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Planning Board Minutes 05/23/12

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


DATE:           May 23, 2012
TIME:           7:00 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

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

MINUTES:                As referred in the May 09, 2012 Meeting Agenda
                        25 April 2012           Deferred
                        02 May 2012             Deferred
                        09 May 2012             Deferred

7:00 PM Bill Straw, Cape & Vineyard Electric Co-operative (CVEC) Re: MGL                        Ch. 40A, s9B, Solar Access

Mr. Straw a member of the CVEC, Tisbury’s Energy Committee, Cape Light Compact and the Waste Water Treatment Committee indicated that he had met with the Building Inspector to inquire if existing zoning regulations would either permit or prohibit the use of the septage lagoon property for photovoltaic installations, as they had last discussed and agreed.

Mr. Barwick in the course of his conversations with Mr. Straw indicated that a zoning bylaw amendment would be required to allow the large ground mounted solar array in the R3A district. Mr. Stephenson thought it important to verify the information with the Building Inspector. If Mr. Straw understood correctly, the Planning Board would then be responsible for pursuing the bylaw amendment to permit the use as a permitted use or special permitted use.

The second site, Mr. Straw was interested in pursuing was the compost area beside the location of the new water tower. He explained that it was one of the sites the town and CVEC had reviewed with Broadway Renewable Energies LLC (contractor/installer) for the second round of awards.

Mr. Stephenson inquired about the land area, Mr. Straw intended to use for the photovoltaic installations at the septage lagoons and the composting area of High Point Lane. Mr. Straw replied that they were looking at an area, approximately 300 ft. X 600 ft. or three (3) - four (4) acres. Ordinarily one could produce 1 megawatt of power per five (5) acres, so that they would be able to produce about 700,000 watts of electricity under optimal conditions. With the habitat restrictions, Mr. Straw thought they may only have two (2) acres to work with at most.

The second area (composting area off High Point Lane) allowed for an installation covering a 170 ft. X 75 ft. (.25 acre) patch of land, which could provide up to 70% of the power required to operate the sewage treatment plant (100K watts). Mr. Straw indicated that Mr. LaPiana had advised him that he did not have an issue relocating the compost pile, since he’s already relocated half of the pile to accommodate the construction of the new water tower.

Mr. Straw did not think plans for the future development of the property(ies) should preclude them from installing these large scale solar arrays, because the installations could be easily removed.  Mr. Stephenson inquired if the contracts have a clause allowing temporary installations to secure the town’s future use of the land for other municipal uses. Mr. Straw could not respond, but understood that CVEC had the option to buy these installations at any point time during the life of the contract. He did not think the developer would be adverse to the concept. Mr. Stephenson indicated that the information was vital to their decision. He thought the developer should understand that there may be other uses for the land area in the future that may require the installation’s removal. Mr. Straw understood.

Mr. Stephenson noted that the smaller installation at the compost pile was in the BII District, but under the one acre requirement that would allow the use by special permit. He did not know if the regulation allowed for exceptions, and offered to review the bylaw. He also wanted to consult the Building Inspector to make sure that the use of the septage lagoons for this purpose required a bylaw amendment.

Mr. Straw noted that both sites were inspected with Broadway Renewable Energies LLC, who is under the impression that both sites are still in the running. He asked if the Planning Board was willing to issue a statement to the effect that the two sites were viable locations for solar panel installations.  Mr. Stephenson did not think the Planning Board was in the position to make a comment. Mr. Straw inquired when they thought they would be in the position to say that the sites were viable.  Mr. Stephenson noted that they might have to wait until next Fall or Spring, when they could pursue a bylaw amendment, if needed.

Mr. Straw inquired if he of the Planning Board initiated the process by which to revise the zoning regulations. Mr. Stephenson thought the Planning Board could initiate the process. In the interim the Board planned to follow through on their promises.  Mr. Straw was to be advised of their findings.

