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Planning Board Minutes 07/14/2010

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


DATE:                   July 14, 2010   

TIME:                           7:04 P.M.

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin, Peak, Seidman, Stephenson
                                General Public:  Peter Scott

BILLS:          Patricia Harris...................................$879.60
                        Verizon……………………………..$ 52.38
                        DaRosa’s………………….………..$ 45.00
                        Petty Cash (Postage)………………..$   5.00
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the7 July 2010 Meeting Agenda
        2 June 2010     Deferred
           23 June 2010        Deferred
7 July 2010     Deferred


1.  New Town Hall

Mr. Stephenson indicated that he had not had the opportunity to meet with the Building Inspector to discuss the site (i.e. police station) he had recommended for the new town hall, because he was on vacation. Mr. Stephenson planned to meet with Mr. Barwick as soon as he returned.

Mr. Peak informed the Board that they should have some discussion about the old marine hospital on Lagoon Pond Road, because people had brought up the building in related discussions.  Mr. Seidman thought t the costs in purchasing the property and renovating the structure made the option cost prohibitive.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that they should have a list of all the properties they’ve considered as potential sites for the new town hall that included with a detailed summary of the properties’ assets and deficits. Mr. Stephenson mentioned that one of the requirements for the site was that it had to be in town and as the town voters suggested, on town owned land.
If the police station was going to be seriously considered as a potential site for the new town hall, the Board had to take into consideration that the building was far back in the parking lot in an obscure location, and well hidden from public view. Mr. Stephenson thought they could improve the site by creating a public space with a few improvements. He noted that the location allowed them to expand into the comfort station, or lease adjacent space. He liked the ideat that the location was just half a block from Main Street, and within walking distance to the SSA and post office.

Mr. Adrin speculated that it would be very expensive, because they’d have to renovate the building, and relocate the police department.

Mr. Seidman mentioned that they still had the existing fire station site, in addition to the old marine hospital. Mr. Stephenson agreed, adding that they also had the tennis courts on Center Avenue.  He reminded the Board that the tennis courts was the former site of the town’s old elementary school at the turn of the century.

Mr. Aldrin thought the town hall and town hall annex functions should be consolidated into one building. Mr. Stephenson did not see an issue having the two functions in separate buildings provided they were next to each other. Mr. Seidman inquired if they could consolidate the two at the DPW barn on Spring Street. Mr. Peak reminded the Board that the property was dedicated as a parking lot.

Following additional discussions, the Board agreed to continue the dialogue at their next work session.

2. Fire Station, Beach Road

Mr. Stephenson asked the Board if they had any news with regards to the survey, the Board of Selectmen had agreed to fund.

Mr. Peak recalled that the Board of Selectmen had agreed to secure a survey plan, but were not sure whether they had any discretionary funds available, or if they had to go to town meeting to request the funds. He has not heard anything about the subject since the meeting, and recommended raising the topic at a joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen.

3. Associate Planning Board Members

Mr. Peak inquired if they Board Secretary had contacted the Board of Selectmen to schedule a joint meeting with them in order to fill the vacancy on the Planning Board.

Mr. Seidman offered to contact the Board of Selectmen’s office the following day to inquire about the possibility of having a joint session.

4. Bicycle Paths
RE: Downtown/State Road

Mr. Stephenson reported that Mr. Krystal had mentioned an interest in having a meeting with the Department of Public Works about signage relative to the recent bike accident that resulted in a death. He added that Mr. Krystal had also mentioned about  having a meeting with the Bicycle Committee at the MV Commission.

Mr. Stephenson reported to the Board that he had scheduled an appointment with Mr. London and Mr. Veno at the MV Commission to discuss the very issue, and wanted to solicit the Board’s thoughts and recommendations on the subject. He felt the Town had to prioritize pedestrian circulation, bike circulation and safety, and begin implementing safety measures that will hopefully prevent similar accidents.

Mr. Seidman noted that it was important to understand that it was not an issue that occurred during the summer or when the tourists arrived, because a great number of islanders cycled year-round. He also felt that it  was important to view the issue from a regional perspective.  

Mr. Stephenson agreed, and mentioned that he had given the subject much thought since the horrible accident, and sketched a few plans to demonstrate that there are alternative routes from the Park-N-Ride to the Steamship Authority without having to use State Road as the main corridor.  Board members viewed the sketches outlining the bike routes Mr. Stephenson delineated

During the discussions, he mentioned that the studies he’d reviewed stopped at the Five Corners intersection and did not provide any recommendations to get to the Steamship Authority. The MV Commission’s plan did however lead cyclists from the Steamship Authority to the Veteran’s Memorial Park via Cromwell Lane.

