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Planning Board Minutes 03/07/12

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


DATE:           March 7, 2012
TIME:           7:03 PM

ATTENDANCE:     Peak, Seidman, Stephenson, and Thompson

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

MINUTES:                As referred in the February 08, 2012 Meeting Agenda
                        08 February 2012        m/s/c   4/0/0
                        22 February 2012        m/s/c   4/0/0


7:15 PM Public Hearing: Special Permit Application by John G. Early Contractor                  (Sign), AP 22A01
                Attendance: John G. Early, Louis de Geofroy, Amy Houghton (VNA), Mary           Ellen Larsen

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:15 PM. Mr. Peak, Planning Board Co-Chairman asked the Board members to introduce themselves. The applicant, the applicant’s agent and two members of the public reciprocated.

Mr. Peak opened the discussions advising the applicant of Mr. Aldrin’s absence. He explained that the state statutes obligated him to inform Mr. Early of his right to continue the administrative process with the four (4) board members present at the meeting, noting that an endorsement would require a unanimous (super majority) vote; or, postponing the public hearing until all five (5) board members were present to participate in the hearing. The latter option allowed the applicant one dissenting vote, without jeopardizing the application’s approval.

Mr. Early inquired about the length of time the Board would be able to re-hear the application if the proposal was denied. Mr. Peak replied that the Board would not be able to entertain the proposal for two (2) years.

Mr. de Geofroy questioned if they could discuss the proposal up to a certain point before they made a determination.  Mr. Peak replied in the negative, and asked if the sign was on private property. Mr. de Geofroy replied that the proposed sign was going to replace an existing sign at its current location on town owned land. The applicant added that he had secured the Board of Selectmen’s consent to continue the use of the space for the proposed new sign.

Mr. Seidman inquired if the dimensions of the sign were identical to the sign being replaced. Mr. Peak interrupted the discussions to ask Mr. Early if he was agreeable to opening the public hearing to review his project. Mr. Early replied in the affirmative.

Board members were given copies of the applicant’s application, which included color photographs of the existing sign from various angles, a colored simulation of the proposed sign, a hand sketched drawing reflecting the layout of the sign (not drawn to scale), and a second hand drawn sketch of the proposed sign with dimensions (drawn to an approx. scale of 1’=1”. The application also included a letter from the Board of Selectmen, dated 08 February 2012 granting the applicant permission to replace the existing sign.

Mr. de Geofroy explained that the composition of the businesses in the Holmes Hole Business District has changed to warrant a new sign. The sign being proposed was going to be located on town owned land where the existing sign stands. It is approximately twenty-six (26) ft. from the white line on Holmes Hole Road, and twenty-seven (27) ft. from the white pained line on State Road. The sign was going to be located at a safe distance from the road so that it was visible to the motorist without presenting a safety hazard. The color scheme of the sign was described as “aesthetically pleasing”, and served the purpose of advertising all of the businesses on Breakdown Lane.

Mr. de Geofroy noted that they were proposing to remove the “arm” off the existing sign holding the “Open” sign and maintaining the “Dog Park” sign to the right of the proposed sign. They will be advertising eight (8) businesses, and have space for one (1) more business if the business district expanded.

Amy Houghton, representing the VNA was very happy to be included in the project, and thinks the sign was much more aesthetically pleasing in comparison to the existing sign.

Mr. Peak asked Mr. de Geofroy to provide the Board with the dimensions of the sign. Mr. de Geofroy indicated that the existing sign was 12.8 sq. ft. (the top sign was 6.71 sq. ft. and bottom sign was 6.18 sq. ft.) whereas the proposed sign was 16.6 sq. ft (increased by 3.8 sq. ft.) where the top will measure 7.25 sq. ft, the middle sign (VNA) will be 3.36 sq. ft, and the bottom sign being 6 sq. ft.  Mr. de Geofroy noted that the proposed sign exceed the sq. footage allowed by zoning regulation, but asked the Board to consider the fact that they were advertising eight (8) different businesses on the directory style sign. None of the three individual signs exceeded the 8 sq. ft. maximum allowance.

Mr. Peak noted that the 8 sq. ft. limitation for hanging signs was intended for singles businesses. When they included the restriction as a reference in the bylaw, they inadvertently omitted an exception for the directory or ladder type of sign. It was an issue he wanted to address with the Board members.

Mr. Stephenson thought they should clarify if the applicant can in fact have a sign exceeding the maximum allowance. Otherwise, he thought the sign was attractive and well suited for its purpose.

Mr. Thompson inquired if there was a street sign.  Ms. Houghton replied in the affirmative, noting that the sign was across the street.

There being no further comment from the Board members, Mr. Peak opened the floor to the members of the general public. Again, there being no comment from the public, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to close the public hearing and immediately enter into deliberations. Mr. Stephenson so moved.  Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

7:24 PM         Deliberations: Special Permit Application by John G. Early Contractor                   (Sign), AP 22A01

Mr. Peak inquired if Mr. Early owned the proposed sign. Mr. Early replied in the affirmative. Mr. Peak wanted to know who they should contact in case the sign was damaged.

