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Planning Board Minutes 05/09/12

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


DATE:           May 9, 2012
TIME:           7:00 PM

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

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

MINUTES:                As referred in the May 2, 2012 Meeting Agenda
                        25 April 2012 and 02 May 2012 – AVAILABLE

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7:00 PM Discussions with the Board of Selectmen, Tisbury Water Works Dept.,                     Dept. of Public Works, Finance & Advisory Committee, Tisbury Board of                   Health, Health Agent, Code Enforcement Officer
                Attendees: Refer to Signature Sheet

Over the past several years many projects have either been proposed or pursed on town own properties such as the landfill and the abutting parcel of land.  Recent proposals, including a proposal for a ground mounted photovoltaic installation has prompted the Planning Board Chairman to invite all town boards, commissions and committees responsible for either managing or regulating these properties to discuss the impact(s) of these proposals relative to their goals and plans. Mr. Peak thought it equally as important to understand the parameters of each of the board’s responsibilities and jurisdiction so that future municipal projects are planned and coordinated within a comprehensive land use plan that would maximize the use of town own properties.

Mr. Peak opened the discussions to ask the various board members and/or their representatives to explain both their regulatory powers and interests in the two specific parcels (AP 22A10 and 22A1).

Mr. Loberg, Chairman of the Board of Health replied that his board was concerned with maintaining the integrity of the membranes in the capped landfill area according to the Post-Closure Plan. At present the use of the landfill was very restricted. Over time, the state has gradually lifted the restriction(s) to allow a more liberal use of the capped areas.

Mr. Israel interrupted the discussions and noted that Mr. Snyder’s presence constituted a majority of the Board of Selectmen. He mentioned for the record that the Board of Selectmen was convening at the Town Hall Annex to participate in the discussions at the Planning Board’s meeting.

Mr. Pachico, Board of Health Agent added that he had looked into the possibility of mining the landfill to remove the capped areas, and visited Nantucket to observe their operations. He abandoned the project due to the cost.

Mr. Straw, member of the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative expressed concern about the odor from the mining operations. He felt it would have a negative impact on the abutting residential district. Mr. Straw also clarified that the photovoltaic installations were semi-permanent, in that the installer had assured him that they could be assembled or disassembled within 90 days. If the town opted to use lands for other municipal uses in the future, the panels could be easily removed and possibly mounted on the roof of any structure.

Mr. Peak inquired if assessor parcel 22A10 was site assigned by the state. Mr. Pachico replied in the affirmative. Mr. Peak inquired if there was a map illustrating the site assigned areas. And Mr. Pachico replied in the affirmative. Mr. Peak was interested in learning if the contiguous properties (assessor parcels 20A04, 20A05, 20A05.2, 20A05.3, 20A05.1, 20A06, 21A01, 21B01, 21B34, 22A04, 22A10 and 22A1) were among the site designated parcels, and if Mr. Pachico would provide the Planning Board with a copy of the map. Mr. Pachico, again replied in the affirmative.

Roland Miller, a member of the Water Department Commission informed the Board that they had just renovated their offices, and obtained town approval for the installation of another water tower. The new tower was to be installed east of the existing tank. The commissioners were looking for a location to erect a garage to store their vehicles, and were contemplating somehwere within the vicinity of DPW compound.

Mr. Peak noted that the compost pile had disappeared. Mr. LaPiana agreed, noting that it was temporary. Mr. Peak mentioned that the Planning Board had suggested the possibility of adding a structure for the Water Department’s use within the municipal campus that’s burgeoned over the last few years. Mr. Peak understood that there was underground infrastructure involved with the water tank. Mr. Miller replied in the affirmative. Mr. Peak thought it was important to share the information, because it would impact future projects in the area.

Mr. Israel was asked to explain the Board of Selectmen’s administrative responsibilities over town owned lands.  Mr. Israel acknowledged that they had an administrative responsibility over town lands, except for the lands managed by the Board of Health and the Water Department. The only facility they were actively managing was the Park-N-Ride. The expenditures and operations were being shared with the Steamship Authority and the VTA. At present, the Board of Selectmen were investing ways to improve revenue collection. Mr. Israel indicated that the Board of Selectmen were also interested in moving forward on a new town hall, and considering a photovoltaic installation by the septage lagoons, with the Board of Health and Water Department’s recommendations and/or consent. Given that their plans to have a new town hall are not in the immediate future, they’ve pursued and obtained town approval to extend the lease of the trailers, with the option to purchase at the end of the lease. He offered the use of the Board of Selectmen’s televised meetings as a public forum for these discussions.

