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Planning Board Minutes 03/31/2010

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


DATE:                   March 31, 2010  

TIME:                           7:15 P.M.

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin (arrived at 7:26 PM), Peak, Seidman, Stephenson
and Thompson

BILLS:                  Patricia Harris...................................$879.60
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the 24 March 2010 Meeting Agenda
                                24 February 2010        m/s/c           4/0/0
3 March 2010           m/s/c           4/0/0
10 March 2010          m/s/c           4/0/0
24 March 2010  m/s/c           4/0/0


7:15 PM Public Hearing – ZBL Amendment of Sections 09.05 (Flood/Storm
District) and 09.06 (Flood Plain District)
Attendance: None

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:15 PM. Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak read the hearing notice into the minutes, noting that the Board Secretary had posted a sign at High Point Lane to inform the public of the change in venue..

Mr. Peak noted for the record that the sponsors of the bylaw amendment were not present to make the presentation, but was advised that the Board of Selectmen had requested the revisions to comply with FEMA’s request.

FEMA had apparently revised the flood zone maps and was asking every town in the Commonwealth to reference the revision in their regulations.  Without the amendment, coastal property owners would not have access to flood insurance.

FEMA via Jo-Ann Taylor, at the MV Commission reviewed Tisbury’s regulations and recommended the revisions that were incorporated into the draft. They did not see the need for the two sections, and recommended deleting section 09.06.  Section 09.05 incorporated the salient points in section 09.06 and included the reference to the new flood maps.  The current draft was review by town counsel and resubmitted to the Planning Board for their review.

Mr. Peak explained the situation to the Finance & Advisory Committee and was advised that without the amendment, the town faced serious consequences. They understood the situation, and voted to accept the bylaw amendment as a late file article for Special Town Meeting.

Mr. Peak did not know what the Board of Selectmen was planning for the presentation at Special Town Meeting, but noted for the record that the Planning Board was solely responsible for entering a report to recommend or not to recommend the bylaw amendment.

Board members were asked for comments, and there being none, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to close the public hearing, and to immediately enter into deliberations.  Mr. Stephenson so moved.  Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, which motion carried.  The hearing was duly closed at 7:22 PM

7:22 PM Deliberations – ZBL Amendment of Sections 09.05 (Flood/Storm
District) and 09.06 (Flood Plain District)

The deliberations of the previously held public hearing was opened at 7:22 PM. Mr. Peak asked the board if they had any questions relative to the proposed amendments.

Following a brief explanation of the necessity for the revisions, Mr. Stephenson moved to endorse the bylaw amendment as written, and to enter a recommendation at Special Town Meeting.   Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  3/0/0

Mr. Peak entertained a motion to close the deliberations. Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  3/0/0

The Planning Board’s regularly scheduled meeting resumed at 7:24 PM


1.  Douglas Hoehn
a. Estate of Rodman Backus (Form A)
b. Paul Kaplan’s request for a response

a. Board members were advised that Mr. Backus’ widow was interested in dividing the house lot on Pine Street into two lots.

Mr. Aldrin inquired if it was something they could consider given that the subdivision was endorsed with the waivers that were allowed as a Small Project submittal.  Mr. Stephenson did not see an issue with the proposal.  Mr. Peak concurred, provided the road was adequate enough.

Mr. Aldrin noted the road was somewhat narrow, and should be a consideration. Mr. Stephenson did not have an issue with density. Mr. Seidman agreed. He did not think density was the issue, it was the adequacy of the road.

Mr. Peak thought it was something they had to look. Interestingly, he noted that they did not include the condition they normally applied to similar subdivisions that restricted the further development of the lots.

Mr. Peak recommended a pre-application conference with Mr. Hoehn so that he could bring a plan illustrating an approximate location of the lot and its access for an opinion on the adequacy of the road. And the Board agreed.  

b. Mr. Peak read Mr. Kaplan’s email to the Board. Mr. Seidman did not believe they had any authority to indemnify Mr. Kaplan in a matter involving a private road.  Mr. Stephenson concurred, and thought they should advise Mr. Kaplan that it was a private matter he had to address before they could entertain his proposal for an ANR.

Mr. Peak thought they were obligated to protect the town’s interests and recommend that Mr. Kaplan make the necessary arrangements to improve the road to make it adequate for ANR purposes.  As far as he was concerned, Mr. Kaplan has rights in the road that allows him to make the necessary improvements within the road layout, even though the property is technically owned by the abutting land owners to address safety concerns.