Mr. Peak asked the Board for their comments.  Mr. Seidman indicated that he was prepared to make a motion, and moved to approve the special permit application for the sign, as presented at the hearing. Mr. Stephenson agreed and seconded the motion. The motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Peak informed the applicant of the 20 day appeal period that begins the day after the written decision is filed with the Town Clerk.

The deliberations were left open to review the draft decision for an approval. The deliberations were to continue on March 14, 2012. The Board msc to continue the deliberations on March 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM.  The Board resumed their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:26 PM

7:45 PM Public Hearing: Special Permit Application by Vineyard House Inc. AP                    22A06
                Attendance: John G. Early (Bldg. Committee); Brian Mackey (Treas. For                   Vineyard House Inc.), Ray Maciel, builder; Reid Silva, Surveyor

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:48 PM. Mr. Peak, Planning Board Co-Chairman read the notice into the minutes of the hearing, and asked the Board Members and applicants to introduce themselves for the record.

Mr. Peak advised the applicants that they did not have the benefit of a full board for the proceedings, and as a result was obligated to inform them of their options to continue with the administrative review with just four (4) board members, understanding that the applicant would require a unanimous endorsement for an approval. If for any reason, they were concerned about the small margin, they had the option to postpone the discussions, and continue the hearing until the following week, when he anticipated a full board to be present.  Mr. Seidman announced that he was not available for the next two weeks.

Mr. Silva recommended moving forward on the review process. He did not anticipate any issues with the current proposal, given that the Board had reviewed and approved their initial proposal, which was much larger in scale.

Mr. Silva, at the Co-Chairman’s request began the presentation with a brief history of the applicant’s initial application in 2005, in which the proposal was for forty-one (41) beds, and two separate living quarters for personnel in two structures. Mr. Silva displayed a site plan depicting the previous proposal. Mr. Silva noted public hearing notice erroneously indicated that the applicant was proposing five (5) structures, when the housing units were limited to the one larger structure for the men’s quarters, the one (1) building for the women’s quarters, and the buildings for the administrative offices and a pavilion.

Mr. Silva mentioned that the proposal for the housing development was subject to the Planning Board’s review because it was in the Ground Water Protection District, which restricted the amount of impervious areas. The housing development exceeded the 15% or 2500 sq. ft. allowance. It was there responsibility to address storm water and drainage issues resulting from the development.

Board members were informed that the applicant was required to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit application addressing the multiple structures in the BII District.

Relative to the storm water run off, they’ve designed a large leaching facility, or rather a glorified drywell with two (2) settling catch basins at the end that will empty into large, standard, open-ended chambers. The drainage plan for the roof run off was to have it drain into the lawn. Mr. Silva believed the system was sufficient; because the immediate area was going to remain pervious i.e. lawn. There was plenty of wooded land area to absorb the runoff from the roof and walkways. The MV Commission in their decision to approve the proposed development required the applicant to keep the common areas pervious. The parking lots were to be constructed with a permeable hardener covered with gravel (or crushed stone). He could not say for certain what the final surface material will be at this time.

Mr. Silva referred to the Vineyard House Inc’s Site Plan, dated 18 January 2012 (Job No. 1609) to illustrate the two (2) parking areas, which combined provided twenty-five (25) parking spaces, and a separate area for parking overflow, as depicted in the Roof and Parking Area – Drainage Plan for Vineyard House Inc. by Vineyard Land Surveying & Engineering, Inc., Box 421, West  Tisbury, MA 02575; Scale 1”=20’; dated 03 February  2012 (Sheet No. S-1).  The MV Commission as part of their condition preferred having the applicant develop only eighteen (18) of the twenty-five (25) parking spaces, if it was acceptable to the Zoning Board of Appeals. If this was not possible, they were asking the applicant to “clear the designated area for use as a multipurpose area as well as for occasional overflow parking with the a ‘vegetated’ ground surface…”.  The sidewalks were the exception, because they were going to be constructed of concrete.

Relative to the impervious surfaces, Mr. Silva stated that the total sq. footage of the roof surfaces were calculated to be 4565 sq. ft. for the men’s residence, 1129 sq. ft for the women’s Residence, 99 sq. ft. for the Administrative Office Building, and ?? for the pavilion (smallest structure).  The total impervious footprint of the buildings was calculated at 6680 sq. ft.  The parking spaces and walkways added up to 15,000 sq. ft., although the parking areas were going to be pervious.

 Mr. Peak inquired if the applicant was required to employ a de-nitrification disposal works system for wastewater generation. Mr. Silva replied in the negative, explaining that by substantially reducing the scope of the development, and purchasing the two (2) additional acres, the applicant no longer needed to incorporate the enhanced nitrogen load removal feature in the disposal works system to meet the nitrogen loading limits for the MV Commission’s Tashmoo Watershed.  

