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Planning Board Minutes 02/02/2011

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


DATE:                   February 2, 2011

TIME:                   7:05 PM

PLACE:                  Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point lane

ATTENDANCE:             Aldrin, Peak, Stephenson, Thompson
ABSENT:                 Seidman

BILLS:  Verizon………………………….$ 52.53       
MEETING MINUTES:        As referred in the January 5, 2011 Meeting Agenda
                                17 November 2010        Deferred
                                  5 January 2011        Deferred


7:15 PM Public Hearing: Special Permit Application for McCurdy Motorcars, Inc. AP 10B01, Beach Road
                Attendance: Refer to Signature Sheet

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:15 PM. Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak read the public hearing notice into the minutes, and advised the Board that the applicant had emailed them a letter requesting a continuation until February 9, 2011, when all five board members were expected to be available.

Mr. Peak noted that the applicant was informed of Mr. Seidman’s absence the day before, and explained the resulting administrative process.  Mr. McCurdy opted to postpone the hearing until the following week, so that he could make his presentation before all five board members.

There being no comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to continue the public hearing until February 9, 2011 at 7:15 PM in the Town Hall Annex. Mr. Stephenson so moved.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0    The hearing was duly closed at 7:25 PM

7:15 PM Mark London and Doug Sederholm, and Nathaniel Orleans - Martha’s Vineyard Commission
                Attendance: Melinda Loberg, Mary Ellen Larsen (Fin Com’s Reps.)

Proposed Model Bylaw for Wind Energy

Mr. Sederholm began his presentation explaining that all of the island towns, with the exception of Edgartown were given a copy of their model regulation for the island wide DCPC, the MV Commission implemented to regulate wind turbines. In a very brief summation of the Commission’s DCPC, Mr. Sederholm explicated that regional regulation prohibited all wind turbines in excess of 150 ft. on land (except the Town of Edgartown, tribal lands and schools) and all structures in excess of 220 ft in the ocean (all of the off-shore waters, up to three miles).

The staff and renewable energy work group at the MV Commission drafted a model bylaw, in the expectation that the island towns would consider adopting the regulation, a tailored version of the draft bylaw or their own version, prior to the expiration of the Commission’s DCPC’s. He noted that while all towns were not required to adopt the model bylaw, he wanted to impress upon the individual towns, that it was in the island’s best interest to share a consistent policy for the ocean zone’s protection.

The draft model regulation regulated turbines in identified areas of high public value to protect the views and vistas. They incorporated sufficient safeguards to prevent a turbine from becoming a burden on abutting properties. It enforced strict noise standards, implemented rigorous standards in areas of concern and identified less sensitive areas where minimal standards applied.

Mr. London clarified that the DCPC regulated utility scale turbines 150 ft from the ground and above. The renewable energy work group has since broadened the scope of address to include “all turbines that have a regional impact”, with the expectation that the MV Commission would incorporate them within the DRI Checklist during its biennial review.

Mr. London cautioned that the revised DRI Checklist had to be approved by the Secretary of Environment and Energy, who was extremely supportive of wind energy in the Commonwealth. With this in mind, Mr. London was going to recommend that they add language in the DCPC that would require the referral of any and all turbines within the identified sensitive areas (i.e. buffers around historic districts, farms, close to the border of another municipality, etc.).

Mr. London was going to suggest adding similar language in the model bylaw regulation, and a requirement for a special permit at least within the same sensitive areas. He commented that nothing prevented the Planning Board from adopting more restrictive requirements town wide.
Mr. Sederholm was of the opinion that they could also revise the model bylaw to capture all turbines with a regional impact, develop a comprehensive set of regulations to address their permitting, or require a referral to the MV Commission.

Mr. Peak inquired if the regulation would create any conflict with the zoning protections afforded farms by state statute. Mr. Sederholm replied in the negative, because the regulation was being adopted under the auspices of a DCPC.  Mr. London explained that the MV Commissions regulatory power superseded the protections afforded schools, churches and farms.

Mr. London was very concerned that the towns’ responses, and questioned if they had sufficient time to read the language, hold hearings, and place it on the warrant for special town meeting before the DCPC expired on November 3, 2011.  If there was an issue with the language, he encouraged the Town to ask the MV Commission to extend the DCPC or adopt a regulation that at the very least applied to farms, so that they had more time to develop and adopt a town wide, comprehensive regulation.

Mr. Stephenson believed the draft bylaw regulation was overwhelming and perhaps to much to ask town voters to consider in the short period of time before special town meeting. Mr. Peak could foresee some confusion, if town voters are being asked to consider other bylaw amendments.

Mr. London suggested that the MV Commission could assist the towns by developing a plan (with the illustrations and explanations), and power point presentation to explain the bylaw. He thought the towns could the hold their hearings later in the fall, even if meant postponing the adoption of the model bylaw by a year.

Mr. Stephenson thought an island wide presentation conducted by the MV Commission would attract more people, and help them generate the support they needed to pass the regulation on town floor.   

Mr. Sederholm volunteered to review the entire model bylaw with the Planning Board and help them tailor the regulation to meet Tisbury’s specific needs to start the process. The Board welcomed the assistance.

