October 12 - 1988: Cape Cod calls for building halt

Polls show residents overwhelmingly in favor of the moratorium
Residents were in favor of the moratorium

1988: And you think the Cape is too crowded now

Residents overwhelmingly in favor of the moratorium

In 1988, a single-sentence moratorium to cap construction on the Cape was suggested by conservation groups and according to polls, supported by many residents.

The Cape was a quiet backwater until after the end of World War II in 1945 and the advent of the interstate highway system.

Between 1910 and 1940 the Cape's population only grew by 10,000, but since then it exploded by over 500 percent to it's present 215,000.

The chart on the right shows the population growth by each decade in the past century. The right column shows the percentage growth from the previous decade. Click on the graph for more demographics.

Now, for the first time in over 100 years, the Cape population is shrinking, down 7,00 in that last ten years.

The New York Times followed the proposal in an article that begins below:

Scenic Cape Cod Is Split By Call for Building Halt

A proposal to halt development for at least a year on Cape Cod bitterly split residents of this famous resort and retirement area.

The Cape is one of New England's fastest-growing regions. But in recent years, many in Massachusetts have grown concerned that the building boom from Bourne on the west to the peninsula's tip at Provincetown is threatening the picturesque terrain and tranquil way of life.

That concern seems to have been tapped by a one-sentence proposal to consider a moratorium on Cape development. The proposal is buried in the back of a preliminary report by a state environmental commission chaired by former Senator Paul Tsongas.

Polls taken by The Boston Globe and The Cape Cod Times show residents overwhelmingly in favor of the moratorium. Conservation groups have taken up the idea and are collecting signatures to try to place a moratorium proposal on the November ballot as a non-binding resolution.

Read the entire story here.


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