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Planning Board Minutes 09/08/2010

P.O. BOX 602
(508) 696-4270
Fax (508) 696-7341


DATE:                   September 8, 2010       

TIME:                           7:03 PM

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin, Peak, Stephenson and Thompson

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point lane

MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the September 1, 2010 Meeting Agenda
                                01 September 2010       Deferred


7:03 PM House Business

A) PWED Grant Funds
Board members were advised that the Town of Tisbury was well represented at Mr. LaPiana’s presentation to the DOT. Mr. Stephenson, the Planning Board’s representative noted that the Dot appeared very supportive of the project, until it came to the actual dollar amount (i.e. 3.9 million).

Representatives of the DOT informed Mr. LaPiana and consultants that they did not as a rule grant more than 1 million dollars towards any project, unless applicants demonstrated that there was a regional component. The maximum allowance for such projects averaged 1.5 million dollars. They asked the Town of Tisbury if they would consider reducing the scope of the project into phases so that they could adjust the dollar amount to 1.5 million dollars. It was explained that the State’s policy was to award state funds to as many applicants as possible.

Mr. Stephenson noted that they were fortunate to find a room to discuss their options after the presentation, where it was decided that the best course of action was to reduce the scope of the project as recommended by DOT, amend their application for the 1.5 million dollars, and construct the primary route from Edgartown Road to High Point Lane, where it connected to the Park-N-Ride.  The consultants indicated that the one route would cost the town approximately 1.4 million to construct.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that they still had to pursue a second outlet, and understood that the State looked favorably at applications where the recipients were also pursuing a parallel course of action at their own expense. He thought it behooved the town to move forward on the Evelyn Way route, which was the least expensive. Mr. Stephenson heard that Mr. LaPiana was entertaining proposals whereby town owned land may be exchanged for privately owned land. Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Peak disapproved of these proposals noting that the town benefited far better if they simply purchased the land outright.

Mr. Stephenson mentioned that the Planning Board had to start looking into the connector road’s long term consequences to land use and the town’s infrastructure.

Board members were advised that the Planning Board received a letter from Mr. LaPiana addressing the modification to the application to Mr. Jeffrey Mullan, the CEO of DOT. Said letter was read into the record in its entirety.

To 7:15 PM      Tyler Studds, Vineyard Power

Mr. Studds explained to the Board that he was a private consultant who was hired by Vineyard Power, a private energy cooperative on island to create “a decision process for members in the community to identify suitable (acceptable and economically viable) locations for the option of wind”.  His primary function was to identify the factors the community was going to use to compare and to qualify the suitability of a location for wind turbines.

As noted in the discussions that followed, the purpose for presentation was to provide introductory information about the criteria and process. Mr. Studds disseminated a handout outlining the presentation to facilitate the discussions, which provided a general overview of the decision process and siting criteria. It provided information about the costs of electricity relative to the impacts to wildlife, and commercial fisheries.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if the Vineyard Power was aware of the MV Commission’s efforts. Mr. Studds replied in the affirmative and noted that he was coordinating some of his efforts with the MV Commission, which led to an agreement to share information.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if Vineyard Power was focusing on territories running three miles out from shore or further out into the federal waters.  Mr. Studds replied that Vineyard Power was looking at all available areas, until there is a final agreement about the boundaries for community projects. It allowed them to  identify and eliminate all of the most sensitive areas from further consideration.

During the continuation of the presentation, Board members discussed the funding community projects, such as mandatory contributions to energy banks, and negotiating for funds or power as part of the permitting process.

Mr. Stephenson mentioned that the discussions on alternative energy were focused on wind power. The Town of Tisbury could not accommodate a wind turbine or facility of any significance to qualify as a green community, and asked if Vineyard Power would also consider researching and/or investing in solar power. Mr. Studds was willing to convey the information to Vineyard Power, and to encourage this type of exchange.  

Mr. Stephenson in an aside noted that a cluster or handful of turbines did not always have a negative impact. Depending on the location, they had their place.

Mr. Peak in his travels observed several wind farms with a host of arrays, and thought the one problem with wind turbines that needed to be addressed was the use of the red blinking lights. Mr. Studds noted that there were ways to address the problem, and mentioned the use of a shield, which were mostly used to mark the perimeter of the farms.

Mr. Studds indicated that he had returned from meeting today with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (formerly known as MMS), who just introduced a revised request for information on the area for commercial development.  He informed the Board that the state was pushing back the development area 12 miles from shore.

Until the state definitively defined the commercial areas to be developed, it was important to study all areas, regardless of the state’s decision, so that nothing was left to chance.

4. Fred LaPiana, DPW Dir.
A. Proposed Wastewater Regulation Change – Change of Use Requests

Mr. Peak read the proposed amendment into the record of the minutes, and noted that he read the language to say that applicants’ requests for additional sewage flow are automatically endorsed upon submitting an application to the Sewer Flow Review Board. The amendment excluded the 10% or 220 gallons cap thereby giving the SFRB the ability to approve all requests, regardless of amounts, without any criteria.

Mr. Peak attended the DPW Commissioner’s hearing on the proposed revision and described the proceedings.  He explained that the letter served as a follow-up to the DPW’s hearing.

B. cc letter to Jeffrey Mullin, Mass Dept of Transportation regard PWED Grant Rev.

Mr. Peak questioned whether the modification could be pursued without the town’s consent. Mr. Stephenson indicated that they had discussed the issue after their meeting with the DOT, and decided that it was in the town’s best interest to build a major portion of the connector road with the 1.5 million dollar grant, than to postpone the entire project.

Mr. Peak thought it was prudent to inform the Town of the situation, and to ask them for the additional 1.5 million dollars to complete the entire road system, because it would cost more to construct the road incrementally. Mr. Stephenson agreed.

2. Philippe Jordi
RE: 325 Lambert’s Cove Road

Mr. Peak noted that Mr. Jordi had called the office to inquire if the Planning Board could assign the driveway for the Ch. 40B development off Lambert’s Cove Road could be assigned a street name.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if it was possible, when the access was a driveway on the one lot owned by the Island Housing Trust. Mr. Peak questioned why the applicant did not construct a road to serve the four residences, and referred to the Board’s regulations on way names. The regulation did not allow the Board to consider naming a road, if it did not serve two or more lots. Driveways did not qualify as a road, and therefore not entitled to a way name.  

Board members thought Mr. Jordi could assign the four residences addresses such as 325, 325A, 325B Lambert’s Cove Road, etc.

3. Geoff White
RE: Withdrawal of Letter of Interest

Mr. Peak informed the board that Mr. White withdrew his letter of interest because he was no longer able to commit the time to serve on the board.

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:50 P.M.   
                        (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date            Henry Stephenson