Mr. Ferraguzzi, a member of the Department of Public Works Commission explained that they were trying to preserve as much of the abutting properties, outside the zones of contribution for use as leaching fields, but did not believe they were viable any longer for this use because it was possible that they were contributing nitrogen to the Tashmoo Watershed. They currently had a committee investigating alternative leaching sites. It also opened land once designated for leaching fields for development, such as a new town hall or garage for the Water Department. Mr. Peak inquired if there were plans illustrating the areas Mr. Ferraguzzi had discussed. Mr. Ferraguzzi replied in the affirmative.

Mr. Pachico inquired about the location of the sewer line. Mr. LaPiana noted that the DPW was responsible for maintaining their facilities, which included mowing the lawn, etc. His department was responsible for operating the local drop-off facility seven days a week for MSW and recyclables (commodities). He did not foresee future plans to expand these operations, because they were sized appropriately for the intended use. The connector road project required the acquisition of land, and the trading of land. The plans incorporated the addition of  a water line, which was to run parallel to the connector road to connect both the Manter Well and Sanborn Well pipes, and install a 3”wastewater main to connect head-in to the Tashmoo Pond area.  Mr. LaPiana confirmed that they were currently storing the town’s emergency vehicles in a building he wanted to convert into a mechanic shop. The composting site is still registered with DEP for leaves, and remains an active site for this purpose. There was a suggestion from Mr. Straw of using the site for a photovoltaic installation because of its proximity to the DPW’s sewer plan to reduce their $40,000.00 annual electrical bill. Mr. Pachico alerted Mr. LaPiana that it was a site assigned area for composting that requires both the Board of Health and DEP’s approval. Mr. LaPiana recalled that the same site was being considered for other uses, such as for the Water Department and Town Hall Annex. He clarified for the record that the use of the property for a photovoltaic installation was just a concept.

Mr. Pachico inquired about the proposed sewer line, because he understood a portion of the line was going through a site assigned area of the landfill.  Mr. LaPiana illustrated on the plans for the connector road, provided by the Planning Board for discussion purposes that the layout for the wastewater line was for the most part going to run under the road, except for the portion that needed to go around the pit. He was taking advantage of the ravine going by the landfill and the soccer field. He was also running a sewer main to the fire station property that would allow the town to connect other buildings.  For the present, Mr. LaPiana did not have plans to expand the footprint of his facilities, except for the wastewater treatment plant, which would proceed in a modular fashion.

Mr. Peak inquired if there were any plans depicting the actual locations of the sewer lines connecting to the sewer plant. Mr. LaPiana replied in the affirmative, including a layout for the 3” line going to the VNA. Mr. Peak inquired if the existing leaching fields were going to remain. Mr. LaPiana replied in the negative, explaining that if they managed to find a “postage-sized” area that could accommodate the 50,000 gallons currently leaching on site along with the additional 150,000 gallons of effluent, they would no longer need the fields. It was in the town’s best interests to remove the existing leaching fields, because there was a good possibility that the existing leaching field was contributing nitrogen to the Tashmoo Watershed.  Mr. LaPiana mentioned that the “wick system” would allow them to discharge larger quantities of effluent into smaller tracts of land area.

Mr. LaPiana further noted that if they were able to abandon the leaching field, the land would continue to work as the multi-purpose playing field and soccer field, and the reserve area for the expansion of the existing leaching field behind the DPW building would become available for other municipal uses.

Mr. Thompson inquired if portions of the properties in question were being leased. Mr. LaPiana replied in the affirmative, noting that they have a 99 year lease with the state to accommodate their salt shed. The town receives free salt and sand in perpetuity in the amount of  $50,000.00 to $60,000.00 per year. The DPW also granted the fiber optic company a small easement within their footprint to accommodate a small substation for their operations. The project had a short shelf life. It nonetheless brings opportunities for future consideration, should another company attempt a similar operation.

