FAQs

With a focus on comprehensive planning, economic development and addressing the Cape’s housing challenges, the Planning and Development Department is comprised of four programs: Comprehensive Planning, Regulatory Planning, Community Development, and Economic Development. The divisions work together, and with community partners and other Town departments, to promote comprehensive, sustainable land use and economic development strategies to preserve the character of the Barnstable’s seven villages and improve residents’ quality of life.

The Planning & Development team:

  • Coordinates a long-term vision for the future of the town and its villages;
  • Bridges that long-term vision with the regulatory review of private development; and
  • Coordinates capital improvements towards that overall vision.

CONTACT

The Economic Development program provides professional staff support to implement the Town’s economic development plan.   There are a number of well-suited commercial areas throughout the town that provide the needs for every business sector.

Specific activities of the Economic Development program include promoting Hyannis’ revitalization, collaboration with the Hyannis Area and Cape Cod Chambers of Commerce, the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, planning and study initiatives for Route 132 Regional Commercial area and corridor, Hyannis Harbor and Route 28 corridor.

Business Outreach: Through this initiative we learn about the Barnstable business climate and share the Town’s goals and planning initiatives.  Most importantly we engage in open and honest discussion about how Barnstable fares at being “Open for Business”.  This cornerstone communication strategy is a top priority and businessbarnstable.com is the vehicle for a streamlined business resource center.

Arts and Culture:  There are two cultural districts, in Barnstable Village and Hyannis.  The Harbor Your Arts (HyArts) program is a key component of the Downtown Hyannis revitalization initiative and has stimulated collateral development on Pearl Street, and through the Artist Shanties incubator program, attracting visitors to Main Street and Downtown Hyannis. More information can be found at artsbarnstable.com

  • Barnstable Village
  • Centerville
  • Cotuit
  • Hyannis
  • Marstons Mills
  • Osterville
  • West Barnstable

 

Opening a Business

Any individual, partnership or corporation doing business under a name, other than their own name or incorporated name, must file a business certificate.  The certificate costs $40 and is good for 4 years.  You need to come in to the Town Offices and submit a zoning review form for signoff by the Building Commissioner. This form is then submitted to the Town Clerk’s Office for processing.

File For a Business Certificate

General Services Administration:  Assistance for Disabled Veterans Small Business in Doing Business with the Government  https://www.gsa.gov/small-business/-become-a-gsa-vendor/explore-business-models/-setasides-and-special-interest-groups

National Veteran Owned Business Association (Start-up Assistance) (412) 424-0164  https://navoba.org/

NOLO (Small business law; answers to legal questions)  https://www.nolo.com/

Small Business Administration: Planning Tools

Small Business Administration: Free On-Line Courses for Small Business Start-Ups

Small Business Administration: Business Assistance (202) 205-6773

VA: Center for Verification and Evaluation (866) 584-2344

VA: Small and Disadvantaged Businesses (800) 949-8389

Veterans Services District Office  https://www.town.barnstable.ma.us/departments/veteransservices/

Contact:  Greg Quilty  greg.quilty@town.barnstable.ma.us

To set up a federal tax ID number (also called an Employer Identification Number, or EIN), you can apply online. Or, contact your nearest Local IRS Field Office; call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Hotline at 800-829-4933; or apply the old-fashioned way. The form you’ll need to fill out is IRS Form SS-4.

The local commercial real estate brokers each maintain a listing of available properties for sale or lease. Visit our Commercial Site Finder for more information. 

FY 2021 TAX RATES

TOWN:

  • No Split Rate Residential $9.10
  • 20% Residential Exemption = $108,417 Commercial / Industrial $8.26
  • $986.59 Personal Property $8.26
  • Community Preservation Tax: 3% of the Town Tax

Barnstable FD:

  • Single rate/No exemptions. Residential $2.61 $11.98 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Commercial / Industrial $2.61 $11.12 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Personal Property $2.61 $10.87 (no CPA)

Cotuit FD:

  • Single rate/No exemptions. Residential $1.94 $11.31 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Commercial / Industrial $1.94 $10.45 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Personal Property $1.94 $10.20 (no CPA)

COMM FD:

  • Single rate/No exemptions. Residential $1.39 $10.76 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Commercial / Industrial $1.39 $9.90 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Personal Property $1.39 $9.65 (no CPA)

Hyannis FD:

  • 1.35 split rate/No Exemptions Residential $2.81 $12.18 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Commercial / Industrial $4.54 $13.05 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Personal Property $4.54 $12.80 (no CPA)

Barnstable FD:

  • Single rate/No exemptions. Residential $2.62 $11.99 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Commercial / Industrial $2.62 $11.13 (inc CPA 3%)
  • Personal Property $2.62 $10.88 (no CPA)

Property Look-up 

Assessor’s Office

When you close your business you must cancel your registration with both the federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by following the applicable procedures. MORE INFO HERE

You also need to notify the Town Clerk’s Office of your closing. A $20 discontinuation fee will ensure your business name will not be used and the records reflect accordingly. MORE INFO HERE

PERMITS & LICENSING

Permit Coordinator is responsible for guiding new and relocating businesses through the permitting process, including Site Plan Review.  The first step is to contact Maggie Flynn to discuss the proposed business.