Mr. Seidman was concerned that cyclists had to share the road with motorists on very narrow roads. He observed that motorists do not like to share the roads, and felt they had to separate the cyclists and motorists. Mr. Stephenson noted that they did not have option, because the vast majority of the roads in town were narrow.  He therefore recommended designating certain roads (wider roads) to function as preferred bike routes, so that cars can be steered to alternate streets. According to the sketch the Board reviewed, Mr. Stephenson demonstrated how it could work, if they added a pedestrian walk to the Steamship Authority, improve Cromwell Lane, created a functional waterfront walk (SSA ferry to Beach Road) and developed a pedestrian corridor from Union Street to Beach Road.

Mr. Aldrin inquired if there wasn’t anything they could do to set up bike paths to direct cyclists to safer routes.

Mr. Peak acknowledged that the tragic incident has pressed the town to address the issue, but the truth of the matter was that it did not alleviate the problems that have kept them from providing a solution. Those problems existed, because they were extremely difficult to resolve. He cautioned the Board against rushing into an emotionally driven solution, and the Board agreed.

Mr. Aldrin asked the Board if they could show cyclists the better roads they could use to get them to their respective destinations.

Mr. Peak thought thhey could give cyclists a pamphlet to warn them about the potential safety hazards they faced traveling down narrow roads. He thought the SSA and bike rentals could provide the cyclists the pamphlet at the time they purchased their tickets and or rented bikes.  Mr. Seidman added that the pamphlets could also be available at the informational booth.  

Additional discussions ensued with this regard, and Mr. Seidman entered a motion “suggesting the drafting of a pamphlet for bike safety”.  Mr. Aldrin thought they should amend the motion to include information in the pamphlet that directed cyclists towards specific routes. Mr. Seidman so moved. Mr. Aldrin seconded the revised motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Stephenson indicated that the while the other agencies may  be working on more immediate solution(s), the Planning Board, should direct their energies on the broader issues impacting pedestrian and bicycle circulation and safety in the town independently of  traffic and parking. To do this, he thought they might have to secure the assistance of a  professional consultant.

5. Tisbury Market Place
A. Dunn A. Reid

6. Dan Seidman
RE: Report on William Craffey’s referral to the MV Commission/LUPC Meeting

Mr. Seidman attended the Land Use Planning Committee and reported that they had requested a traffic study of the applicant, who did not appear to have an issue with the request.

During the discussions, Mr. Craffey offered the LUPC a copy of the sale receipts for his pizza parlor in Edgartown. Mr. Seidman noted that he had produced a total of 63 receipts for July 4th, noting that it was his busiest day. The receipts for the day before totaled only 50.

Mr. Seidman did not think the receipts reflected the actual number of car trips, because he surmised that some of the receipts included walk-ins and cyclists.

He further noted that the LUPC had also requested the applicant to provide them with a letter from the property owner and/or manager granting Mr. Craffey the authority to speak on their behalf relative to the additional uses of the property, such as the additional parking space the property owner was offering the Blue Canoe Waterfront Café.

Mr. Seidman indicated that he may have added some confusion to the discussions when he attempted to present his thoughts on the number of car trips and receipts, and wanted an opportunity to explain himself. He also spoke in favor of a non-concurrence.

7. Union Street

Mr. Scott informed the Board that he was disappointed to see that the Board did not follow up on the Union Street project, and inquired if they had postponed the project.  

Mr. Stephenson spoke on the Board’s behalf and explained the situation. He confirmed to Mr. Scott that the Board had every intention of following through.

On a separate noted, Mr. Scott recommended having the Planning Board’s minutes posted on the website. Board members were surprised at the news, but offered to look into the matter, and ask the Board Secretary to follow up.

8. Planning Board Vacancy

Board members were in agreement to nominate Mr. Thompson as their candidate to fill the vacancy on the Planning Board.  Mr. Seidman did not have an issue with the appointment, but expressed concern with Mr. Thompson’s ability to make the meetings on time.

Mr. Thompson replied that he was in the process of a divorce, and attending court on Monday to address the matter, so that by next Wednesday it may no longer be an issue.


1. MV Commission
A. 9 July 2010 Extended Schedule
B. 15 July 2010 Meeting Agenda

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

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:46  P.M.  
                        (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date            Henry Stephenson