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Planning Board Minutes 08/04/2010

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


DATE:                   August 4, 2010  

TIME:                           7:07 P.M.

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin, Peak, Seidman, Stephenson and Thompson

BILLS:                  Patricia Harris...................................$879.60
                                Lancaster Typewriter………………$  95.00
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the  , 2010 Meeting Agenda
                                 2 June 2010            m/s/c   4/0/0
23 June 2010            m/s/c   4/0/0
 7 July 2010           m/s/c   4/0/0
                                14 July 2010            m/s/c   4/0/0

7:07 PM House Business

The Tisbury Planning Board members reviewed their correspondence and bills, accordingly.

7:33 PM Hearing (Cont): Special Permit Application - Island Deli Market, AP 09C11
                Attendance:  Jeffrey Robinson, Linda Sibley, Holly Stephenson

The continuation of the public hearing duly opened at 7:33 PM. The Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak read the notice into the minutes, and noted that the applicant was not present for the discussions.

Board members were informed that the applicant was currently before the MV Commission as a potential Development of Regional Impact, and was not due before the full Commission until August 12, 2010. Ms. Sibley, the LUPC Chairperson indicated that it was tentative at best.

There being no further discussion, Mr. Peak recommended continuing the hearing until September 1, 2010 at 7:15 PM. Mr. Aldrin so moved. Mr. Stephenson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Stephenson advised the Board that there was a possibility that he would not be available that evening, and expressed concern about his absence’s impact on the review process.  Mr. Peak assured Mr. Stephenson that it would not be an issue, because they were meeting with the Board of Selectmen next week to vote on Mr. Thompson’s appointment. Mr. Thompson could participate and vote on the application if they were prepared so, given that he has been present at all of the discussions.

The Planning Board resumed their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:42PM.

7:45 PM Hearing (Cont):  Form C Amendment - Jeffrey Robinson, AP 20A01.1
                Attendance: Jeffrey Robinson, Linda Sibley, Holly Stephenson and Nathaniel

The continuation of the public hearing was duly opened at 7:45PM. Mr. Peak, Planning Board Co-Chairman read the notice into the minutes and reminded fellow board members that they had continued the hearing to give the applicant the opportunity to secure a written comment from the Oak Bluff’s Planning Board, as required by state statute.

Mr. Robinson submitted the letter, which was read in its entirety into the record. It read that the Oak Bluffs Planning Board voted that the proposed access over Upland Drive was acceptable, subject to the three conditions, as follows:
a.      The access will only serve the two residential lots shown on the plan,
b.      The applicant will create the amended Upland Drive Road Association as presented to us, and
c.      Road construction of the continuation of Upland Drive will, at the minimum be consistent with the road construction of the existing Upland Drive.

Mr. Seidman inquired about the purpose for the revisions. Mr. Peak replied that it changed the buildable portion of the lot from an area that was topographically challenged to an area that was much more suited for building purposes.

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

7:50 PM Deliberations:  Form C Amendment - Jeffrey Robinson, AP 20A01.1

Mr. Peak opened the deliberations immediately after closing the aforementioned public hearing at 7:50 PM and began the discussions by explaining that the applicant was amending a previously endorsed subdivision for two (2) lots by shortening the road and relocating the turnaround into a tighter configuration at the narrow end of the triangular shaped lot. He explained that the revision increased the land area of the two lots, and gave the applicant access to land much more suitable for building purposes.

Mr. Peak noticed that the revision did not impact the utility of the access.

There being no comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to approve the amendment to the subdivision decision previously rendered and to allow for the reconfiguration of the road and lots as presented in the subdivision plan. Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion. And the motion carried. 4/0/0

Mr. Peak recommended continuing the deliberations until August 11, 2010 at 7:00PM to review a draft of the revised decision.  The Board agreed, and Mr. Stephenson so moved.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion.  The motion carried 4/0/0

The Planning Board resumed their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:56 PM

7:55 PM Land Use Planning Committee, MV Commission re; Waterfront Commercial
District’s Development
Attendance: Linda Sibley, Chairman; Nathaniel Orleans; Fred Hancock

Mr. Stephenson noted that there was concern about the recent number of applications that were referred to the MV Commission for proposals that were concentrated within an 1/8 of mile of each other. The sudden intensification of activity within a very congested part of town raised questions about their cumulative impact on traffic, parking, pedestrian safety, bike path, etc.  It’s what prompted the LUPC members’ to schedule this appointment. More importantly they wanted to discuss with the Planning Board how they could make sure that these individual applications coalesce into a reasonable cohesive plan.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that he was very interested in discussing how the MV Commission could help the Town utilize the review process to give them the opportunity to develop a common set of policies and strategies to address the applications, and a larger plan for the entire area.

