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Planning Board Minutes 10/03/12

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


DATE:           October 3, 2012
TIME:           7:11 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Aldrin, Peak, Seidman and Thompson

BILLS:          P. Harris (Reimbursement/Office Supplies)……… $7.35

MINUTES:                As referred in the September 19, 2012 Meeting Agenda
                        22 August 2012  M/S/C           4/0/0
                        05 September 2012       M/S/C           4/0/0
                        19 September 2012       M/S/C           4/0/0

7:00 PM Douglas Hoehn, SB&H Inc. Re: Form A - Alan Cordts,

Board members were informed that Mr. Hoehn had called the office to postpone his appointment until October 17, 2012.

7:15 PM Public Hearing (cont.): Special Permit for T-Mobile Northeast LLC, AP                   22A11, High Point Lane  
                Attendance: Paul Decoste, Agent and Mary Ellen Larsen, Fin Com

The continuation of the public hearing was duly opened at 7:20 PM. Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak read the public hearing notice into the minutes, and notified the applicant’s agent, Mr. DeCoste of Mr. Stephenson’s absence. Mr. DeCoste advised the Board that his client was informed of the situation, and wanted to proceed with the hearing with the four member board.   

Mr. DeCoste indicated that he was filling in for Bill Hanrahan of Network Building and Consulting LLC. He stated that T-Mobile wanted to upgrade components of the existing wireless communication facility on the water tank as part of T-Mobile’s nationwide modernization project.

For this particular site, the applicant was proposing to replace the three (3) existing antennas with three (3) modern antennas of similar size, replace the equipment cabinet, remove  six (6) Tower Mounted Amplifiers, add six (6) AWS/PCS diplexers (cables) and fiber cable.

The new equipment cabinet was described to look like a large refrigerator, and used to protect the base station.

Mr. DeCoste mentioned that the particular installation was one of seven thousand targeted for an upgrade so that T-Mobile can launch LTE in 2013.

Mr. Aldrin inquired if they were also proposing to replace the masts. Mr. DeCoste replied in the negative.

Mr. Peak advised the Board that there were certain application submittal requirements that did not pertain to the application, since the proposal was not for a new installation, but an upgrade of an existing facility. He thought they should mention them into the record of the minutes and make it a part of the decision. Mr. Peak noted that there was a requirement for an Environmental Analysis, Town Wide Map of other wireless communication facilities, a balloon and crane test. Since they pertained to new constructions, he noted that they did not apply to this application because the proposal was limited to an upgrade of an existing installation that was collocated with three other similar installations on the water tank.

Mr. Peak however did have a question about the noise filing requirement. The rating in the regulations specified that it was not to exceed 50 decibels. He asked Mr. DeCoste if he knew what the current facility’s rating was.  Mr. DeCoste replied that he did not have that information, but understood that it would not exceed the 50 decibel limit.

Mr. Peak referred the Board to the section 07.16.04 of the bylaw entitled Use Regulations and read the requirements. The Board found that the following Use Regulations in S. 07.16.04 did not apply:

A. Use regulation (5, 6) pertained to new facilities.
B. (7) Height Limit of forty-five feet above pre-construction natural grade did not pertain, given that the     proposal was for a modification of a pre- existing, non-conforming wireless facility on an existing structure.     
C. (8b) Camouflaging the visibility of Wireless Communication Facilities (WCF) by vegetation does not apply because the application was for the modification of an existing WCF that was on the roof of a water tank. The       property on which the equipment cabinets are located is governed by the Tisbury Water Works.  
D. (10) Setback requirements and fencing did not apply since the applicant was co-locating their equipment on an existing structure, already protected by a seven (7) ft. high fence.
E. (12) The Executive Office of Health and Human Services - Department of Public Health no longer required notification and approval from companies that installed radio frequency antennas, so that Section of the bylaw was no longer valid.

Mr. Peak asked the Board if they had any questions of the applicant’s agent.  Mr. Seidman inquired in the antennas protruded out further. Mr. DeCoste replied that the difference was not significant.

Mr. Peak inquired if there was an acoustic analysis. Mr. DeCoste replied in the negative. He mentioned that in the letter of application to the Board it was stated that the installation would not exceed 50 decibels. Mr. Peak confirmed that there was a statement to that effect on page 8 of the letter. Mr. Peak did not think it presented an issue, but nonetheless asked Mr. DeCoste for a letter confirming that an acoustic analysis was not available for the existing and upgraded system.  
Board members reviewed the specifications of the antennas to compare the dimensions with the existing equipment being replaced.

Mr. Peak inquired if Mr. DeCoste was aware of the bond requirement. Mr. DeCoste replied in the affirmative. Mr. Peak informed Mr. DeCoste that there was a ten (10) year limitation to the permit.

