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The Cape Cod Commission's mission is to protect the unique values and quality of life on Cape Cod by coordinating a balanced relationship between environmental protection and economic progress.

About Us

The Cape Cod Commission is the regional land use planning, economic development, and regulatory agency created in 1990 to serve the citizens and 15 towns of Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

An unprecedented growth boom on Cape Cod in the 1980s prompted the Massachusetts state legislature to pass the Cape Cod Commission Act in 1989. The Act was signed into law by the Governor in January 1990.

The Act found that the region known as Cape Cod (Barnstable County) "possesses unique natural, coastal, historical, cultural, and other values that are threatened by uncoordinated or inappropriate uses of the region's land and other resources." Since 1990, the Cape Cod Commission has: 

  • provided the public with opportunities to voice concerns and ideas on land use policies and issues
  • brought diverse decision makers together to share a regional viewpoint about significant resources
  • pursued a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to planning, environmental protection, and economic development
  • identified regional opportunities to improve infrastructure and make progress on economic challenges
  • built awareness of the community impacts of development of all kinds
  • provided the community with a wealth of data and research
  • established strong partnerships with state and federal agencies and local communities

The Cape Cod Commission is an agency of Barnstable County regional government but is funded separately through the Cape Cod Environmental Protection Fund and supplemented by grants.

The Commission carries out its mission of "keeping a special place special" by leading, supporting, and enforcing the development of regional plans, policies, regulations, and infrastructure to guide and manage growth, and by supporting the 15 Cape Cod towns with professional and cost-effective planning and technical support services.

Through its efforts, the Commission strives to foster a viable year-round economy with thriving economic centers and well-preserved natural habitats and open spaces, a sustainable region with strong intermunicipal coordination and regional infrastructure.

Read more about the Commission's history and its structure.

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