Mr. Hancock mentioned that he wanted to solicit the Planning Board’s opinion on comments made by applicants during the review process relative to wastewater allowances. Applicants were commenting that they were allowed to expand their businesses now, if they did not meet their allowance for wastewater generation.  He thought the comments contradicted the town’s intent.

Mr. Stephenson affirmed Mr. Hancock’s statement. Mr. Hancock understood that the applicants were of the impression that sewer system gave them the ability to expand their businesses. Mrs. Stephenson noted that the applicants may have been perceiving this to be true because the Sewer Review Board has been granting them the ability to increase their seating capacity.

Mrs. Sibley was of the impression that she did not think applicants were being given the flow to expand their businesses in excess of what they were allowed by Title V. It was just the applicant’s were perceiving the situation. The issue was that on allowing applicants to increase their businesses, the Town was unintentionally increasing traffic along the Beach Road corridor. She mentioned that during a hearing, a Tisbury official from the Conservation Commission commented that the sewer system had generated inappropriate development, and contradicted t the town’s promise to the town voters about the sewer system’s sole  purpose to protect the town’s harbor and lagoon. She asked the Planning Board for their comments.

Mr. Stephenson recalled that the sewer system was approved for the purpose of protecting the waters, but not explicitly designed to restrict development.  Mr. Orleans recalled that the current sewer system was the town’s second choice, but that it was approved for the same reasons and under the same conditions. What changed was the development of a Sewer Commission, that’s been making decisions on flow that has led to unforeseen consequences.

Mr. Peak noted that the Sewer Commission was created to operate the sewer system. He recalled that the Commission in turn created the Sewer Flow Review Board to avoid the perception that their votes were politically motivated.  The Sewer Flow Review Board was then responsible for reviewing applications for changes in the allocation. But there was a limit to the increases they were allowed to grant.

Mr. Peak added that the Sewer Commission had monitored the businesses water usage, and developed a policy where they revised the flows to their actual water use, even though they were originally allotted a certain number under Title V.  He argued against it because he did not think they could do this, because everyone on the system were required to pay a betterment fees  It was his opinion that in so doing the Sewer Commission inadvertently depleted the buffer the engineers worked into the sewer system.

Mrs. Stephenson recalled an applicant explain that she had received a letter from the town informing her that she was entitled to additional wastewater flow after this two year assessment.

Mr. Peak thought applicants were required to stay within the wastewater flow they were initially assigned under Title V. He did not have an issue with the expansion of a business i.e. increase in seating capacity, if it was possible without increasing wastewater flow.  He thought part of the issue was that there were people in town who want to necessitate the enlargement of the sewer plant at any cost.

Ms. Sibley noted that one of the applicants’s appeared before the Commission with a proposal several years ago, and was denied the type of development currently under consideration because of its impact on wastewater and traffic. That was no longer the case with the sewer system. Its left the Commission to question whether the town might have inadvertently spur the development of the area that could create a traffic disaster.

Mr. Stephenson acknowledged that there was an undesirable effect to traffic and parking in the area, and asked the members of the LUPC if there was any way they could regulate the level of development in the area. He inquired if they had the authority or resources to do that.

Mrs. Stephenson noted that the recent applications for take-outs and push carts had an impact on traffic, and should be considered in the entire equation. Ms. Sibley added that should add “inadequate parking”.

Based on the discussion, the four applications, and the existing conditions on Beach Road, Mr. Orleans inquired “if there was anything the Planning Board, the MV Commission or a combined effort of both parties to slow down the current situation, not the planning issue”.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if there was anything the MV Commission could do. Ms. Sibley replied that the MV Commissioners could deny the applications because of their impact to traffic. She indicated that they could deny the applications until they’ve developed a comprehensive plan for the area. She asked the Planning Board for direction.

Mr. Seidman did not have an issue saying “no” to an increase in density, if it proved harmful to the waters, traffic, etc. They could not ignore the cumulative impact of all four applications, irrespective of wastewater flow.

Mr. Stephenson thought he’d like to have the MV Commission to get basic data on traffic, parking, etc. for the entire area, and compile it in such a way that they could make a decision.  He complained that applicants were submitting applications to the Planning Board without a proper site plan for their own properties. If possible, he asked the MV Commission if they could stall the review process to give them time to study the area. He noted that the summer season was almost over, so that the applicant’s could not exercise their permits until next year. It would provide them ample time to address the issues presented by the applications.

