Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Planning Board Minutes 01/21/2009

P.O. BOX 602
(508) 696-4270


DATE:                   January 21, 2009

TIME:                           7:09 P.M.

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex

ATTENDENCE:             Duart, Peak and Stephenson
                                Israel, Krystal and Wortman
Bugbee, Town Administrator; Loberg, FinCom; Peter Strock, HMC

ABSENT:                 Aldrin, Douglas

BILLS:                  Patricia Harris...................................$871.60
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the January 14, 2009 Meeting Agenda
        14 January 2009         Deferred

APPOINTMENTS:   7:00 PM    Board of Selectmen

1. Town Hall Annex Relocation possibilities
A.      New construction at DPW site
B.      New construction or renovation at the Old Highway Barn Site
C.      Leasing commercial space
D.      Renovating the Nathan Mayhew Building(s)
E.      Leasing, purchasing the Superintendent’s Office
F.      Renovating the current fire station
G.      Retaining offices at the current site

Mr. Peak thanked the Board of Selectmen for joining the Planning Board, noting that the joint session was basically to recap some of the projects they had discussed in the past, and to discuss how they were going to move them forward.
Mr. Israel informed the Board that the Selectmen had submitted a warrant article addressing the Town Hall Annex’ relocation and was unaware that the Planning Board had done the same. He asked the Planning Board how they wanted to proceed.
Mr. Peak mentioned that the Planning Board resubmitted a slightly modified version of the article they withdrew the previous year.  He read the language into the record of the minutes.
Mr. Israel inquired about the Board’s progress in finding alternative arrangements for the Town Hall Annex personnel. Mr. Stephenson replied that the Planning Board had been working on recommendations from a variety of sources, and recently learned about the possible availability of the superintendent’s office. It was an option they were currently exploring.  Mr. Wortman inquired about the property’s assessment, and learned that it was being assessed at $714,800.00.

~Mr. Stephenson understood the superintendent had to secure the endorsement of all six towns. He asked the Selectmen if they would contact town counsel to determine whether or not the Town of Tisbury had a claim on the property.~~~ Mr. Israel directed Mr. Bugbee to locate the deed for the property.~ Mr. Duart offered to meet with Mr. Weiss to inquire about his intentions to relocate the Superintendent’s office, to sell the building, and all of the other pertinent details raised during the meeting. ~Mr. Israel thought the Town of Tisbury may have a right of first refusal.

Mr. Stephenson advised the Selectmen that he had spoken with the Building Inspector about his suggestion to maintained the Town Hall Annex at its current site and was advised that the Town at one time the town had planned to combine all town functions, including the emergency services at this site.  Mr. Stephenson did not~think this was possible any longer with the schematic of the emergency facility and the drainage field’s layout.  He mentioned that he had also spoken with Mr. Barwick about utilizing the old highway barn property down the street as a potential site for the new Town Hall Annex, and was advised that the frame of the building (30’X100’ garage) was sound enough to renovate as an office building for approximately $250,000.00.

Mr. Stephenson mentioned that the Planning Board is considering the construction of a new building at the DPW site for $600,000.00, which could be used for other municipal functions after the annex personnel vacate the premises.

Mr. Israel questioned the logic in adding another major capital expenditure on the warrant. He thought it had the potential of defeating the warrant article they’ve submitted for the construction of the new fire station. He further noted that the school had been expressing an interest in the use of the old highway barn property as a parking lot, which touched upon their concerns with traffic. Mr. Stephenson clarified that the issue was traffic safety, which could be addressed by the proper professionals, i.e. safety engineers. Mr. Israel noted that it was a recurring concern people expressed at their meetings.  Whether these issues were founded or unfounded they could not be ignored. Mr. Bugbee indicated that the school principal, Ritchie Smith believed the use of the old highway barn for additional parking would resolve their concerns with safety, provided the parking lot was properly designed.

Mr. Stephenson informed the Board of Selectmen that the Planning Board had discussed the possibility of leasing commercial space, and have been actively pursuing potential leads. He mentioned that they’ve approached Chris Cottrell at Woodlawn to learn that the commercial space he had advertised was vacant, but currently under lease with the VNA. The VNA is keeping the lease until it expires in June 2009.  Mr. Peak understood that Mr. Cottrell was charging $3900.00/mo. which added up to as much as $40,000.00 - $50,000.00 per year.  The Selectmen thought that was expensive.

