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Planning Board Minutes 06/06/12

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


DATE:           June 6, 2012
TIME:           7:09 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

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

BILLS:          Verizon ………………………..$52.11
                        Postage…………………………$   .65

MINUTES:                As referred in the May 23, 2012 Meeting Agenda
                        25 April 2012           M/S/C           4/0/0
                        02 May 2012             M/S/C           4/0/0
                        09 May 2012             M/S/C           4/0/0
                        23 May 2012             M/S/C           4/0/0

7:09 PM House Business

A) Mr. Thompson, the Planning Board’s representative to the MV Land Bank Advisory Committee reported that they were considering the purchase of a parcel of land within the “Wedge” and separating a house lot for the existing property owner’s single family dwelling. The main parcel was to be managed by the MV Land Bank and restricted for passive recreation.

B) Planning Board members were asked to consider the committees they were willing to serve as the Board’s representative.  The subject was to be added on next week’s agenda.


1. Daniel Seidman and L. Anthony Peak
A. Alternative Wastewater Treatment Systems – Field Trip on 05/18/12

Mr. Seidman met with Mr. George Haufelder at the research center to learn about the alternative treatment systems that were being tested. He advised the Board that they were trying to accelerate the decomposition of the raw waste by introducing oxygen (air) into the anaerobic chamber under controlled circumstances.  It was suggested that the oxygen created a chemical reaction that accelerated the natural enzymatic processes.  Mr. Haufelder informed Mr. Seidman that wanted to test various commercial additives, but has only succeeded in obtaining permission to test just one product.

Mr. Seidman noted that the research center was also attempting to do the same with failed leaching fields.

B. Estimated Build-Out Analysis (Tisbury)

Mr. Seidman noted that at the last round of discussions, they greed the theoretical number of units for the town’s build-out rate was at 1169 or 1200, but that a more practical number was 600 units, which would render an average of thirty units per year over a ten or fifteen year period.

Based on the data he obtained from the Building Department, Mr. Seidman explained that the town had issued an average of thirty building permits per year, between 1981 and 2009. The number dropped to an average of twenty-three building permits, between the years of 2000 and 2011.  Given the economy, and trend towards renovations and additions, Mr. Seidman reasoned that it a more accurate number would be somewhere between seventeen and twenty new single family dwelling units per year over the next fifteen years. Mr. Seidman suggested that they recommend the higher number i.e. twenty units per year and/or a total of three hundred units over the next fifteen years.

Relative to Mr. Stephenson’s concern regarding the location(s) of growth, Mr. Seidman explained that it would not have an impact on their recommendations, provided the distribution of growth did not include the watershed areas in town.

Mr. Seidman referred the Board to the four (4) questions Sherri Caseau emailed the Planning Board, based on a phone conversation with Mike Giggey. Mr. Giggey wanted the Board to address the following questions:

1)      Theoretical buildout- Do you agree with the MV Commission’s numbers?
2)      Practical buildout- Planning horizon, what percentage of the theoretical build out do you see happening?
3)      How far out do you want to plan?
Things to consider:
-treatment plant, increase sewering
-effluent disposal
4)      Distribution of growth, consider each watershed individually (Tashmoo, Lagoon and Vineyard Sound) Do you agree with Bill Wilcox’s theoretical buildout for these watersheds?

Mr. Seidman directed the Board to the third question, given that they had already addressed the first two questions in the previous discussion. He noted that Mr. Giggey had advised him that they were no longer considering the parcel of land next to Mink Meadows, but the golf course itself. They were thinking that they could discharge the underneath Mink Meadows during the winter months, and irrigate the lawns with the effluent in the summer.

Mr. Seidman mentioned that the Wastewater Advisory Committee was requesting a letter from the Planning Board with their decision(s), so that they could discuss the results of their analysis with Mr. Giggey.

Mr. Stephenson felt comfortable recommending the 300 units, and the Planning Board members agreed.

Mr. Seidman recommended a meeting with the Wastewater Advisory Committee members on June 20, 2012 to convey their recommendations, then meet with the Committee and Mr. Giggey on July 11, 2012. The Board agreed, and revised their meeting schedule to accommodate the Wastewater Advisory Committee on June 20, 2012. They subsequently canceled their meeting on June 27, 2012.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if the town had data about the densities of various areas in town, more specifically the Wedge. He wanted to investigate if they could accommodate affordable housing and larger housing complexes (i.e Vineyard House, assisted living or independent living residences for the elderly) in these areas, and if they might have to change the zoning regulations.  Mr. Seidman referred Mr. Stephenson to the Committee’s Report, which included the information he had requested.  

2. Henry Stephenson
RE: Potential Planning Board Projects (Cont.)

Mr. Stephenson limited the discussions to the seven most important projects he believed the town should pursue. He began the list with a new town hall, followed by the Tisbury School’s renovation or expansion, the Fire Department’s old building on Beach Street, the post office’s parking lot, the Tashmoo Overlook and Park Plan, the repair of the Beach Road seawall, the Tashmoo Hill Study and Island Housing Trust’s plans for house on Water Street next to the Stop-N-Shop.