Public Health Division is responsible for public health services including food establishment inspection, fuel storage monitoring, public lodging permitting and inspection, septic system permitting and inspection and public nurse services.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/departments/healthdivision/

Licensing Division is responsible for licensing activities and enforcement, parking citation processing and enforcement, weights and measures activities in the retail marketplace and non-criminal citation administration.  https://www.town.barnstable.ma.us/Departments/LicensingDivision/

Conservation Division is responsible for wetlands and natural resources protection and the management and maintenance of Town of Barnstable Conservation lands.  Programs include Wetlands Protection and Conservation Land Management.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/Departments/Conservation/

Building Department is responsible for the permitting and oversight of all aspects of building construction, zoning enforcement, sign codes, site plan review, and permitting and inspection activities related to electrical, gas and plumbing codes.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/departments/Building/

Regulatory Review provides professional planning support, technical assistance and clerical services to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee, and Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Commission and Appeals Committee. The function provides general advice and assistance on day-to-day zoning, planning and historic issues to Town residents, businesses, and other Town entities. Regulatory Review also provides technical assistance and clerical services for Site Plan Review.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/departments/RegulatoryReview/

Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Commission (HHDC) promotes the preservation of the unique historic character of downtown Hyannis and Hyannis Inner Harbor. The Commission strives to create a desirable place to live, work and enjoy through the preservation, maintenance and improvement of historic vernacular.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/HyannisMainStreet/

Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District (OKH) is designated as the area north of Route 6 (the Mid Cape Highway) from Sandwich to Orleans. The Town of Barnstable OKH Committee reviews applications for any change in the exterior of buildings and structures, landscapes, fences and signs, and applications for new construction or demolition.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/OldKingsHighway/

Planning Board is the permit granting authority for subdivisions and land divisions under the subdivision control law (MGL Chapter 41 Section 81).  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/PlanningBoard/

Site Plan Review is an administrative process established to advise the Building Commissioner. The objective of Site Plan Review is to assure development standards are met in all business, commercial, industrial, and multifamily projects.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/SitePlanReview/

Zoning Board of Appeals is entrusted with the granting of special permits for certain uses and evaluation of requests for variances to the Zoning Ordinance. The Board also decides appeals of administrative officials and is responsible for the issuing of comprehensive permits for affordable housing.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/ZoningBoard/

PROCEDURE FOR SIGNS IN THE HYANNIS MAIN STREET WATERFRONT HISTORIC DISTRICT

Contact the Historic Preservation office located at 367 Main Street (open 8:30 am to 4:30, Monday –Friday, Karen.Herrand@town.barnstable.ma.us  508-862-4064) to schedule your hearing with the Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Commission. Per the ordinance, a minimum of 14 days must pass prior to hearing.

Once the commission has made a favorable decision, there will be a 20 day appeal period. At the end of the appeal period, you may pick up your certificate of appropriateness at historic preservation.

At this point, you may apply for your sign permit with the Building Department. Sign permitting can now be done online.

https://barnstablema.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1083/record-types/6451

Your permit fee will be determined at this time and the sign permit will be mailed to you.

A list of prohibited signs will be given to you.  In the interim, signs may be placed temporarily in the inside of the store, greater than 2 feet from the front window.

Site Plan Review is an administrative process established to advise the Building commissioner. The objective of Site Plan Review is to assure development standards are met in all business, commercial, industrial, and multifamily projects. Site Plan Review is composed of representatives from these Town Departments: Health, Building, Conservation, Planning & Development, and Engineering.  Also included are the fire districts and water and utility purveyors.  https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/SitePlanReview/

Licensing Authority is responsible for balancing the needs of the community with the needs of license applicants. The Licensing Authority holds regular public meetings to hear requests for new and amended licenses and considers impact on neighborhoods, public safety, public order, and compliance with state and local regulations in their decision process.

https://townofbarnstable.us/Departments/LicensingDivision/pageview.asp?file=Applications\Alcohol-Licenses–.html&title=Alcohol%20Licenses%20%20&exp=Applications

The Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District (HHDC) was created in 1996 as part of the ongoing efforts to address revitalization and historic preservation in downtown Hyannis. The HHDC promotes the preservation of the unique historic character of downtown Hyannis and Hyannis Inner Harbor. The Commission strives to create a desirable place to live, work and enjoy through the preservation, maintenance and improvement of historic vernacular.

https://www.townofbarnstable.us/boardscommittees/HyannisMainStreet/

DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

The designation of a Growth Incentive Zone (GIZ) in downtown Hyannis is a streamlined regulatory approach to allow local control by raising Cape Cod Commission Development Regional Impact thresholds. The GIZ allows the Town to direct opportunity to the center of the Village of Hyannis by supporting village-scale density and mixed use zoning furthering a town-wide plan to create a healthy community and a sustainable economy.

1)  The Growth Incentive Zone will allow the Town to direct opportunity to the center of the Village of Hyannis by supporting village-scale density and mixed use zoning furthering a town-wide plan to create a healthy community and a sustainable economy. Downtown Hyannis is an area of Barnstable with existing growth infrastructure and capacity but many underperforming properties. This plan maximizes the infrastructure advantage while minimizing the negative impacts of growth. It highlights the potential for people to live and work on a smaller environmental footprint reinforced by steps taken to offset growth in areas of Town where development threatens those human and environmental measures that determine our quality of life.

2) The Town of Barnstable seeks to enter into Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreements for qualifying projects.

3) HDIP

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes:

  • 7(a) Loan Program
    The 7(a) Loan Program includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. For example, funds are available for loans to businesses that handle exports to foreign countries, businesses that operate in rural areas, and for other very specific purposes
  • Microloan Program
    The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount is $50,000, but the average microloan is about $13,000.
  • CDC/504 Loan Program
    What is the CDC/504 Program? The CDC/504 loan program is a long-term financing tool, designed to encourage economic development within a community. The 504 Program accomplishes this by providing small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization.

A Certified Development Company (CDC) is a private, nonprofit corporation which is set up to contribute to economic development within its community. CDCs work with SBA and private sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses, which accomplishes the goal of community economic development.

Learn more about SBA Loans

ARTS & CULTURE

The Harbor Your Arts (HyArts) program is a key component of the Downtown Hyannis revitalization initiative and has stimulated collateral development on Pearl Street, and through the Artist Shanties incubator program, attracting and retains visitors to Main Street and Downtown Hyannis. More information can be found at artsbarnstable.com

Click here to learn more about the Town of Barnstable’s Arts & Culture Program. 

The HyArts District in downtown Hyannis is home to local artists with seaside shanties, year round artist studios and galleries, free events all year including theater and musical performances alongside Hyannis Harbor, art walks, open studios, art festivals and much more.  These initiatives are key components to the success of the revitalization of downtown Hyannis and has stimulated collateral private development on Pearl and North Streets.  It has become a live/work/play area for residents and a true destination for visitors.  artsbarnstable.com/hyarts-district/

This Town run program provides affordable rental space for Cape Cod artists and artisans to work and sell at these “seaside studios”. This program provides prime visibility and opportunities for artists to gain and improve business, marketing and selling skills, connect with other artists and meet visitors from around the region and the world.

The Bismore Park Shanties are named for the town’s seven villages and each shanty exterior features past and present images of the town of Barnstable’s seven villages. The Harbor Overlook shanties are named for Town of Barnstable beaches: Sandy Neck Beach, Craigville and Keyes. For more information, click here. 

RESOURCES

The Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (HMSBID) is a private nonprofit organization that was established in 1999 in response to the need to carry out the revitalization of downtown Hyannis.  Business Improvement Districts (BID) across the country have been successful in revitalizing downtowns because they are funded by the property owners within the district who provide a dependable revenue stream.  The HMSBID is a special assessment district, enabled by Mass. General Laws Chapter 40 (0) and sanctioned by the local legislative body; fees are binding.  http://hyannismainstreet.com/index.php

Contact: Elizabeth Wurfbain

DOING BUSINESS FOR THE TOWN

The Procurement Office provides purchasing services, expertise, contract support, sourcing guidance, and oversight of the compliance with the Massachusetts Public Procurement Laws for the Town, School Department and Enterprise Accounts.  https://townofbarnstable.us/Departments/purchasing/

Bid and Requests for Proposal (RFP) Here you will find all the Invitations for Bid and Requests for Proposal (RFP) for the Town of Barnstable that are currently available to the public.  http://www.town.barnstable.ma.us/Purchasing/Bids/Bids.aspx

Contact Information:
Amber Patterson, Purchasing Agent/Contract Compliance Officer Amber.Patterson@town.barnstable.ma.us
Tel. 508-862-4741