Mr. Peak offered to respond to Mr. Kaplan’s email on the Board’s behalf to convey their recommendation. Mr. Seidman reiterated that the response should clearly state that the issue was a private matter Mr. Kaplan had to resolve. In their opinion, the road was presently inadequate for ANR purposes.

2. Warrant Articles

Owen Little Way

Mr. Stephenson, Planning Board Co-Chairman informed the Board that he had worked on concise illustrations for their warrant articles that he wanted to share with the Board with regards to the exchange of use in beaches at Owen Little Way.  Discussions ensued with regards to the information Mr. Stephenson was going to present at Town Meeting, and it was decided that the presentation should be kept brief and concise.

Additional discussions ensued how the discussions could lead to a related warrant, such as the repair of the storm water outfall pipe at Owen Little Way.  Mr. Stephenson wanted to let town voters know that additional repairs will be forthcoming in the future to improve the outfall pipe so that it could be used as a pier.  In an aside, Mr. Stephenson informed the Board that the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club’s Commodore had replied to an email he sent him about their proposal and warrant articles expressing some concern about their plans for improving and extending the pier, because it created a hazard for the novice boaters.   

Mr. Aldrin recommended against the use of the word “pier” since it was not part of the proposal.

Mr. Stephenson also noted that the Yacht Club was planning on re-installing the water fountain for the swimmers.

Connector Road/Shared Use Paths

Mr. Stephenson noted that the article(s) pertaining to the connector road (and bile paths) were going to be presented at the Special Town Meeting, because they did not involve any funds.  During the presentation of the slides he planned to use at Special Town Meeting, Board members unanimously recommended against presenting or discussing the third outlet on Evelyn Way, until it was a definite.

The Planning Board thought it would be much more prudent to avoid any controversy on town floor. And Mr. Stephenson acquiesced. Mr. Peak thought the town voters would be best served if they were informed that they had completed the engineering design for the connector road for which 90% of the costs could be secured via grants.

During the discussions, Mr. Stephenson expressed a concern that if the town voted on the articles, the grants were awarded, and the road was constructed as designed, no one was not going to pursue the third outlet on Evelyn Way. Mr. Peak inquired if anyone in town was assigned the task.  Mr. Stephenson replied that the Town Administrator was assigned the task of working with Town Counsel to clarify who exactly owned Evelyn Way. Its been a couple of years, and they were no closer to resolving the issue.

Board members were advised that Mr. LaPiana wanted to display a couple of slides illustrating the third lane on Edgartown and State Roads they were constructing at the outlets. They were not made available to him as of yet, and anticipated that he would have them in time for the presentation to the DPW Commissioners on Monday evening, 5 April 2010.   Mr. Peak thought Mr. LaPiana should contribute to the presentation to explain the acronyms that were constantly being used in reference to the grants, and to clarify to the town voters what portion of the road’s design was being funded by the grant (s), and what remained unfunded (such as portions of the bike path)

Bike Easements off Beach Road

Mr. Stephenson had an illustration for Mr. Chris Fried’s warrant article, in which he was asking the town their permission to secure easements that would allow them to create a connector path through the Tisbury Market Place to connect the bike paths on Beach Road and Lagoon Pond Road.

3. Planning Board Meeting Schedule

Mr. Peak noted that its been the Board’s practice to hold their meetings during the Special Town Meeting and Annual Town Meeting to comply with to the Open Meeting Law, in case they had to discuss a subject for an official opinion.

Mr. Seidman questioned whether they should also hold their regularly scheduled meetings on the following days. Mr. Peak explained that the Board normally cancelled the meetings on the following night.  Mr. Aldrin agreed, noting that it was also possible that the Special Town Meeting and Annual Town Meeting may run into the following night, so that it conflicted with the Board’s meeting Schedule.

Mr. Peak entertained a motion, based on the Board’s discussions to revise the Planning Board meeting schedule to reflect the dates of April 6 and April 13, 2010 at the Tisbury School Gymnasium at 6:45PM, and to cancel their meetings on April 7 and April 14, 2010. Mr. Seidman so moved.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 3/0/0

Mr. Stephenson informed the board that he wanted to approach a subject he has raised in the past, sometime after town meeting. He wanted the Board to thing about revising their regular schedule so that they did not meet every week. It would free  up some of their time to pursue other projects, and structure their meetings to make them just as productive.   Board members were open to the suggestion.


1.  MV Commission
a. 26 March 2010 Extended Schedule
b. 1 April 2010 Meeting Agenda
c. Printed version of the Island Plan

2. American Planning Association
RE: Zoning Practice, March 2010

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:45 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    Henry Stephenson