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Planning Board Minutes 09/15/2010

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


DATE:                   September 15, 2010      

TIME:                           7:05 PM

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point lane

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin, Peak, Stephenson and Thompson

BILLS:                  Radio Shack …………………………$29.97
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the 8 September 2010 Meeting Agenda
                                01 September 2010       Deferred
08 September 2010      Deferred


7:05 PM Douglas Hoehn, SB&H Inc.- Form A Application for Juanita L. Bartlett, Tr.;
AP 06C10 & Jeffrey Robinson, AP 20A01.1

Mr. Hoehn reiterated last week’s presentation for Mr. Stephenson’s benefit, noting that the potential buyers were interested in separating the two pre-existing dwellings onto separate lots utilizing the 12 ft wide concrete driveway as a road for frontage.

During the discussions the Planning Board took issue with the use of a driveway as a road for ANR purposes. Mr. Hoehn understood and attempted to resolve the issue with case law, but found none. He found a previously approved ANR plan might help address the issue, and noted that the Goethals submitted a similar proposal in 1996, whereby the Board approved the use of a driveway as a road.

Mr. Peak noted that the “road” served the applicant and an abutting property owner, which was subsequently named for E911 purposes. Mr. Hoehn understood that the board named the road because it served two lots, but he questioned whether it defined a road. Mr. Peak agreed, and replied that he did not have an answer.

Mr. Hoehn understood that the only other option available to his clients was to pursue a small project through the Form C process. He questioned the practicality in requiring the course, when the result would remain the same and the Planning Board could address their issues with a covenant.  Mr. Hoehn nonetheless prepared a draft subdivision plan to demonstrate his point. Mr. Peak noted that the one major difference between the proposals, was that the latter created a separate road lot so that neither lot was encumbered.

Mr. Hoehn explained that the proposed layout for the ANR was specifically designed to eliminate the potential for any restriction(s) on the properties’ future development.

Mr. Peak cautioned against entering new territory, by redefining what constituted a way for ANR purposes. Based on the definitions he read, it appeared that the concept of a way came down to a “strip of land the users do not own, but which provided them with access to property of their own”. The proposed road in the ANR was a deeded right-of-way (easement).

Additional discussions ensued and Mr. Stephenson noted that the proposal once again brought to light the shortcomings of their regulations, which had to be addressed. Mr. Peak informed the Board members that he spoke with Mr. Hoehn during the week to explain the issues he had with the ANR proposal, at which time the subject of a possible Small Project submittal was raised and subsequently submitted for tonight’s discussions. It eliminated the one major stumbling block he had with the proposal.

Mr. Peak asked the Board if they had any issues with an application for a subdivision under the small project provision. Board members replied in the negative.  Mr. Hoehn indicated that he wanted to do more research on case law and to give his clients the time to decide if they wanted to pursue a Form C application. He asked the Board if they would continue the discussions until next meeting.

Board members agreed to continue the discussions on September 22, 2010 at a time to be confirmed with Mr. Hoehn.

7:38 PM Thomas McCurdy, AP 10A01, Beach Road

Board members were advised that Mr. McCurdy had received a letter of enforcement from the Zoning Code Enforcement Office asking him to cease all car sales from the above mentioned property.

Mr. McCurdy in response scheduled an appointment with the Planning Board to request an extension. He claimed that the current economy has made it difficult to relocate his business. The current location allowed him to manage the car sales and family business (i.e. Winds Up) just across the lot.

Mr. Aldrin understood from the Board’s last discussions with Mr. McCurdy that the business was not a permitted use within the zoning district. The Planning Board allowed him to operate an additional year, with the understanding that he had to relocate his business. Mr. Stephenson questioned whether they could consider his request, and possibly offer him an additional six months. He inquired if it was an acceptable practice with for the Zoning Code Enforcement Officer.

Mr. McCurdy noted that the lot was basically being used as a parking lot. The property owner parked cars on the lot just as he did. He did not conduct any business on the property, because his office was across the street.