Mr. Stephenson indicated the town had to hire a professional consultant to study the town hall and town hall annex personnel’s space needs, as the Planning Board studied potential sites. He wanted to revisit the sites that they had discussed in the past during their search.

Mr. Seidman thought they should draft the Board of Selectmen a letter requesting them to hire a consultant. Mr. Stephenson thought they should ask the town administrator if the Board of Selectmen had conducted such a study in the recent past or if such a study was in progress. The Planning Board also had to look at the Municipal Needs Assessment to update the report.

Mr. Stephenson thought the Town would also benefit from hiring a consultant to study the school’s space needs to determine if they could renovate and expand the existing building, or relocate to a new location. Mr. Stephenson preferred that they keep the school in its current location.

Mr. Peak advised Mr. Stephenson that the town had approved an article to fund a space needs study for the school. The Board of Selectmen had created a committee to move forward on the space needs analysis which will include a performance analysis of the existing building and recommendations to upgrade.

Mr. Stephenson noted that the town had approved funds to tear down the old fire station, but that the Harbor Landing Hotel next door was concerned that the improvements for the parking lot interrupted access to the five parking spaces on their property. He did not know if they had legal access or some arrangement with the town to use public property for this purpose. Mr. Stephenson hoped that the final agreement would allow the Harbor Landing Hotel to improve (plantings) the aesthetics up front.

On raising the post office, Mr. Seidman commented the brick walk was extremely unattractive. He did not understand why they could not add a planted area along with some benches in the cornerto make it user friendly.  Mr. Stephenson explained that the bricked area was supposed to have planting and benches but that funds fell short. He did not see why they could not gradually improve the area with plantings, and offered to speak with Mr. LaPiana. Mr. Peak thought they should look at the language of the warrant article that allowed them to obtain the corner. It may shed light about the improvement. Board members agreed.

Mr. Stephenson informed the Board that the Martha’s Vineyard Open Land Foundation has helped the town’s subcommittee with the survey of the Tashmoo Overlook’s View Corridor. He noted that they had also offered to help the town develop a park plan for Tashmoo Park. Mr. Stephenson had hoped to meet with them today, but was advised by the Planning Board Secretary that they had canceled their appointment.

Mr. Stephenson noted that the DPW had obtained funds from the Community Preservation Committee to improve the harbor side park along the causeway on Beach Road.  He heard from Mr. LaPiana that the state was also thinking of repairing the seawall. Mr. LaPiana thought they could be funds to create a double sided corridor through other state agencies, such as the Department of Transportation. He thought if they had a plan, the town could approach the various agencies to consider their proposal.

Mr. Peak thought the Planning Board should contact the state agencies such as the Department of Transportation directly and ask them point blank about their proposal. It was possible that they may have information about the other agencies that could help with funding.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that Mark London, the Director of the MV Commission has offered to help develop a land use plan for the Tashmoo Hill area.  Mr. LaPiana noted that the grant application he had submitted to the state failed because the town did not integrate the connector road into a comprehensive land use plan. Once a plan was developed, he would reapply to the state.

Mr. Stephenson informed the Board that the Mr. Bernier had donated the house on Water Street, next to the Stop and Shop to Island Housing Trust (IHT). Mr. Jordi, Exec. Dir. of IHT is proposing a mixed use. He thought the Planning board should get involved in IHT’s project.

3. Bill Straw
RE: Use of the Compost Area and Septage Lagoons for Photovoltaic Installations

Board members were informed that the Building Inspector confirmed Mr. Straw’s comment with regards to the need for a zoning change. The Board Secretary learned from the Building Inspector that the septage lagoons were in a residential district. Large ground mounted photovoltaic installations are not permitted by right or special permit.


1.  Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Public Hearing Notice – Ned Gearheart, AP 07C04 (expansion & renovation-preexisting non-conforming structure)
B. Public Hearing Notice – Reeve Moreau, AP 07D13 (food service activity outdoors)
C. Public Hearing Notice – Deborah A. Johnson, AP 07D13 (food service activity outdoors)
D. Public Hearing Notice – John Roriz, AP 22C05 (sheet metal shop)
E. Public Hearing Notice – Amity LLC, AP 07F04 (food service with outside seating)

2. Patricia Reagan RE: Complete Streets
RE: Sample Ordinance/Policy

3. EBI Consulting
RE: Invitation to Comment (AT&T’s WCF’s impact on historical properties)

4. MV Commission
A. 01 June 2012 Extended Meeting Schedule
B. 07 June 2012 Meeting Agenda
C. Island Road District of Critical Planning Concern – Amendments (Goals & Guidelines) of February 9, 2012
D. Hazard Mitigation & Climate Change (Planning Kickoff) on 06/13/12

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:50 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)