Regional Coastal Planning and Regulation: The Cape Cod Experience

by John J. Clarke, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


In Massachusetts, the entire land and water mass of Cape Cod is within the designated coastal zone. Thus, all federal actions affecting this area must be consistent with the state's federally approved coastal plan. On Cape Cod, the state coastal program's regional office is housed within the offices of the county's regional planning agency. A close working relationship has been established linking the discipline or coastal planning into the exercise of regional planning. Facing dramatic increases in population and development, in the mid-1980's, the regional planning agency sponsored a series of workshops on growth and development issues. The year-long workshops resulted in a proposal to transform the county planning and advisory agency into a land-use planning and regulatory commission. A bill was written to affect this result. It passed the state legislature, became law and is now in its first year of operation. The Cape Cod Commission Act has a provision allowing for its incorporation into the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Program. The task now is to examine the Act and its regulations and determine what provisions of the regional law can lead to further advancement of the provisions of a recently reauthorized U.S. Coastal Zone Management Act and the Massachusetts Coastal Program.

Subject Headings: Urban and regional development | Laws and regulations | Coastal management | Sea water | Land use | Federal government | Legislation | Population projection | Massachusetts | United States

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