Mr. Duart preferred investing in a building. Mr. Peak mentioned that the new construction could be used for other purposes, such as the Tisbury Water Works Department, with whom he planned to meet in February 2009 to discuss the very subject.
Mr. Stephenson indicated that the Water Works Commissioners stated that they needed to expand their facilities to house their equipment.~ He did not think the current site was an appropriate location, and thought it was important to ask the town voters whether it made sense to expand these facilities at their current location or to consolidate the services and repair facilities at the DPW site. Mr. Israel and Ms. Loberg noted that the Water Works Department was required to secure the town voters’ approval for expenditures, even though they managed their own funds. And the arrangement was not changing once they converted to an enterprise zone.

Mr. Duart thought they needed a strategy for the Annex personnel’s temporary relocation if the Superintendents’ Office was found to be suitable for offices.  Mr. Krystal agreed.  He wanted to know if there was a short-term option (period of a year) available to sustain the Annex functions temporarily. ~Mr. Wortman thought the lease would be the cheapest.~ Mr. Israel thought they had to investigate Mr. Weiss’ plans and time frame as soon as possible.   

 Mr. Peak referred the Board of Selectmen to the options that were listed on the agenda, and to review them in the order they were presented to determine which options they wanted to pursue.  He clarified that they included recommendations others have suggested, which may or may not have any merit.  In no way was the Planning Board endorsing a particular option. They were simply being raised for discussion.
A.      New Construction at DPW~~ - Mr. Duart thought the option had potential and should be pursued.

B.      New construction at the old highway barn~–  Mr. Duart did not think the option should be considered any further if it was being considered for the school’s use as a parking lot. Mr. Stephenson agreed.

C.      Lease commercial space
D.      Nathan Mayhew~Buildings

Mr. Stephenson believed the option was somewhat complicated, in that the Trustees were willing to lease the property to the Town in exchange for its renovation. Current estimates for the renovations were as high as $250,000.00. If the Town rented the property for a five-year period it would cost them $50,000.00 to lease per year. Mr. Stephenson did not believe this would benefit the town. Mr. Israel inquired if it would be in the town’s interest to purchase the property. Mr. Stephenson thought that was questionable, because of its location in a residential area. ~ The property’s assessed value was listed as $934,900.00.  Mr. Israel asked that the option be kept on the table.

H.  Mr. Krystal inquired if anyone had any objections to renting trailers at the Council On Aging on a temporary basis.~ Mr. Peak noted that the Town Hall Annex staff, at a meeting were asked for their opinions on their relocation, and asked that whatever the accommodation, it should provide them with no less office space, plenty of parking and that the temporary quarters not become permanent. Mr. Krystal asked that the trailers be added to the list.

Mr. Israel believed they had to know what the Emergency Facility Building Committee’s plans and timetable were, and suggested that they agree on another joint session to continue the discussions. Mr. Krystal agreed and recommended inviting the EFBC Chairman and Fire Chief to the meeting.  

F.  Renovating the Fire Station; - Mr. Stephenson advised the Board of Selectmen that there were many questions whether it was feasible or whether there was sufficient office space to combine both the Town Hall and Town Hall Annex functions in the one building. If they renovated or reconstructed the building, they’d still have to find temporary quarters for the Annex personnel.   

Mr. Stephenson mentioned that the Town could also consider utilizing the property as a parking lot. It would open up the view to the park and provide much needed parking in the downtown area. It did not preclude other municipal uses once the economy recovered.  Mr. Israel questioned whether they could lease the building. Mr. Stephenson noted that the building was in great disrepair to be used in its current condition. All agreed to postpone the discussion until their next joint session.

2. Proposed warrant Article

Mr. Peak noted that he did not see the Board of Selectmen’s article or Mr. Weiss’ article on the Town Clerk’s notice. Mr. Bugbee confirmed that he did not submit an article addressing the Town Hall Annex. Mr. Israel thought they should verify Mr. Weiss’ intention to vacate the premises.  Mr. Krystal noted that Mr. Weiss was either arranging or in the process of hiring someone to clean up the records in the building.  Mr. Peak added that it was possible that the article has not been submitted because Mr. Weiss still had time to submit the non-appropriating article for Special Town Meeting.