Mr. Miller noted that the Water Department does have a map(s) illustrating the water mains and easements. Mr. Peak thought it would benefit the town to have them in a digital format that would break up the different components in different layers. Mr. Peak offered to speak with Chris Sidel, the MV Commission’s information systems export to see how they could combine the information onto one map, and accumulate pertinent documents in one place for easy reference.

Mr. Peak hoped everyone would come to agree with the Planning Board, that it is beneficial to start talking early about projects their departments were contemplating. Mr. Pachico was of the impression that the Planning Board was required to review all municipal projects. Mr. Peak noted that the town meeting article that established the Planning Board in 1926 indicated that municipal buildings should be reviewed by them. It did not grant or imply that they had vetoing powers over these projects. It was his impression that the language allowed them to comment on the proposal’s integration with an existing plan of development.

Mr. Israel assumed the discussions were going to include other town owned properties (i.e. septage lagoons and recreational areas) in which town projects were overlapping. He thought they should be raised and discussed as well, and suggested a second or a series of sessions. Mr. Peak agreed with Mr. Israel, and explained that he wanted to keep the discussions as concise as possible on the two parcels of land, with the possibility of either holding a second session, or opening up a dialogue for future sessions addressing other town properties in similar situations.

Mr. Pachico announced that there were two abandoned generators at the Park-N-Ride that had to be removed. It was noted that the school had recently replaced their generators. Mr. Israel offered to speak with the Town Administrator to have them removed. Mr. Pachico also noted that the “wick system” to date has only been used in two communities within the Commonwealth, and have performed poorly. Mr. Pachico advised Mr. LaPiana that the Board of Health also had five (5) different studies attesting that the existing leaching fields were not in the zone of contribution; otherwise they would not have been installed in their current location. Mr. Peak reiterated that it was one reason for encouraging town boards to speak about their projects early on to prevent these situations. Mr. Peak raised the location of the salt shed as an example. Its location impinged upon on the layout of the connector. Mr. Israel also thought that these topics could also be discussed at a Cabinet Meeting. Mr. Peak concurred.

There being no further comment, the discussions ended at 8:15 PM.

For a few minutes after the discussions, the Board members engaged in a post-meeting cap, in which all agreed that the discussions went well. Mr. Aldrin thought the forum should be implemented on discussing Mr. Stephenson’s list of projects. Board members agreed.


1.      Estimated Growth Projections
RE: Dan Seidman’s Report

Mr. Seidman reported that the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s estimates were based on the assumption that every available lot was going to be developed to its maximum potential use under current zoning regulations. As he looked further into the data, he began to question the MV Commission’s estimates, because they included parcels and areas that couldn’t be developed, or not developed as anticipated.  

Based on the data he obtained from the Building Department, there were fifty-one single family dwellings that were permitted in 2006, twenty-eight single family dwellings in 2006 and only seven such building permits issued in 2010. It equated to an average of twenty-three single family dwellings per year for the last eleven years. Christine Flynn from the MV Commission had data for the years of 1981 to 2009. Although some of the figures conflicted, they were close enough and averaged at thirty single family dwellings for the past twenty-eight years.    

At the rate the town had been issuing building permits, Mr. Seidman estimated that there would be an average of  twenty single family dwellings per year, with a build out rate of sixty years, or; an average of thirty single family dwellings per year with a build out rate of forty years. His noted that the estimates did not take into consideration any technological advances in wastewater management that could affect density. It was his impression or speculation that a more realistic number would be half the number estimated by the MV Commission.

Board members reviewed the maps the MV Commission provided the Board for their build out analysis, and noted that it included properties such as the school within their estimates. Mr. Seidman further noted that it did not take into consideration that there would be areas where they wouldn’t see any development.

1. Kenneth A. Barwick, Bldg Insp.
RE: Referral to the MVC (intro of a propane company at Goodale’s AP 22A06)      

2. Marion Mudge, Town Clerk
RE: Open Meeting Law (02/10/12 Edition)

3. Fred LaPiana, Dept. of Public Works
RE: VNA’s Sewer Force Main Connection

4. Tisbury Board of Assessors
RE: Town Deeds for AP 22A10 and 22A11

5. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
Re: 4 May 2012 Extended Schedule

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:45 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)