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Planning Board Minutes 02/09/2011

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


DATE:                   February 9, 2011        

TIME:                           7:05 PM

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point lane

ATTENDANCE:             Peak, Seidman, Stephenson and Thompson
ABSENT:                 Aldrin
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the February 2, 2011 Meeting Agenda
                        17 November 2010        m/s/c           4/0/0
                        05 January 2011 m/s/c           4/0/0
                        02 February 2011        m/s/c           4/0/0


7:15 PM Public Hearing Cont: Tom McCurdy        Motorcars, Inc., AP 10B01       
                Attendance: Melinda Loberg, Fin Com

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:20  PM. Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak read the hearing notice into the minutes, and informed the Board that the applicant had requested an continuation on learning that Mr. Aldrin would be absent from the discussions, due to illness.

The applicant, Mr. McCurdy has sent an email to the Board advising them that preferred presenting his proposal before a five member board, and asked for a continuation on February 16, 2011.

There being no further discussion, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to continue the public hearing until February 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall Annex.  Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

The hearing was closed at 7:24 PM, at which time the Planning Board members resumed discussions on house business.


1. Douglas Hoehn, SB&H Inc
RE: Carly Simon, AP 55A04 (adequacy of Shubael Weeks Road)

Mr. Peak informed the Board that the road on the property was of no consequence for this application, because it was not the access way the applicant was proposing to use.

Mr. Peak did not like the idea that the applicant was proposing to shift the burden on her property created by the ancient way onto abutting properties solely for her benefit. He could not support or vote in favor a proposal that allowed her to access a portion of her property across everyone else’s property solely for her benefit. He was of the opinion that  the applicant could use the ancient way on her property for access.

He mentioned that he wanted to return to the property from State Road across the ancient way to determine its adequacy. Mr. Stephenson replied that the road was inadequate. Mr. Peak replied that owner of the property was allowed to improve the condition of the road.  Mr. Stephenson noted that the road was on someone else’s property.

Mr. Stephenson thought they could divide the issue presented by the proposal into to parts. The first being the adequacy of the ancient way, and on broader terms they could look into possibly linking the system of ancient ways to have a continuous trail way system in the area.  Mr. Peak agreed, but thought the proposal presented a complicated issue.

Board members discussed the condition of Shuabel Weeks Road at different points of access, noting that it could be very narrow at certain sections and difficult to traverse by car.

2. Susan Fairbanks, Winyah Circle

Mr. Peak informed the Board that in his conversation with town counsel, Mr. Doneski did not see anything in the regulation that would prevent anyone from applying for the relief from the frontage requirement, unless their was language elsewhere in the bylaw that curtailed its application.  

3. Town Report (Overdue)
RE: Deadline:  January 14, 2011

Mr. Stephenson was uncertain about the status of the report, and recommended discussing topics that should be incorporated. Board members recommended adding language about future projects, such a s locating an appropriate site for the new town hall, developing shore and long term use(s) of the old fire station on Beach Road.

Mr. Thompson inquired about the town’s progress on the connector road.  Mr. Stephenson replied that the state apparently did not have enough funds to help them with the construction of the connector road, so that they are now looking into other funding sources.

Following additional discussions, the Board agreed to ask Mr. Peak to draft the report on their behalf.  Later into the evening, Mr. Stephenson informed Mr. Peak that the Board were uncertain about the status of the report, and thought they should approach him. Mr. Peak indicated that he had not written the report, but offered to assume the responsibility.

RE: March 19, 2011 Conference at Holy Cross College

Mr. Stephenson asked the Board members if anyone was interested in attending the one day conference.  Board members replied in the negative.

5. Zoning Bylaw Amendments
A.  Solar Energy
B. Definitions (for Solar bylaw)

Board members were advised that town counsel recommended siting solar photovoltaic arrays as a matter of right within the entire BII District, because any restriction favoring town owned properties would be considered spot zoning.  Mr. Stephenson thought they could  restrict the solar installations to larger tracts of land i.e. 5 acre tracts of land relative to the  state’s a one acre minimum. A listing of all properties within the BII District  would be required to determine the proposal’s impact.

Mr. Stephenson suggested that they could also special permit the use in other districts, but recommended against it until they had the opportunity to determine the use’s impact in the BII District.

