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Planning Board Minutes 03/24/10

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


DATE:                   March 24, 2010  

TIME:                   7:08 P.M.

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin, Peak, Seidman, Stephenson and Thompson
ABSENT:                 Duart

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex

BILLS:                  Patricia Harris...................................$879.60
                                Realty Publishing Center Inc………$150.00
                                Daniel Seidman ……………………$  56.33
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the 10 March, 2010 Meeting Agenda
                                24 February 2010        Deferred        
 3 March 2010  Deferred
10 March 2010  Deferred


7:08 PM Fred LaPiana Re: Town Meeting Warrant Articles (Presentations)
a.      Connector Road
b.      Owen Little Way
Mr. Stephenson informed the Board that he had invited Mr. LaPiana, the DPW~Director to~coordinate the presentation of joint warrant~articles. He reminded the~Board that the Planning Board was sponsoring the exchange of the use of their~beach access at~Owen Little Way with the Vineyard~Haven Yacht Club's beachfront.~In a related article the DPW was asking the town for funds to repair and potentially extend the stormwater outfall pipe at the beach access so that it functioned more as a~swimming pier.~If they were to see the project move forward they had to coordinate or assist the DPW.~He~asked Mr. LaPiana if he would advise him what his department's plans were for the project.
Mr. LaPiana~replied that the DPW had submitted a warrant article requesting $10,000.00 to repair the outfall pipe and additional funds to design the extension. The request for the repairs was endorsed by the Finance Capital Program &Plans Committee. They rejected the funds for the expansion because they did not think it was necessary. Mr. LaPiana indicated that he did not want to argue the issue, and suggested re-addressing the project incrementally, so that while they asked for the funds to repair the pipe, they could use the opportunity to introduce the concept of the design and extension at town meeting.
Mr. Stephenson inquired if Mr. LaPiana could create a flat and leveled surface on the top that people could walk on as part of the repair.~ Mr. LaPiana replied in the affirmative. Mr. Aldrin suggested linking the repair and extension to the proposal for the swap in beach use.~ Discussions ensued with this regard, and it was agreed that the repair should be discussed separately and on its own merits. Mr. Stephenson and Mr. LaPiana indicated that they should inform the town that the repairs~primarily addressed public safety issues. Mr. Seidman concurred.
Mr. Peak inquired if they planned to have a power point presentation for either article, because they had to inform Deborah Medders, the Town Moderator in advance.~ Mr. Stephenson thought they could reproduce~some of the slides in the power point file~on~8.5"X11" handouts.~ Mr. Peak questioned the rationale in expending time, effort and paper to reproduce what was already available in the power point presentation.~ He noted that they could have a couple of pictures depicting the existing and proposed conditions.~ Mr. Seidman agreed. Mr. Stephenson accepted the recommendation.
Mr. Stephenson thought the town should have a workable visual and audio system they could all use at town meeting if they need to make a presentation.~~Mr. Peak thought it should already be made available at this day and age.~ Mr. Stephenson offered to contact the audio visual technician at school to see if such a system was available.
Mr. Peak informed the Board that he had met with the Finance &~Advisory Committee to discuss their warrant articles, which were going to be recommended at town meeting.
Additional discussions ensued with regards to storm water at Owen Little Way, storm water mitigation, and possibly talking to the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club about retaining the storm water from their property on their property.
Connector Road
Mr. Stephenson asked Mr. LaPiana for a progress report. Mr. LaPiana indicated that the designers had addressed the left hand turn from Edgartown Road to the connector road with a third lane, which will be included in the design. Mr. LaPiana added that he had also~met with the MV~Hospital's Board to ask for an easement across a corner of their property off Breakdown Lane~He mentioned that the hospital was receptive to the request. Douglas Hoehn, SB&~H, Inc. has been asked to draft the plan and language for the easement.
Mr. Stephenson inquired if the bike path system was going to be included in survey plan for the connector road. Mr. LaPiana replied in the affirmative. Mr. Stephenson noted that he wanted the third prong to the connector road system (Evelyn Way) reflected in the plans.~ Mr. LaPiana thought they could add a line.
Mr. LaPiana informed the Board that he presented the town's plans for the connector road to the staff at District Five of the Massachusetts State Highway, and was happy to report that they had endorsed the project.~ Mr. LaPiana felt they had an excellent chance at obtaining the public funds they needed to construct the road, noting that project included the installation of utilities, such as a dry sewer pipe,~water and fiber optics. It also appeared that the town could have half of the expenditures spent for the design of the connector road reimbursed through a different public source. Mr. LaPiana did not envision an issue with the articles he had submitted for the connector road, because all he was asking the town was to authorize their application for the grant, to construct the road and to solidify all easements.
Mr. Stephenson thought it was just as easy to show illustrations of the connector road in color, the engineering plan of the road, and segments of the engineering~plans reflecting the outlets and intersections. Mr. Peak thought Mr. Stephenson should also include an illustration of the trailers, because he beleived it was going to be part of the conversation at town meeting. Town residents may want to know how they were going to access the Park-N-Ride, the dog pond, etc.
Mr. Stephenson volunteered to meet with the DPW~Commissioners to review the illustrations and coordinate the presentations of the articles.

