No Need To Be 'Quaint' - Letter

After reading the articles about Cumberland Farms’ plan to expand and renovate their Monument Beach facility, and the article about the proposed hotel complex in Buzzards Bay in the May 30th edition of The Bourne Enterprise, I am dismayed by the apparent tone of the planning board/selectmen and hope that my perception is simply a misperception from the articles and not reality. I hope that both projects are fully supported by the town’s leadership because we need businesses to renovate and invest in our town, to help increase our revenue, improve our downtown, and create jobs.

The concern that Cumberland Farms maintain its brick façade, add gable ends, improve its landscaping to keep the architectural style visitors have come to expect is malarkey. Yes, the train station has bricks, but the post office has 1970 style rough clapboards, the print shop is blue, the pizza shop is gray, in short, the whole area is a hodgepodge of architectural styles, colors and designs. Freshening up the brick to modernize the look of the Cumberland Farms should not be discouraged and, in my opinion, the planning board should embrace and encourage businesses that wish to invest in our town.

Likewise, the statement that the height of the hotel complex will have a detrimental effect on the character of Buzzards Bay, which Linda Zuern claims is a quaint little Cape Cod town is equally absurd. Buzzards Bay is a mess, as is much of Bourne (e.g., MacArthur Boulevard) and sorely in need of some injection of profitable businesses to help rejuvenate the area. Please don’t tell me that these areas are representative of a quaint Cape Cod town with their failed and crumbling hodgepodge of businesses.

Additionally, profitable businesses employ architects and experts to design and develop their properties to appeal to the public. It is time our leadership stops dictating trivial details to these experts on what will look appropriate for our community.

Personally, the lost revenue this town could attain saddens me. My family and I have to travel to Wareham, Hyannis, Falmouth or any of a number of nearby towns to get the basic goods my family needs. Thankfully, Market Basket was not told that their business was not in keeping with the character of a Cape Cod town.

When are we going to change our behavior, support businesses that wish to invest in our community so that we can grow our revenue to support our schools and infrastructure? Bourne has some beautiful places, but its main streets will never resemble a “quaint Cape Cod town,” and that is fine. What we do not want is for Bourne to deteriorate further.

We need to support our community by supporting businesses and creating jobs so that we can attain median household incomes that are not $12k less than the state average (source: http://www.city-data.com/city/Bourne-Massachusetts.html). We need to stop claiming to be “quaint” and start revitalizing our town so we are not plagued with failed businesses that are a blemish, i.e., not “quaint.”

I strongly believe that if we support businesses, we can become a destination community, provide both revenue for the town and jobs for our residents, and rise past being an eyesore on the way to “quaint” towns down Cape.


Henry Milliken
Elm Avenue
Monument Beach

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