3. Owen Little Way

Mr. Stephenson noted that at their last joint session in August 2008, he was of the impression that the Board of Selectmen were going to open up a dialogue with the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club’s Board about transferring the use of beachfront properties.

Mr. Israel had an issue with the proposal because he did not think it was a fair exchange. Mr. Stephenson informed him to the contrary and offered to make a presentation on the information the Planning Board had gathered to date.  He nonetheless thought it was important to move forward. Mr. Stephenson advised the Board if they combined the beachfront properties to make it one consecutive parcel of beachfront property, they could augment or nourish the beach with the dredging spoils from the inner harbor.

Mr. Israel recommended placing it on the warrant as an article. Mr. Stephenson indicated that they were waiting to hear from the Board of Selectmen, who volunteered Mr. Krystal as the key person to contact the Yacht Club’s Board.  Mr. Krystal did not think it was appropriate because he is a yacht club member.  Mr. Israel recommended having the Town Administrator approach him. Mr. Krystal noted that they agreed with the proposal in principle. They were waiting to hear from the town for direction.

Mr. Israel thought the Planning Board could submit a warrant article asking the town to authorize the Board of Selectmen to negotiate an agreement with the Yacht Club to swap the use of waterfront beaches.

Mrs. Loberg thought they should approach the Harbor Management Committee with their proposal. Mr. Israel questioned the need to do this, when they were not making any improvements.  

Mr. Stephenson verified if the Selectmen were recommending the Planning Board to submit a warrant article first before approaching the Yacht Club, and holding a hearing only as a courtesy. And this was confirmed.

Mr. Peak noted that there were ongoing issues the Planning Board would like to address relative to the sidewalk, parking, signage, etc. and hoped they would be able to continue the discussions at their next meeting.

Mrs. Loberg thought the Board of Selectmen had approved the relocation of the sign, and assigned the task to Mr. LaPiana.  Mr. Krystal thought it was important to make the area safer.

Mr. Stephenson noted that part of the issue dealt with poor interdepartmental communication, and planning the types of improvements that were needed to make beach safer such as crosswalks and sidewalks. Abutters only concern with the improvements is that they want the town to make every effort to respect the existing vegetation along the corridor.

4. Union Street traffic reversal
Mr. Wortman thought they had agreed to try the experiment out. Mr. Israel recalled that they planned to inaugurate the pilot project in January, and hold a hearing on the proposal prior to that.

Mr. Krystal also noted that they had set up a three or five member committee to investigate the proposal before they implemented the pilot project.  It was uncertain whether the committee was instituted.

Mr. Israel was of the opinion that if the Planning Board wanted to hold a hearing, that was fine with him but he wanted the Board to move on the project by the end of March at the latest.

Mr. Wortman agreed and wanted to have it completed by May 1st.  Mr. Israel suggested having Mr. Bugbee set up the public hearing as soon as possible.  He was not sure that he was in favor of the overall concept, but he was willing to give it a try.

Mr. Krystal noted that the experiment was going to impact the Sovereign Bank’s Drive-Thru on Union Street. He thought it important to invite Mr. Paul Watson and others impacted by re-routing traffic.

5. Community Vegetable Garden at the Southwest Triangle

Mr. Stephenson indicated that he had spoken with Messrs. Barwick, LaPiana, and Pachico to inquire if there was any reason they could not have a community garden behind the Town Hall Annex on the leaching field. And they did not think there was an issue.

Mr. Israel thought they’d have to contact DEP for a determination, and saw no harm in having the community garden and growing vegetables in the southwest wedge by the dog park.  Mr. Stephenson noted that the area Mr. Israel selected was mapped out as a sensitive core habitat on the island.  Mr. Israel threatened to abandon the project. Mr. Peak indicated that the potential harm to clearing the area for a community garden was eradicating the forest.  Mr. Israel noted that they were talking about scrub oak. Mr. Peak mentioned that the land was never farmed.

Mr. Krystal questioned whether it would be safe for the community to use while the fire station was being constructed. Mr. Wortman inquired if they could locate the garden further back from the construction activity. Mr. Krystal thought it had the potential of interfering with the emergency facility’s functions.

The discussions that followed were quite contentious, and so the Board members opted to move on to another topic.