8:00  PM        Public Hearing Cont: Proposed ZBL Amendment of S. 04.03.13, Accessory
Attendance:  None

The continuation of the 24 March 2010 hearing was duly opened at 8:00 PM. Mr. Peak, Co-Chairman read the meeting notice into the minutes, and explained that the draft language was the final version the Zoning Board of Appeals endorsed at their meeting on 18 March 2010.

The final version was accepted as a late filed warrant article by the Finance & Advisory Committee, who also voted to recommend the proposed bylaw amendment.

Mr. Peak noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals preferred to retain the use of the percentage, and decided to increase the size of the accessory apartment from 20% of the total habitable square footage of the building to 40%, not to exceed a maximum of 600 sq. ft.  in order to maintain the subordinate status of one of the units.

Mr. Seidman inquired if they had discussed a maximum allowance of 800 sq. ft.  Mr. Peak replied in the affirmative, but noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals voted against it.

Mr. Peak informed the board that the Board of Appeals had eliminated the language pertaining to seasonal rentals and turning vehicles on their properties, and added language specifying that the property owners had to reside in one the units.

There being no further comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to close the public hearing and to enter into deliberations.  Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, which motion carried.   4/0/0

The hearing was closed at 8:03 PM

8:03  PM       Deliberations: Proposed ZBL Amendment of S. 04.03.13, Accessory

Mr. Peak informed the Board that the state statute requires a recommendation from the Planning Board on any bylaw amendment at town meeting.  He asked the Board if they had any comments or recommendations.

Mr. Stephenson moved to support the Zoning Board of Appeals’ proposed bylaw amendment for accessory apartments.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion. And the motion carried.

There being no further comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to close the deliberations. Mr. Aldrin so moved. Mr. Stephenson seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  m/s/c    4/0/0  

The deliberations were closed at 8:05 PM.


1.  Douglas Hoehn
a. Estate of Rodman Backus (Form A)

Mr. Peak wanted the opportunity to review Rhonda Backus’ Decision to see if there were any restrictions they had to be aware of.  He asked that the topic be added on next week’s agenda.

b. Paul Kaplan’s request for a response

Mr. Peak read Mr. Kaplan’s email to the Board explaining that while he did not have an issue complying with the removal of the two trees from his property, he was concerned about removing the four other trees that were not on his property, because it left him open to a potential lawsuit.

If the Planning Board is of the opinion that all six trees lie within the legal right of way,  he will remove the trees at their direction and by their authority. All he simply asked for was a confirmation.

Mr. Peak commented that the Planning Board was not in the position to indemnify Mr. Kaplan, even though he believed Mr. Kaplin was within his right to make the necessary improvements to the road.