Mr. Peak asked the Board if they had any questions or concerns about the proposal. There being none, he asked if they prepared to make a motion. Mr. Seidman moved to approve of T-Mobile’s proposal to exchange/upgrade the wireless facility’s equipment as stated in the letter of application and in the testimony during the hearing.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0  The hearing was duly closed at 7:42 PM

7:42 PM Deliberations: Special Permit for T-Mobile Northeast LLC, AP 22A11, High                Point Lane  

The Board opened the deliberations immediately after closing the public hearing at 7:42 PM. The Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak advised the board members that the secretary had prepared a draft document outlining the particulars of the proposal and the zoning and submittal requirements that applied. The document also included language in the Finding and Condition’s section of the draft that has been applied to similar applications for their consideration.

Mr. Peak recommended starting at the section entitled ‘Findings”.  He suggested amending Finding No. 3 to state “ The applicant in the letter of application was not proposing any provisions for lighting”.  Mr. Peak also recommended revising Finding No. 4(B) by deleting “was equal to the existing facility” and adding “will be less than or equal to the present facility and less than 50 decibels.”

In the section entitled “Determination”, Mr. Peak thought they should take a formal vote on the four (4) submittal requirements the applicant was required to submit. Mr. Seidman moved the grant the applicant relief from Submittal Requirement No. 10 pertaining to an environmental assessment. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Aldrin moved the grant the applicant relief from Submittal Requirement No. 8, pertaining to the requirement for an acoustic engineer’s report. Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, and the motion carried 4/0/0

Mr. Seidman moved the grant the applicant relief from Submittal Requirement No. 3 for a town wide map of all other existing WCF’s. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion. The motion carried. 4/0/0

Mr. Aldrin moved the grant the applicant relief from Submittal Requirement No. 11, the balloon and crane test required for new towers. Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, and the motion carried 4/0/0

Mr. DeCoste was asked to review the language in Finding No. 2 to verify that the proposal was accurately reflected in the document. Mr. DeCoste replied in the affirmative.

Board members continued on to the section entitled Determination and Conditions & Restrictions. Mr. Peak recommended revising the second sentence in Restriction No. 3 to state “If not, the applicant will inform the Planning Board in writing that such report is not available, at the expiration of the twenty day appeal period.”.

Board members were asked for additional comments, and there being none, Mr. Peak recommended continuing the deliberations on October 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall Annex to review the final draft of the decision for approval.  Mr. Seidman so moved. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

The Planning Board resumed their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:53 PM

8:00 PM         Amy Tierney, Tisbury Elementary School’s Needs Study Committee

Mrs. Tierney wanted the opportunity to ask the Planning Board if they considered the school as a topic for the Master Plan, and if there were any recommendations or proposals the Needs Study Committee should be made aware of.

She mentioned that the rumor mill was that there appeared to be a preference to relocate the school to the town hall site, and use the school property for a new town hall. She personally preferred expanding the school on the current site, because of its location in town.

Mrs. Tierney noted that the town voted to fund a needs and feasibility study for the school. The Needs Committee met recently with the architects they hired to discuss some of their initial impressions. For a complete report, they architects have to look at te adequacy of the existing site and other sites for a comparison. Mr. Peak added that in the study, they had to assess the existing building to determine if they met the Mass. School Building Association’s standards, to recommend whether  they could upgrade the school  to meet the standards on the existing site, or on other town owned properties, in order to apply for funding that was spearheaded for a particular size of the school, enrollment, etc.

Mr. Peak at the Committee’s last meeting clarified that the Planning Board did not include the school as part of the Master Plan, but that the topic arose in conversation of the Master Plan on several occasions when they were working on their reports.  He also advised the Committee that the Planning Board had always favored keeping the school in its current location, in the center of town, because there were limited options of town owned properties that were suited for the relocation of the school.

Mrs. Tierney indicated that the architect has asked for potential town owned properties where the school may be relocated. In absence of information, the architect has referred to the assessor maps and has selected three sites, one of which included Veteran’s Park. Mr. Peak noted that he developed a list of town owned properties the architect could study, and has tried to email the information. Mrs. Tierney did not like the direction the architect was going with the list of properties he sent her.  Mr. Peak promised to follow through with the email the architect.

Mrs. Tierney inquired about the properties Mr. Peak intended to email the architect, Mr. Jorge Cruz. Mr. Peak indicated that the list included the Fortes property next door to the school’s parking lot on Spring Street, the Manter Property and a few others.

Mr. Peak obtained a copy of the architect’s draft report, in which they wrote that approximately 60-70% of the building was structurally good, but that the internal floor plan has to be reconfigured to meet the minimum space needs for the class rooms. It appeared that the architects are recommending 83,000 sq. ft. for their space needs, and they currently are operating with 52,000 sq. ft.

The Planning Board thought they should stay on site and expand the building further out into the parking lot. Other suggestions were raised to Mrs. Tierney, who departed at 8:30 PM.

