, regulation and community-based strategies to meet long-range goals, which will be reviewed routinely, not less than 5 years. The emphasis will be on long-range performance using measurable indicators.
Mark Ells, Barnstable Town Manager, supported the revised regulations in a letter to the Assembly of Delegates, “Through our experience with an active GIZ and work on the 2018 Downtown Hyannis Growth Incentive Zone application, we can testify to the added values these regulations will have for Cape Cod municipalities.”