An unprecedented growth boom on Cape Cod in the 1980s prompted the Massachusetts General Court (the 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."
A majority of Barnstable County voters ratified the Act by a special county-wide vote in March 1990. The Cape Cod Commission held its first full-board meeting on April 25, 1990.