8:30 PM  John Hoff, Oak Leaf Landscaping re: Cronig’s Landscaping, State Road

Board members were informed that Mr. Stephenson had met with Mr. Hoff at Cronig’s on State Road on 10/02/12 at 3:30 PM to discuss an alternative plan for the old oak tree that was scheduled to be cropped down to 40 ft.

Mr. Peak understood Mr. Hoff had requested an appointment with the Planning Board to modify condition 1.4 of the MV Commission’s Decision for DRI 321-M3 (Cronig’s Solar Canopies), which directed the applicant to trim down the oak tree to a level of 30’-40’ in height.

Board members were advised that the MV Commission gave the applicant permission to go to the Planning Board to resolve any issue with the condition as it pertained to the oak tree’s maintenance.

Mr. Hoff mentioned that he met with Mr. Stephenson and Mark Clements, the landscaper about the oak tree, Mr. Clements was scheduled to trim down the tree tomorrow on 10/04/12, but advised him that the oak tree would not survive if they were to remove 1/3 of its height. He recommended cutting it down altogether. Mr. Hoff stated that it did not make sense to keep a disfigured 30 ft trunk up front, when they were planting five maple trees the following day on Friday.

Mr. Stephenson in his report to the Planning Board concurred with Messrs. Hoff and Clements. He did not favor having a 40’ high mangled version of an oddly shaped tree standing, when they could replace it with another maple tree.  

Mrs. Larsen inquired how tall the maple trees could grow. Mr. Hoff replied about 30’. Mr. Hoff added that the remaining branches on the oak tree were going to conflict with the maple trees, and eclipses them, which may have a negative impact on their growth.

Mr. Aldrin agreed that topping the tree did not make any sense at all, and favored having five (5) red maples trees in a business district.

Mr. Seidman questioned the sense in cutting down a tree that would have an impact on the solar panels just three months out of the year. He asked Mr. Hoff if he knew how much shade was allowable before it would have a negative impact. Mr. Hoff could not respond.

Mr. Peak inquired how far they were spacing the maple trees. Mr. Hoff replied 20’ – 24’ apart, so that their canopies could grow into each other in a few years.  He asked if they intended to keep the hedge. Mr. Hoff replied in the affirmative.

Mr. Peak noted that Mr. Stephenson was inquiring how the removal of the oak tree was going to impact the spacing of the maple trees. Mr. Hoff replied in the negative, adding that the spacing was independent of the oak tree. Mr. Peak commented that he thought it was rather ironic that they had to remove trees to accommodate solar panels.

Mr. Seidman inquired how much energy the oak tree eliminated, and thought they should leave the oak tree and forget the maple trees. They were talking about a seasonal loss.

Additional discussions ensued and Mr. Peak referred the Board to Condition 1.4 in the MV Commission’s decision, in which the Planning Board has to render a decision to resolve any issues with the oak tree.  Mr. Peak therefore moved to grant the applicant permission to remove the tree in its entirety, according to the provisions of the MV Commission’s Decision for DRI 321-M3. Mr. Aldrin so moved. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion.  Mr. Thompson and Mr. Seidman agreed with great reservations.  4/0/0


1. Planning Board’s Meeting Schedule
RE: October 10 vs. October 17, 2012

Mr. Stephenson asked to have the topic placed on the agenda to see if the Planning Board would consider holding an extra meeting on October 10, 2012, or holding a meeting on the 10th in lieu of October 17, 2012, to accommodate Mr. Weisman’s presentation of his plans for a harbor walk on Beach Road.

In a phone conversation with Mr. LaPiana, the board secretary learned that Mr. Weisman could make his presentation on October 17, 2012, because their meeting with the Community Preservation Committee was scheduled for the following week.  His objective for the meeting was to solicit the Planning Board’s, the Board of Selectmen’s and the Harbor Management Committee’s comments and support to submit with the application to the Community Preservation Committee. It was the purpose for asking if
the Planning Board would consider inviting the Board of Selectmen and the Harbor Management Committee for the presentation.

The Board Secretary advised that they had a public hearing scheduled on October 17, and could not cancel the meeting.  

Mr. Seidman recommended scheduling Mr. Weisman on October 17, 2012 and holding to their schedule.  Board members agreed.


1.  Tisbury Board of Health
RE: Ralph M Packer, Jr, AP 10B01

2. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 28 September 2012 Extended Schedule
B. 04 October 2012 Meeting Agenda
C. MVC Liaisons to Planning Boards

3. Massachusetts Municipal Association
RE: TheBeacon, September 2012

4. Paul DeCoste, Networking Building & Consulting LLC
RE: Hudson Design Group’s Structural Analysis Report for R1502 – Water Tank (Tisbury), dated July 12, 2012

5. Arts Martha’s Vineyard
RE: Creative Economy Brown Bag Lunch Speaker Series

6.      Peg Regan, Martha’s Vineyard Complete Streets
RE: Map for Walkability Study (Tisbury Elementary School)

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:00 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)