Mr. Seidman inquired if this meant that Mr. Kaplan could improve a road that crossed over other people’s property. Mr. Peak replied in the affirmative, explaining that Mr. Kaplan has the right to make the necessary improvements to the road to gain access to his property, as long as it was within the layout of the road.

Mr. Peak understood Mr. Kaplan’s concern, but felt that Mr. Kaplan could have written  his neighbors to explain to them that the Planning board was asking him to trim a few trees at the end of the road to improve the sight line distances. The improvement would benefit everyone on the road.

Before issuing Mr. Kaplan an official response, he wanted to confer with town counsel.

2. Union Street

Mr. Stephenson wanted to discuss the possibility of scheduling a public meeting as soon as possible.  Mr. Peak thought they should wait until after town meeting. Mr. Seidman agreed with Mr. Peak.

3. JC Murphy, Attorney
RE: Taking of private property illegally

Mr. Peak explained that Mr. Murphy was accusing the Planning Boards of the towns of Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and West Tisbury of using the concept of ancient ways to give them the prerogative to take away the use of peoples’ properties. . It appeared from his email to the Board that  Mr. Murphy wanted them to take note of his opinion as a way of reinforcing his opinion.

Mr. Stephenson did not agree nor wanted to give Mr. Murphy the impression that the Planning Board agreed with his opinion. Mr. Seidman agreed.

4. Beer and Wine Licenses

Mr. Stephenson indicated that the Board of Selectmen were looking into regulations governing the issuance of licenses, and learned that they were allowed to issue up to 19 licenses for year-round businesses and an unlimited number of seasonal licenses.

People at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting were concerned about  the temprary licenses’ impact on the year round establishments on Main Street.

The previous night’s discussions apparently prompted a reporter from the Vineyard Gazette to call Mr. Stephenson to ask if the town had ever considered whether or not there would be a large scale impact on land use resulting from beer and wine licenses, and if he was aware of a sudden increase in the number of applications for new restaurants.

Mr. Stephenson thought it interesting that the Planning Board has never had an official opinion on the subject, but felt that they might have to look into the matter if the town ever passes the article.

Mr. Aldrin thought the Board of Selectmen should consider having a separate advisory committee work on a policy and regulations.

5. Community Preservation Committee
RE: Robert Aldrin’s report

Mr. Aldrin updated the board on the Committee’s recommendations for CPA funds, all of which were supported and recommended by the Finance and Advisory Committee.

The bulk of the funds ($144,000.00) were going the Dukes County Affordable Housing Authority for rent subsidies. Mr. Aldrin believed that the topic and dollar amount was going to be somewhat controversial, based on FinCom’s discussions.  Part of the issue was that they did not know what portion of the funds were going to rent subsidies or administrative fees.

Mr. Aldrin noted that this was the CPC’s 5th year, which meant that the town could dissolve them if they chose to do so.  Mr. Stephenson understood that it may not be as beneficial to the towns because they state’s share of funds has decreased substantially.

Mr. Aldrin commented that they were currently receiving a 30% state match, but that that figure could go up to 50% in the third round.


Mr. Peak and Mr. Seidman entered a report of the topics that were discussed in the sessions they attended. Board members were advised that there were revisions to the Open Meeting Law and the need to develop an inventory of the infrastructure and to find ways to decrease fuel consumption by 25%, for which there are grants available.


1. Tisbury Board of Selectmen
A. April 6, 2010 Special Town Meeting Warrant
B. April 13, 2010 Annual Town Meeting Warrant

2. Oak Bluffs Planning Board
RE: Public Hearing Notice (Wind Energy Regulations)

3. Edgartown Planning Board
A. Public Hearing Notice –  ZBL Amendment – Flood Plain District
B. Public Hearing Notice – Elevated Decks & Porches

4. MV Commission
A. 3-17-2010 Staff Report re. Sam Dunn
B. MV Commission’s Newsletter, January-March 2010
C. Island Towns’ regulations for wind energy
D. 19 March 2010 Extended Schedule

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:20 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    Henry Stephenson