Additional discussions ensued with this regard, and Ms. Sibley thought the Planning Board had to consider if they wanted the type of development the applicants were proposing.  She asked if the proposed uses were acceptable. Mr. Stephenson replied in the affirmative, noting that they had to develop a comprehensive plan for the area. He thought pizza parlors had a place, but that they needed a plan that addressed the traffic issues, parking issues, pedestrian safety, etc. that allowed some expansion. Mr. Seidman questioned whether the water based uses were economically feasible. There were very few water related or dependent uses on the properties, which make him question whether or not they were realistic or if they needed to consider incentives to encourage them.

Mr. Peak mentioned that they also had to consider the fact that the wastewater allotments did not take into consideration that some of the properties had multiple uses, which had  an impact on traffic.

Mrs. Stephenson noted that the character of the strip was changing into a commercial area, which had to have some kind of throughway /walkway to make it pedestrian friendly.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that they really needed to work on a design plan before they worked they reviewed and revised their zoning regulations, and asked the MV Commission if they would look at the four applications collectively in a timely way. He thought they could work on collecting basic data for the individual properties and the entire area, and review the Sewer Commission’s policies to see how they impact land use.

Mrs. Stephenson inquired if the Planning Board would submit a written request to the MV Commission or send a representative to the hearings.  Ms. Sibley mentioned that they were going to review the traffic situation on Beach Road on August 9, 2010 and asked if the Planning Board would send a representative to hear the discussions and to make a recommendation for a comprehensive review of the area and/or extensive traffic study.

Mr. Stephenson thought they should pursue an urban design study of the area to pursue a more in-depth study that took into consideration both the physical potential and limitations of the area.  

Planning Board members and members of the LUPC were informed that the MV Commission’s extended schedule advertised the continuation of the discussions on August 9, 2010 at 5:30PM during the LUPC meeting.  Planning Board members were invited.

Mr. Orleans advised Mr. Stephenson that he’d like to come to some conclusion at the meeting, so that they can make a recommendation to the full Commission.

9:10 PM Public Hearing: Special Permit Application - Tisbury Marina LLC, AP

The hearing commenced in due form at 9:10 PM. Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak read the public hearing notice into the minutes and explained that the applicant was proposing to modify the restaurant’s seating capacity from 50 to 80 seats. Given that the use was permitted by special permit, the applicant was required to modify the decision.

On noting that the applicant failed to show to the hearing, and that the application was currently under review by the MV Commission, Mr. Peak recommended notifying the applicant that the hearing was continued. He asked the Board if they had any comments or questions. There being none, Mr. Peak recommended continuing the hearing until September 1, 2010 at 7:30 PM.  Mr. Aldrin so moved.  Mr. Stephenson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0


1. Town of Edgartown
RE: Hearing Notice – Pros and Cons of Wind Turbines

2. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
RE: Invitation to an informational meeting on 9/15/2010

3. Tisbury Board of Selectmen
RE: Request for Legal Services rejected

Reid A. Dunn, Tisbury Market Place, Beach Road
Mr. Peak brought the Board of Selectmen’s written response to the Planning Board’s attention, noting that they had denied them access to Town Counsel.  Board members questioned whether the Board of Selectmen could deny them access to town counsel when they needed legal a legal opinion on a matter that was impacting their ability to review an application.  Mr. Peak mentioned that it was a topic he wanted to discuss with counsel.  

Mr. Peak added that he also wanted to know if the Planning Board could ask the applicant to provide them with a legal opinion.  The Board Secretary referred the Board to their Fee Schedule, an read language from the schedule stating that they were allowed to request a “project review fee” from the applicant during a review process to hire an engineer, planner, designer,  attorney, etc. to help them make a determination.

In Mr. Dunn’s particular case, Mr. Peak wanted to know from town counsel if they could accept the legal opinion the applicant provided at his own expense, on the matter of condominium rights to move forward on the review process.

4. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. Newsletter, June/July 2010

B. 5 August 2010 Agenda
C. 30 July 2010 Extended Schedule
D. Wind Turbine work session on August 11, 2010
E. Draft Vineyard Model “Right to Farm” and Draft MV Agricultural Commission proposal
F. LUPC Meeting – August 9, 2010 at 5:30PM re Waterfront Commercial District

5. American Planning Association
RE: The Commissioner, Summer 2010

6. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
RE; Land Lines, July 2010

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            L. Anthony Peak