Mr. Aldrin mentioned that his cars had “For sale” signs for the purpose of attracting potential customers. It was the same location from where the vehicles were test driven. Mr. McCurdy agreed, adding that he also maintained the property to make it much more attractive, and offered a very important service to the island community.

Mr. Stephenson asked Mr. Peak what the Planning Board’s options were at this juncture. Mr. Peak supposed they could grant Mr. McCurdy an extension, but cautioned against granting said extensions on a regular basis. If the Board was  to reconsider the use as appropriate to the zoning district, he recommended addressing it formally with a bylaw amendment.

Mr. McCurdy asked the Planning Board if they would allow him to operate the car sales business until December 2011. The date coincided with the business license the Board of Selectmen issued.  He understood that if they received any complaints about his business, he would have to remove the cars and relocate the business.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if Mr. McCurdy would require a special permit to continue his business. Mr. Peak replied in the negative, explaining that car sales were not a permitted or special permitted use in the Waterside Management Area.  He reminded the Planning Board that the issue before them was whether or not they were going to enforce their regulations or grant Mr. McCurdy an extension.

Additional discussions ensued, and Mr. Peak recommended writing the Zoning Code Enforcement Officer a letter explaining that the Planning Board had decided to take the matter under advisement until October 6, 2010, and to ask if he would consider not enforcing the order against Mr. McCurdy until they had an opportunity to discuss the issue further.

Mr. McCurdy asked the Board if they would consider postponing the discussions until October 13, 2010, since he had planned to be in Pennsylvania that week.  

This being acceptable to the Board, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to defer a determination on the request until October 13, 2010 and to request of the Zoning Code Enforcement Office that he not pursue any further enforcement of the violation until they’ve had the time to discuss the issue further.  Mr. Aldrin so moved.  Mr. Stephenson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

7:30 PM Philippe Jordi, Island Housing Trust RE 325 Lambert’s Cove Ch. 40

Mr. Jordi explained that the homeowners of the Ch.40B development  on 325 Lambert’s Cove were interested in asking the Planning Board if they would allow them to name the driveway, so that they could have separate house numbers.

Mr. Peak replied that current regulations allowed the Planning Board to assign names to ways that gave access to more than one lot; otherwise it was considered a driveway. He regretted not be able to assist Mr. Jordi, but did not see how the Planning Board could accommodate the new homeowners.

Mr. Jordi noted that they were presently assigned 325, 325A, 325B and 325C.  It was a numbering system that was employed by the larger residential housing complexes in town.

Mr. Peak did not see why the developers couldn’t include a road lot within a 40B development, when it would simply matters. He recommended the suggestion to Mr. Jordi for future Ch. 40B developments.

8:15 PM Reid Silva, Vineyard Land Surveying RE: AP 02F02.7, Cayuga Street

Board members were advised that the abutting property owners were interested in dividing the lot into three lots, two of which were to be non-buildable. He explained that the three neighbors wanted to close on the purchase within the next 35 days, but wanted to hear from the Planning Board if there were any issues with the proposal.

Mr. Silva explained that a portion of the property was recorded in Land Court, so that any division of land had to be submitted to Land Court for their approval. He wanted to submit the plan to Land Court as soon as possible, but had to make sure that there were no issues with the division of land from the Planning Board. If the Board conceptually supported the proposal, he planned to complete the final plan to submit to Land Court, and return to the Board with a plan for their endorsement.

Mr. Stephenson did not have an issue with the plan, noting that their was no net gain in lots or density.  Mr. Peak thought the proposal appeared to meet the requirements of the state statute for ANRs. And the remainder of the Board members agreed.


1. Jeffrey Robinson, AP 20A01.1
RE: Form C Plan of Land

Mr. Hoehn submitted Mr. Robinson’s plan of land for endorsement. Planning Board members were informed that the town clerk had signed off on 20 day appeal period attesting that the Board’s decision had not been contested.

Planning Board Secretary advised the Board members that the plan was revised to include a 15 ft wide water line easement on Lot 2.