6. Boch Park

Mr. Krystal spoke with Mr. Boch Jr. about meeting with the Town, and he expressed an interest in meeting with the Planning Board to learn about the land uses that are permitted or prohibited on his  property.  Mr. Krystal mentioned that the discussions would have to include Mr. Wakely, and Mrs. Boch, both of whom have an interest in the property.  He nonetheless offered to make sure that the meeting occurs sometime in February 2009.

Mr. Israel advised the Board that he hoped Mr. Boch would consider allowing public access to the beach from his property and some type of commerce to benefit the town.

Mr. Wortman inquired if Mr. Boch had expressed an interest in selling the property.  Mr. Krystal replied in the negative.

7. Interdepartmental communication

The Board of Selectmen and Planning Board members agreed that they both had to improve their communication with each other to prevent any misunderstandings. Past grievances were discussed with the understanding that every effort was to be made to avoid any future issues.

The Planning Board’s issue was that they wanted the Town to discuss all land use related topics with them, so that they could coordinate their efforts.  Mr. Peak commented that some of the warrant articles merited longer term planning before they are included on the warrant to give the topic and the people a fair understanding.

There being no further discussions, Mr. Israel thought they should hold another joint session to continue working on some of the projects. Planning Board members agreed and it was agreed that their next joint meeting would take place on 18 February 2009 at 7PM in the Town Hall Annex.

Mr. Wortman entertained a motion to adjourn the Board of Selectmen’s meeting with the Planning Board.  Mr. Israel so moved.  Mr. Krystal seconded the motion, which motion carried.   3/0/0  

The Board of Selectmen and Mrs. Loberg departed at 9:04 PM

8. Moxie Café
RE: Proposed new building’s architect (MV Commission Meeting)

Mr. Stephenson informed the Board of Selectmen that the Planning Board was unaware of the applicant’s proposal to construct a two-story restaurant and two living units until they received a notice from the MV Commission. He thought it would have been helpful if the Building Inspector notified them of the application so that they had sufficient time to comment on the proposal prior to the applicant’s hearing.

Mr. Israel informed the Planning Board that the applicant’s were granted the water usage they had requested of the Sewer Review Committee the other evening. It concerned him that the Committee was allowed to grant these requests without any consideration to the sewer treatment facility’s capacity, as long as they met certain criteria. If they reached 80% of the facility’s capacity, DEP was going to make them expand their operations.

Mr. Stephenson submitted a copy of Mr. Breese’s architectural rendering of the new Moxie Café building that was currently under review by the MV Commission. He noted that the design appeared to be a very decorated cottage, similar to the architect that was prevalent in the Town of Oak Bluffs.

He mentioned that he did two separate studies of the proposed structure. In the first study he maintained the exact layouts, but revised the elevations to make them consistent with the simple gabled, 2 1/2 story buildings throughout the Business I District.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that there were some odd features about the building he had addressed in the revised elevations to make the building much more consistent with the architectural style in the area.

Mr. Stephenson thought the mixed use was appropriate for the district, and wanted to see the project move forward so that the applicant(s) could construct the building and open for business by the summer season.

Mr. Duart inquired if Mr. Stephenson planned to attend the Commission’s meeting tomorrow to voice his concerns.  Mr. Stephenson thought he would, but asked if the Planning Board would also consider writing a letter to the Commission expressing their concern with the design of the building. Mr. Duart so moved.  Mr. Peak seconded the motion, which motion carried.  3/0/0

9. Backus Road Association
RE: Recommendations

Mr. Peak was asked to review the two-highlighted sections of the Backus Family Homeowner’s Association.~ It appeared the document gave the family the ability to dissolve the association in violation of the subdivision rules and regulations. It also gave the applicants the right to extinguish the subdivision road.  


1.  Marion Mudge, Town Clerk
A.      Annual Town Meeting Warrant Articles
B.      Proposed Site Plan – Conceptual Design Tisbury Fire Station

2. MV Commission
A.      16 January 2009 Extended Schedule
B.      22 January 2009 Meeting Agenda

3. Comprehensive Environmental Inc.
RE: MA Municipal Association Conference Exhibit

4. American Planning Association
RE: 2009 National Planning Conference

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:45P.M.            (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    L. Anthony Peak