By K.C. Myers

Joseph Days, owner of Days' Cottages, a family business in North Truro, likes the rural nature of the town.

TRURO - You don't need to tell anyone with a Truro address they live in one of the best-loved towns on Cape Cod.

In a survey by two county agencies, 94 percent of Truro residents rated their town a good or excellent place to live.

That means that residents of Truro, the Cape's smallest town, were the most satisfied Cape Codders, along with residents of Dennis and Orleans.

And Truroites weren't surprised.

"I agree 100 percent with the study and do you know why? Because Truro won't allow the building that other towns allowed," said Barbara Golding, a resident for 30 years. She works as a hypnotist from her home.

Truro has the most protected open space on the Cape. A full 68 percent falls within the Cape Cod National Seashore and is therefore protected forever.

The town's Copmprehensive Plan states that the town could double in population by the time all building parcels are full.

But that would bring the population to a mere 3000; the current year-round population is 1573.

"I like the way the town is set up, it's rural," said Joseph Days, owner of Days' Cottages, a family business in North Truro. "You get enough excitement in the summer to quench your appetite and then when you start getting sick of people, it's winter."

Most homes built in Truro are second or vaccation homes. According to the Comprehensive Plan, only 87 of the 604 homes built between 1980 and 1990 are year-round residences.

Truro hosts the lowest tax rate on Cape Cod. However, it also has the highest real estate values. The average single family home is $230,355, according to the Cape Cod Commission.

Residents struggle financially with the Capee's third lowest median household income of $28,333. But the lack of jobs helps keep Truro special.

During the past 20 years Barnstable County has grown 93 percent, according to the Truro Comprehensive Plan. Truro during this time grew only 27 percent, it stated.

"The lack of year-round jobs, greater driving distance, and higher cost of housing combined to place the Lower Cape out of the suburban or exurban growth of the last decade," stated the Comprehensive Plan.