Mr. Peak inquired if the MV Commission had any comments with regards to the use of pervious surfaces to absorb the roof runoff as opposed to having an impervious surface with swales.  Mr. Silva replied that the Commission appeared to prefer a natural surface (i.e. gravel) as opposed to asphalt. He thought the latter material was more suited to the actual use. A heavily used graveled surface had to be maintained on a regular basis, which in the long run, could cost just as much as having an asphalt parking area.

Mr. Peak noted that the Board had not heard from the Water Dept, the DPW or the Board of Health, who were given thirty-five (35) days to comment on the proposal by zoning regulation.  Since that date expired at the end of the month, he recommended continuing the public hearing until March 28, 2012. This would also give Mr. Seidman the ability to participate in the discussions.

Mr. Peak requested a clarification about the purpose for their special permit to the Planning Board in 2005.  Mr. Silva indicated that it was confusing in that they had to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit addressing the parking spaces and use. They had to apply to the Planning Board to address the runoff from the development and parking area because of its location in the Ground Water Protection. The District capped the impervious areas to 15% of the total land area or 2500 sq. ft.  Mr. Peak noted that the parking area did not require a special permit. The zoning regulations required the Planning Board to render an advisory opinion on parking lots for twenty (20) or more vehicles to the Building Inspector and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He did not see why the Planning Board could not render an advisory opinion in the course of the administrative review.

He suggested giving the Water Department, the DPW and the Board of Health the opportunity to respond, and suggested continuing the hearing until April 4, 2012.

Mr. Stephenson commented that he approved of the applicant’s decision to break down the larger structures into smaller connecting buildings. The new configuration and landscape blended nicely into the existing terrain.

Mr. Thompson inquired if there were eight bedrooms in the women’s quarters. It was clarified for the record that the women’s quarters consisted of only four rooms.

Mr. Seidman inquired if the applicant(s) were reducing the number of bedrooms by 40%, and reducing the total footprint by ?%.  Mr. Mackey agreed and explained that they dedicated more space to the common areas.

Mr. Peak indicated that he agreed with Mr. Stephenson. The proposed development provided an important service to the island. He preferred the new configuration because it was not as imposing as the initial proposal.

Mr. Peak asked the Board members to confirm if they would be available on April 4, 2012.  On confirming that the Board members would be available to make the meeting, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to continue the hearing on April 4, 2012 at 7:15 PM. Mr. Stephenson so moved.  Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  4/0/0
The Board resumed their regularly scheduled meeting at 8:16 PM.


1. Merle R. Huss – Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, Inc.
RE: Proposal to convert the Old Fire Station into a public parking lot

Mr. Bugbee has not responded to the Board Secretary’s request for an update. Board members noted that they are interested in obtaining a response from Town Counsel, and directed the Board Secretary to follow-up.

2. Radio Shack’s Relocation, State Road

During an impromptu site visit, Mr. Seidman observed that Mr. Wanciewicz was storing his building materials along the entire length of the fence. The proposed walking path, Mr. Stephenson requested of Mrs. Sibley had to be cleared of the flat stone Mr. Wanciewicz had stacked up against the fence. It was possible that Mrs. Sibley would not be able to provide the walking path. He thought the Board should visit the property to assess the viability of a walking path.

3. Town Hall Annex

Board members were informed that the rental company was approached by the town to purchase the trailers currently in use by the Town Hall Annex personnel. The quote offered the town by the rental company was so unreasonable, that the town opted to continue renting.

4. Tisbury MarketPlace Multi-purpose Theater, AP 09B19

Mr. Seidman inquired if the Building Inspector was going to refer Mr. Dunn’s proposal to the Planning Board, given that the MV Commission had endorsed the proposal for the theater.  

Mr. Peak understood that the Building Inspector intended to refer the application to the Planning Board, but offered to confirm this with the Building Inspector.


1.  Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 02 March 2012 Extended Schedule
B. 08 March 2012 Meeting Agenda
C. Mike Mauro (Planner) – Complete Streets Workshop (03/20/12)

Mr. Stephenson expressed an interest, but could not commit at this time, without checking his calendar.  Mr. Peak offered to substitute for Mr. Stephenson, if he finds he is unable to attend the workshop.

2. Tisbury Board of Appeals
A. Special Permit# 2100 – Zachary Clark, AP 23A16.36
B. Special Permit # 2101 – MV Winery, AP 07N06
C. Public Hearing Notice – David Spooner, AP 23A29.11 (outside seating)
D. Public Hearing Notice – Jay Frederick, AP 25C10 (expansion/non-conforming structure)
E. Public Hearing Notice – Moon Owl Realty Trust, AP 31A06 (relocation/renovation of a pre-existing, non-conforming guest cottage in the shore zone)
F. Public Hearing Notice – Kim Melah, AP 59C04 (renovation & addition of a pre-existing, non-conforming structure in the shore zone)
G. Public Hearing Notice – Andrew Marek, AP 27A32.1 (swimming pool)

3. Thomson West
RE: Zoning Bulletin, 10 February 2012

4. Massachusetts Municipal Association
RE: TheBeacon, February 2012

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:25 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)