As an adjunct to the solar energy bylaw, Mr. Stephenson also mentioned that town’s within the Commonwealth were being asked to adopt the “Stretch Building Code” to qualify as a Green Community.  The building code basically required all new constructions, and renovations of above a certain size to build with material that improved their energy efficiency.

6. Henry Stephenson
RE: Stretch Code (Building Code for higher energy standards) and Wind Energy

Mr. Stephenson noted that in their discussions last week, the Planning Board decided not to pursue the MV Commission’s draft wind energy bylaw at town meeting this year, because they did not want to overwhelm their constituents. The Planning Board’s focus this year was to adopt a solar energy bylaw, which was very complicated.

Mr. Peak thought they were going to work on “something” in the interim. Mr. Stephenson recalled that Mr. London offered to develop a plan and power point presentation for island wide meetings during the summer and fall, before next year’s annual and/or special town meetings. He suggested that the towns’ could refer proposals for wind turbines as a DRI and/or  consider adopting regulations specific to wind turbines on farms under the DCPC.

Mr. Peak referred to the Town’s calendar and reminded the Board that they had until February 18, 2011 to submit all zoning bylaw amendments. The question was whether the Town could ‘flag’ all turbine applications and refer them to the MV Commission in the interim. Mr. Peak recalled that Mr. London believed the town had a few options, which were not all clear at this point in time. He thought he understood Mr. London to say that the town had the option to adopt a modified version of the draft model bylaw, extending the DCPC and referring applications for wind turbines to the MV Commission as DRIs. He could not remember what Mr. London indicated the Town of Oak Bluffs was proposing to do on an interim basis, and thought they should contact him about their proposal.

The issue was to give the town’s time to educate the townspeople about the purpose for the bylaw, because there was a good possibility that the model bylaw would be voted down by town voters if they did not understand the regulation.

In the discussions that followed, Mr. Peak offered to contact Mr. London to ask him about the options he had enumerated at their last meeting.

7. Planning Board Meeting Schedule
RE:  February 23, 2011

8. Planning Board Associate (Time for a 6th member)

9. Oak Bluffs Planning Board
RE: Invitation to join the OB Board Members on 2/17/11 (Thurs) at 5PM to discuss the DRI  Checklist (extended to all towns)


1. American Planning Association
A. 2011 Boston Conference (4/9 – 4/12)
B. Zoning Practice, January 2011

Mr. Seidman submitted a list of the courses he wanted to attend at the conference. Board members reviewed the list and voted to allow Mr. Seidman to attend the conference. (4/0/0)  All travel arrangements associated with the registration were to be prepared by the Board Secretary.

Mr. Seidman reported as having contacted Hillary Conklin to reserve the town vehicle.

2. MV Commission
A. 02/04/11 Extended Schedule
B. All Island Planning Board Meetings w/ the MVC (Possible dates)
C. C. Flynn’s “Right-to-Farm” Bylaw as amended (No regulations/restrictions)
D. Meeting Notice – Information on RFI process for public officials, fishing industry, local residents

b. Board members reviewed their schedules. Messrs. Peak and Seidman would be available to attend either session on February 22 and February 24, 2011. Mr. Stephenson would not be available for any of the sessions, until March 3rd.  Mr. Thompson noted that his work schedule overlapped with the dates and times of the sessions, so that would not be able to participate in any of the meetings.  Mr. Aldrin was to asked if he would be available to attend the sessions,

c. Mr. Stephenson understood that Ms. Flynn had not addressed the issues they raised when the draft  bylaw was presented. He learned that they were going to develop a set of regulations for their review.

d. Board members were informed that the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs were planning on holding two meetings at the Oak Bluffs Library to discuss the federal government’s plans for wind energy development south of the Vineyard.

The attached notice advertised that the meetings were going to be held on Thursday, 17 February 2011 at 3PM and at 5PM.


Webinar on "Understanding the Current Science, Regulation, and Mitigation of Shadow Flicker" scheduled for Thursday, February 10, 2011 at~1:00-2:30~p.m. ET. (MV Commission Office, New York Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:10 P.M. (m/s/c  4/0/0)    
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    Henry Stephenson