7:15 PM Patricia Regan Re: An overview of the Complete Streets Project and Mass in              Motion-MV grant

Mrs. Regan indicated that she was currently working for Dukes County on a grant that the Health Council applied for through the CEC and the Department of Public Health. She noted that they were awarded $60,000.00 annually for the next two years, with the possibility of an additional $60,000.00 per year, for the next three. She mentioned that there were different aspects to the grant, but wanted to discuss the two that directly involved the municipalities. The first, “Safe Routes to School” was designed to address the obesity rate that’s been burgeoning over the years among school aged children. Studies by the CEC have demonstrated that one of the contributing factors to the obesity rate was the fact that children were being driven to school, when they could walk or bike the distance. In the Tisbury Elementary School, approximately 25-30 children per class were being driven to school. As part the grant, she was going to survey all towns’ schools over a two year period to investigate the reasons, options, etc.

Under the “Complete Streets” portion of the grant, municipalities were being contacted to assist with issues involving “access” to school, the downtown area, senior housing, and aggregate housing. She and others have organized into committees to address the various components of the grant, and have inaugurated this component with a “Complete Streets” Workshop that provided information on street designs that improved pedestrian access.

Mrs. Reagan at present was conducting a “walkability and bikeability” audit of the whole island, and had just completed an audit of the shared use paths. She and her committee were planning an audit of the school environment this Fall with Mr. Veno’s assistance. She was of the impression that the results for both the audits and surveys would available by next fall.

Mr. Stephenson asked about the state’s definition of “a safe walking distance to school”. Mrs. Reagan replied 1.5 miles. Mr. Stephenson commented that the Town of Tisbury has densely developed areas around the school that would benefit from continuous network of sidewalks and walking trails. There was a whole array of disconnected streets, byways and walking paths. For lack of a formal plan and funding mechanism, very little has been done to address this issue.

Mrs. Reagan noted that she was bringing to the forefront the need to address the access issues confronting all pedestrians and cyclists on the island, and having an impact on our school aged children. She stated that they are finding that obesity appears to begin in the fourth grade, around puberty, and that the obesity rate for children between the 4th and 9th grades increases dramatically from 2% to 20%. It is one of the reasons; the state is asking all of the municipalities to adopt a “Complete Streets Policy”. She mentioned that she had copy of a sample ordinance the state had prepared, and offered to email a copy to the Planning Board in the hopes that they would consider adopting a similar policy or bylaw.  She was of the opinion that there were a lot of things the town could do to inform motorists that they are sharing the streets with a variety of users to change their attitudes and behavior.

Mrs. Reagan offered to meet with the Board in the late summer or fall to report the results of their audits and surveys and to assist with the adoption of the Complete Street Policy, if they opt to join.

7:50 PM    Thomas Pachico and Cole Powers, Form A Application, AP 22A13.11

Mr. Pachico submitted an application for a division of land creating four (4) lots on a 1.10 acre parcel of land in the BII District.

The Planning Board advised Mr. Pachico that the Division of Land triggered the MV Commission’s DRI Checklist, so that they had to refer the proposal. According to the checklist, the referral did not automatically qualify as a DRI. It offered the MV Commission the opportunity to determine if the proposal warranted a DRI review.

Mr. Pachico inquired if the Planning Board had any issues with the layout, in that he was proposing two – 10 ft wide easements from High Point Lane, across the front lots, about 20 ft. into the rear lots. He mentioned that Mr. Barwick appeared to have an issue with the easements, and the fact that the easements did not run down the full length of Lots 1 & 3.  Mr. Pachico inquired about the process, in that he did not understand how the Building Inspector could have an issue with Planning Board approved lots.

Mr. Pachico was advised that their endorsement did not have anything to do with the development of the lots. They referred him to the notation on the plan, which clearly noted that their endorsement of the plan was “without regard to buildability or permitted occupancy… notation hereon”.  The frontage for the lot and the setback requirements for the proposed development were within the Building Inspector’s purview.