DRI Checklist

Mr. London informed the Board that the MV Commission held their first meeting a couple of weeks ago, and planned to hold an exploratory session on emerging topics, such as large scaled homes, development in commercial areas, etc. this coming Monday.

He invited the Board members to the session, noting that he was very interested in obtaining their initial opinions on the revised the materials he had emailed earlier that evening in the attached questionnaire. Mr. London appreciated their comments by the end of February.

All Island Planning Board Meetings

Mr. London mentioned that he was thinking of reinstituting the island wide Planning Board meetings that were held at the Commission’s office to discuss the various topics that kept resurfacing at their hearings and during the DRI’s review. Mr. Peak thought it was a good idea and expressed an interest in participating.

Mr. Stephenson welcomed the opportunity because he wanted to discuss the development of the “Wedge” with the bordering Town of Oak Bluffs.

Mr. London brought to the Board’s attention that the interns at the MV Commission had produced several studies addressing a few subjects that could be of interest to them.  It could serve as a focal point for some of the discussions, because they addressed issues of common concern.


1. Douglas Hoehn, SB&H Inc
A.  Form A – Jewett

Mr. Peak informed the Board that he had the opportunity to discuss Mr. Jewett’s Division of Land with Town Counsel, who shared the same reservations, he had expressed in previous discussions.  In his opinion, the applicants’ proposal did not meet the requirements for ANR consideration, because the rear most lot did not meet the zoning district’s minimal dimensional requirement for frontage.

Mr. Aldrin noted that he went on a site inspection, and beleived the road could be widened. He agreed with Mr. Peak’s assessment.   

Following additional discussions, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to decline the endorsement of Mr. Robert F. Jewett Et Al’s Form A Plan under the Subdivision Control Law, because Lot #4 did not meet the zoning district’s frontage requirement.  Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  3/0/0

The Form A Plan of Land was not endorsed.  Mr. Aldrin was not present for the vote, having departed at 9:20 PM

B.  Carly Simon, AP 55A04 (adequacy of Shubael Weeks Road) - Deferred

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

RE: March 19, 2011 Conference at Holy Cross College

4. Webinar (Understanding the current science , regulation and mitigation of shadow flicker” on 10 Feb 2011 at 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM @ MV Commission  

5. Large Scale Photovoltaic Farms (Solar Energy)

Board members were advised that he was working towards getting the Town of Tisbury to qualify as a Green Community, and learned that there were two requirements that they had to meet. The first requirement was that the town had to adopt a zoning regulation that would allow them to site large scaled solar panel arrays on a one acre lot (Minimum) as a matter or right, and the development of a permitting process, that’s time limited.

He was proposing to designate the BII District as an area where these large scaled solar panel farms were permitted as a matter of right, provided applicants had a minimum of five acres or more. The land area requirement would restrict solar farms on very large tracts of land, such as the landfill. He admitted that the language favored the larger tracts of land owned by the town, but they appeared to be the most suitable for this purpose.

Mr. Peak referred to Judith Cutler’s memo on Solar Energy, and noted that it also included facilities that developed and researched solar power in addition to producing solar power. He asked Mr. Stephenson if they were not considering the other uses and limiting it to the production of solar power. Mr. Stephenson replied in the affirmative, explaining that the island in all likelihood would not be a practical location for manufacturers or the researchers. He added that the state was also encouraging landfill based installations.

Mrs. Loberg was interested in DEP’s and the Board of Health’s impressions with the proposal.  Mr. Stephenson indicated that he had met with the Board of Health commissioners to present his proposal for their feedback and was nicely reminded that they were responsible for managing the landfill as the town’s agents.

Further into the discussions, the Board of Health commissioners did not appear to have an issue with the solar photovoltaic farm, but did not support the use until they’ve had the time to look into the technical issues, including electrical connections, etc.  Mr. Peak informed the Board that in a conversation with Mr. Pachico, he learned that they were looking into mining the landfill, and had an appointment with a firm to acquire something more than a speculative figure.

Mr. Stephenson thought they had to quantify the benefits in pursing the proposal relative to existing benefits in tax revenue, permits, potential uses of a mined landfill to appreciate the net gains in pursuing one proposal over the other. They had to figure in the costs to mine the land, and if the land will be used for municipal uses, affordable housing, etc, that will not generate substantial revenue.  Mr. Peak understood, and offered to include the intangible benefits that can result from qualifying for the program.

In an aside, Mr. Stephenson advised the Board that Seth Pickering, the Cape’s State Representative was very familiar with the Green Community Act and was willing to explain the regulation and program. He brought Mr. Pickering’s offer to Mr. Bugbee’s attention so that he could invite him to future meetings or presentations.


1. Patricia Cantor, Esq. - Kopelman & Paige, PC
RE: Siting Solar and Wind Energy Facilities Under the State Zoning Act and the Green Communities Act

2.  Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. Island Wind DCPC Model Regulation
B. Regular Island Wide Planning Board Meetings
C. District Local Technical Assistance
D. Comprehensive Land Use Reform and Partnership Act
E. DRI Revision
F. 3 February 2011 Meeting Agenda
G. 28 January 2011

3. American Planning Association
RE: Zoning Practice, December 2010

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:28  P.M.  m/s/c  3/0/0)   
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    L. Anthony Peak