John has been active in local matters for decades.
His guiding principle: Always remember why we chose to make this place home, why people like to visit — and then, protect that.
He worked with residents across Barnstable villages to develop and advocate into law a Problem Property Ordinance. If you live near one, it's a very big deal. The law ultimately connected the Chief of Police with property owners, and paved the way for hearings and resolutions.
John also collaborated across villages to create model short-term rental regulations. They supported our longtime rental traditions, respected zoning, and controlled the proliferation of real estate investors buying up housing stock as for-profit tourist accommodations. Best of all, they prioritized locals in housing policy. The proposal had broad community support.
He's especially proud of his work with the Town of Barnstable to bring the West Bay Elementary property back to life. New tennis and pickle ball courts now front West Bay Road. Ball field construction is underway, with plans for a large children's playground, as well as softball, soccer, and lacrosse fields, and a dual-purpose basketball and street hockey court.
John spends a lot of time at Cotocheset Park, a tree-shaded, center village oasis which Peter Hanson, another local resident and landscape designer, was instrumental in constructing with the OVA. John still sees a chiropractor from an encounter with one of the cement urns he placed there in 2009. He's gone to plant and water flowers every year, every season, since.
John has been active in our community for almost a quarter century.
I’m running for Town Council, and I ask for your support.
For me, it's a personal commitment to our community. I haven't run for any other political office, and I don’t aspire to any other. My ambitions are exclusively for the place we call home.
I’m running to give a meaningful voice to residents. Far too often, developers and business interests have early and prominent influence in planning and zoning proposals. Residents are brought in when proposals are effectively done. (This is a matter of public record, not a personal view.)
The Town's decision-making needs a data-first, resident-first shift. Affected local residents, not the business-connected, need to come first. Especially now, as big changes are being discussed.
Just one example: Town Hall has expressed intent to maximize density and allowable building height in our village centers. The parking developers are obligated to provide will be reduced. The Town of Barnstable also plans to eliminate your single family zoning (called a “burden to the community” by the Planning Director).
I believe in community conversation first, always.
It has always served us well.
And on complex issues where reasonable people often differ? Everyone deserves to know their views were considered, and exactly how.
Thank you for reading and, I hope, your vote.
At long last, the Town's 30-year, $1.4 billion Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan is underway.
This is a great official resource to check before you go for a swim or walk your dog near a lake or pond. Pet Advisories, beach closures, and re-openings (when the water meets minimum swimming standards) are noted here. In addition to the usual cyanobacteria scum everywhere, drug-resistant enterococci has closed resident Loop Beach in Cotuit.
John believes in an all of the above strategy: sewering and also fast, innovative, minimally disruptive, environmentally effective solutions wherever possible. These include alternative individual treatment systems in use now. They clean up phosphorous and nitrogen, and they're performance tracked.
The country’s first study of whether these innovative systems can prove better — much cleaner and more affordable for homeowners — is happening in Marstons Mills. The EPA and the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition are upgrading 15 homes where nutrient pollution and density are significant.
Barnstable's compromised waters are at the "do everything possible" point
The Town Council was set to authorize the Town Manager to negotiate a financial deal with Commonwealth Wind.
This was the plan despite the developer putting a Dowses Beach landing in the "Less Preferable" category in 2020 "due to potential impacts to environmental resources or poor egress (i.e. potentially inadequate road width, or routing through densely developed business districts or year-round residential areas)."
Under John’s leadership, the Village Assocation made residents aware of the imminent town action, and urged them to express support for the Osterville Business and Professional Association’s opposition to the proposed landing and route.
What happened? First, a pause. Next, we talk.
The request for authority to negotiate with the developer was withdrawn. The request to the Town Manager was for this community to be heard before Town Hall gives the developer tacit support in exchange for small annual payments to the town. Mr Ells agreed. Stay tuned.
Residents will be heard before negotiations or any Community Host Agreement
Allowing homes to be full-time weekend and vacation rentals drives prices up and availability down. It also gets locals who rent kicked out of their homes for lucrative tourists.
We can preserve Cape family rental traditions and -- at the same time -- have some control of how non-resident real estate investors use our homes as high-profit mini-hotel businesses. In year’s past, John worked with other village groups and civic associations to advance those ends through a model ordinance.
It’s past time to prioritize locals in our housing policies.
It's urgent to protect the use of our homes as places to really live
The pandemic produced a dramatic shift in American life: Tens of millions of us left jobs, modified our work environments, or packed up and moved.
People sought open space, fresh air, a little less of everything, safety.
The #1 place people left? Los Angeles, the most dense area in the U.S. with six zip codes. Barnstable was in the "Top 5" places people decided to move to, at #4.
John believes we can address housing needs with deliberate and decisive action. We're more than capable of working together to accomplish that.
COVID has caused many of us to rethink how we live, and what really matters
See some of his community advocacy, from the Barnstable Patriot to The Wall Street Journal
Paid for by John Crow for Town Council, Michael Tulman, Treasurer
Copyright © 2022 Crow for Precinct 5 - All Rights Reserved