Mr. Pachico explained that Mr. Powers wanted to purchase Lots 1 &3 to relocate his business. Mr. Powers added that he wanted to construct a commercial structure (60 ft. X 45 ft.) to consolidate his operations into one building. Mr. Pachico was concerned that Mr. Powers would not be able to meet the setback requirements for his building on Lot 3, if the frontage ran along two of the property lines, as Mr. Barwick suggested. He wanted to know if the Planning Board had any suggestions that would allow him to address the frontage issue so that the lot in question could be designed to have frontage along northerly property line. Mr. Pachico asked if he could resolve the issue by extending the 10 ft. wide easements the full length of the parcel, or if he had to construct a subdivision road. If the latter was necessary, would he be able to apply for reduced layout and traveled way, so that it would allow Mr. Powers to construct his building. Mr. Powers indicated that he needed a minimum of 21,000 sq. ft. to operate his business (office, warehouse, and staging area for materials). If it were not for the topography of the lot, the frontage would not be an issue.

Mr. Stephenson did not have an issue with either proposal, but did not think he could make a recommendation at this time without referring to the regulations, and hearing from the MV Commission. He advised Mr. Pachico that the Planning Board had the ability to waive some of their requirements, so that he would not have to propose a 40 ft. layout or a 20 ft. wide traveled way, and would be addressed at the appropriate time.

Mr. Stephenson advised Mr. Pachico that the Planning Board will be attending the discussions, the MV Commission will be scheduling for the referral.


1. Estimated Growth Estimates
RE: Report by Daniel Seidman

Mrs. Loberg inquired if the Planning Board had the opportunity to review the MV Commission’s data to report their findings to the Alternative Wastewater Treatment Committee.

Mr. Seidman replied that he had reviewed the MV Commission’s data and discussed his findings with the Planning Board. He believed the MV Commission’s calculations were designed for “a worst case scenario”. Based on the data he obtained from the town for the past eleven (11) years, he thought half their figures were much more realistic.

Mr. Stephenson understood that towns in general rarely built out to the maximum, but he felt there could be one or two exceptions. One that came to mind included the “wedge”, where a zoning change could impact its development in terms of density. Mr. Seidman reiterated that the figures would still remain essentially the same

Mrs. Loberg thought it was the Alternative Wastewater Treatment Committee was also interested in learning from the Board about the areas where density could supersede what zoning presently allowed. She explained that the Committee wanted to know which areas in town were going to incur development, because the size of the wastewater treatment facility’s expansion will be based on the anticipated wastewater generation.

Mr. Stephenson wanted to meet with Mr. Seidman to review the data he obtained from the Building Department, and discussed potential dates and times.  Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Seidman agreed on May 29, 2012 at 10AM in the Town Hall Annex.

2. Planning Board Meeting Schedule

Mr. Seidman recommended cancelling their regularly scheduled meeting on May 23, 2012, and so moved. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried. 3/0/0

3. Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF)

Mr. Stephenson indicated that the VOLF has been helpful in defining and mapping the Tashmoo Overlook’s view corridor. During this project, Mr. Stephenson had the opportunity to speak to them about development of the park. They offered to meet with the Planning Board to provide some suggestions, and agreed to join the Board on June 6, 2012.


1.  Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Case # 1061 – Island Housing Trust, AP 56A07
B. Case # 2109 – Rose Abrahamson, AP 19A04
C. Case #  21     - 48 Hatch Road Trust, AP 05G03
D. Case# 2112 – Stop & Shop, AP 07F06
E. Case #2113 – Eleanor Hubbard aka Eleanor White, AP 31A06
F. Case #2114 – Jon Blau dba MV Chowder Co., AP 8C7.2
G. Case #2115 – Kim & Bryan Garrison, AP 07N08
H. Case #2116 – David & Christine Kadison, AP 35A1.12

2. Pail Millett, Environmental Partners
RE: Environmental Notification Form – VNA Sewer Force Main Connection

3. Thomson Reuters
RE: Zoning Bulletin, 10 April 2012

4. American Planning Association
RE: TheCommissioners, Spring 2012

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:30 P.M.           (m/s/c  3/0/0)