The Board members reviewed and endorsed the revised plan of land (plan no. MV5552) dated 28 June 2010.

2. New Town Hall

Mr. Peak recommended working the new town hall’s architectural design into a design competition by resident architects. On speaking with a local architect about his idea, he learned that if the town pursued the competition, they’d have to hire an architect that specialized in the design of this type of building to address the technical details, so that the actual design could be left to the local architects in the competition. The competitors would have access to the consultant, so that the final team would be responsible for the final design.

Mr. Stephenson noted that the American Institute of Architects have a set standard for architectural competitions. It was a resource they could use.


1. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. Proposed Shared Use Path connecting Beach Road to Lagoon Pond Road (2 Maps)

Board members were informed that the MV Commission was still negotiating the location of the shared use bike path with the Tisbury Market Place Condo Association.

Mr. Peak reminded the board that he had asked for information because he was concerned that there may not be sufficient space to accommodate the amenity.

B. Island Deli Market

Mr. Peak informed the Board that the MV Commission voted not to concur that the sit down portion of the food establishment was sufficient to require a DRI review by the Commission.

Mr. Thompson advised the Board that he had to recused himself from the discussions for personal reasons.

The Board secretary informed the Board that in Mr. Seidman’s absence they could not conduct the hearing, because state statute required a minimum of four members for the hearing.  Mr. Rodrigues was to be notified that the hearing would have to be continued until the following week.

C. Barnes Movers – Letter of Withdrawal

Mr. Stephenson informed the Board that Mr. Barnes was pursuing a host of site improvements, even though he withdrew his application for a gas station from the MV Commission. It was suspected that the withdrawal was an attempt to segment the process.

He and Linda Sibley were concerned that Mr. Barnes would cut down the shade trees on the property, which led to a visit to Mr. LaPiana. Mr. Stephenson shared his concern about the trees with Mr. LaPiana, who assured him that he was on top of the situation.

Mr. Peak observed that Mr. Barnes had already cut down a large, old tree on the property, and questioned whether the tree qualified as a public shade tree. He asked the Board secretary to research the MGLs for public shade trees. It may be that the DPW may have been required to hold a public hearing on the subject before Mr. Barnes was allowed to cut the tree.  Mr. Stephenson believed the tree warden should have protected the tree.

Mr. Stephenson asked the board if they should refer Mr. Barnes to the MV Commission for any activity on the site with an explanation. He thought it was important to bring to their attention that High Point Lane was a major outlet for the connector, so that any construction along the corridor would have major impacts.

Mr. Peak thought they should also send Mr. LaPiana a memo stating “given the anticipated construction of the connector road terminus on High Point Lane and State Road, the Planning Board respectfully requests that any applications for curb cuts on High Point Lane as it currently exists and on State Road be discussed with the Planning Board.

Mr. Peak asked the Board Secretary to convey to the Building Inspector, the Planning Board’s concerns about Mr. Barnes’ property and of the potential site improvements (i.e. grading). He wanted know if any site improvement would require a permit. If permits were required, he wanted the Planning Board to be informed before Mr. Barnes was issued a permit.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if they could refer the applicant’s building permit to the MV Commission. He was advised that it was possible. If Mr. Barnes required a building permit for the retaining wall, the Planning Board could refer the application for a concurrence vote. Mr. Stephenson wanted to go on record that the Planning Board is very concerned about any development on the corner of State Road and High Point Lane and would like see the MV Commission review all proposals for AP 22A 9 and 22A12.

Mr. Peak volunteered to call Mr. Foley, the DRI Coordinator at the MV Commission to explain the Planning Board’s concerns with any development along the High Point Lane Corridor, and their interest in having any and all proposals for development on AP 22A09 and 22A12 reviewed as a DRI.

D. 10 September 2010 Extended Schedule
E. 16 September 2010 Meeting Agenda
F. Public Meeting on RI Wind Energy Planning and its impact on Dukes County – 16 Sept. 2010 at 5:30 PM/MVRHS

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

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:30 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