In downtown Hyannis, the landscape has changed dramatically. One resident calls it a 'pigpen,' and a commission has been formed to try to protect the small-town charm.
On this day in 1990, the Cape Cod Commission was voted in. The Los Angeles Times reported the event with the headline above and the text of their story continued in a very positive vein:
"People said we're sick of growth and development and we're sick of the dismantling of Cape Cod," says Susan Nickerson, executive director of the Assn. for the Preservation of Cape Cod (APCC), formed in 1968 when residents became alarmed over a proposal to cut a waterway into Nauset Marsh for oil tankers.
Most of those statistic apply to the so-called Upper Cape, the communities around Hyannis and to the west. The Lower Cape, which is the farthest from the mainland and includes more rural areas such as Truro and the art colony of Provincetown, has escaped what one environmental activist called the "schlock" of the Upper Cape.
"The Cape thrives on the building business," says Nick Franco, a Cape Cod developer for 17 years who has projects in Hyannis and Marstons Mills. "The sad part is that there is a very little supply of land. When you take that supply away from developers, there will be a lot fewer homes and they'll be a lot more expensive. A lot of the working people will have to leave Cape Cod."