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Planning Board Minutes 04/03/13

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


DATE:           April 3, 2013
TIME:                   7:04 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:       Peak, Seidman, Stephenson, and Thompson (Mary Ellen Larsen FinCom)
ABSENT:         Aldrin

BILLS:          UPS Store……………………………….$263.25

MINUTES:                As referred in the March 27, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        06 March 2013   Deferred
                        20 March 2013   Deferred
                        27 March 2013   Deferred

7:00 PM         Joseph Hall, AP 08B06 - Informal Disc: Form A/Deep Lot

Mr. Hall indicated that he was interested in soliciting the Planning Board’s impressions on a division of land he was contemplating for a 40,000 sq. ft. parcel of land his wife owned on 70 Spring Street in the R10 District. He explained that they wanted to scale down as they headed towards retirement.

Mr. Hall inquired if he could apply under the Deep Lot provision to create three lots. The three lot division of land would allow him to sell the house lot, and build a small home on one of the remaining lots, so that they could remain in the neighborhood. Mr. Peak advised Mr. Hall that the Planning Board could not endorse the deep lot division for the three parcels of land, because the second lot would not have any frontage.  Mr. Hall inquired if he could divide the parcel as an ANR before returning with a second proposal for a deep lot division of land to create a total of three lots. Mr. Peak thought it was possible.

Mr. Seidman advised Mr. Hall to be careful with the division of land, because it would have an impact on the value of the large house. Mr. Peak recommended consulting with a real estate agent. Mr. Hall understood and mentioned that he wanted to maintain a fair amount of land around the house.  Mr. Seidman thought he should consider a two lot division of land, so that the house lot could be large enough to accommodate a guest house. It would allow them to live in the guest house and rent out the larger house. Mr. Seidman thought anyone investing one million dollars for the house lot would also want land. A third lot would impact the house lot.  Mr. Hall agreed.

Mr. Peak informed Mr. Hall that he would still have to hire a surveyor to develop the definitive plan. Mr. Hall acknowledged, and thanked the Board for their comments and suggestions.

7:20 PM Michael Thompkins, Vineyard Land Surveying Re: Ralph M Packer, Jr. AP           57A07, Northern Pines Road

Mr. Thompkins submitted a revised plan for the above named applicant. The surveyor, Mr. Silva at the Board’s previous meeting was asked to insert a locus map reflecting the entire parcel of land with a notation explaining that the inset was not drawn to scale.

Mr. Thompkins referred to the inset on the plan, and asked the Board if they had any questions.  Mr. Peak noted that he had driven down the road earlier today and thought the 12 ft. wide dirt road was well maintained and adequate for the additional lot.

There being no further comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to endorse the revised Form A division of land as an ANR under the Subdivision Control Law. Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Seidman seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 3/0/0    Mr. Thompson excused himself from the discussions due to a conflict of interest.

7:45 PM Philippe Jordi and Jamie Weisman RE: Design Competition for property                    on 6 Water Street, AP 07F09

Mr. Jordi reminded the Board that he had met with them to discuss some ideas for the property shortly after it was donated to Island Housing Trust. At their suggestion, Mr. Jordi  met with the Building Inspector to explore all potential uses for the property.

Based on his understanding from these discussions, Mr. Jordi developed an RFP to solicit responses from architects who may be interested in submitting a conceptual design for the property. Before he took the process a step further he wanted to talk to the Board about the possibility of removing the existing building and constructing a new building that could accommodate four (4) one-bedroom townhouses (or apartments) with a minimum of 800 sq. ft. and four (4) parking spaces.

It was explained to him that the multiunit structure required a special permit from the Planning Board. The issue was that theB1 district was not clear about the setbacks or parking requirements for the use.  Mr. Weisman noted that the B1 District appeared to address single family dwellings and commercial uses. He could not find any setbacks for multi-unit (or family) dwellings mentioned in the section of the bylaw.

Mr. Stephenson was not sure that the Planning Board could issue a special permit, if the bylaw did not mention the use. Customarily if the use was not mentioned, it was considered prohibited.  He asked Mr. Jordi if he perhaps he should consider applying under 40B.  Mr. Jordi preferred avoiding that route because it was a cumbersome and costly process.

Mr. Weisman asked the Board to clarify the process and requirements, because the stipulations in Section 05.12.01 were very confusing.  Mr. Weisman referred the board members to the bylaw, which were read and discussed.

The Board members questioned the regulation’s application, because the first criteria prohibited any residential use in the first floor, if such use had been abandoned in the proceeding two years.  The remaining conditions were not difficult to meet.  Mr. Weisman reiterated that he wanted to understand if the proposal for a multiple unit dwelling was possible. Mr. Peak noted that the B1 District did not have any dimensional requirements for the lot itself or parking requirements. The only setback requirements listed in Schedule 13 were the A) two feet for the side yard setback, and B) four feet for the rear yard setback.

Mr. Seidman thought Mr. Jordi and Mr. Weisman should refer to the Building Inspector’s recommendations and follow through.  

Mr. Peak inquired about a patch of land that did not appear to belong to Stop&Shop or IHT. Mr. Jordi’s surveyor indicated that it was unclaimed property.  Mr. Peak questioned if they could lay claim to the property. Mr. Jordi replied in the affirmative, explaining that they would have to go through a process to acquire the parcel.

Mr. Stephenson asked Mr. Peak to clarify what the applicant’s options were for the property. Mr. Peak noted that all of the references to multiunit buildings in the bylaw were within the residential districts. All of the references to apartments in the commercial districts had to be above commercial uses. He did not see any reference to single family dwelling units.

Mr. Jordi inquired about the reference to Section 05.12.01- Uses requiring a Permit from the Board of Appeals – “Private dwelling use and apartments provided:” Mr. Peak thought they could argue that while the multiunit structure is not enumerated in the bylaw, it was neither eliminated, because of the expectation that people would be adding apartments in a district that is already used as commercial.  Mr. Jordi noted that regulation specifies that the use had to be permitted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Weisman mentioned that the Zoning Board of Appeals was the permit granting authority for this type of use, up to a certain number of buildings and apartments. Anything in excess to the cap had to be reviewed by the Planning Board.  In 05.14.03, where a permit and special permit were required by both the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board, a single application for a special permit by the Planning Board was required.

Mr. Peak explained that section 04.04.02 (Multiple Dwelling Units and Structures) pertained to residential districts. It also clarified that the Planning Board was responsible for issuing special permits for proposals exceeding three (3) dwelling units or exceeding two (2) structures on a lot.

Mr. Peak referred the Board to Section 07.11 (Multi-Unit Dwellings – Special Permit Determinations). Mr. Seidman believed the language appeared to state that the use was permitted provided the applicant was not-for-profit. Mr. Peak noted the language also kept referring to the residential district. Mr. Stephenson thought the language confusing, in that it referred to the residential districts, then mentioned that it was “not applicable to the uses permitted… in the residential districts”. Mr. Peak believed the language allowed the Board of Appeals to grant them a permit.

Mr. Jordi added that their proposal may have to be reviewed by the MV Commission. Mr. Weisman mentioned that they’d have to go to the Wastewater Committee, and the Board of Health, because they were in the Harbor DCPC. Mr. Jordi was of the impression that they may not have to provide a handicap access apartment if they pursued townhouses.

Due to the late hour, Mr. Seidman asked if they could expedite the discussions. Mr. Stephenson indicated that he would like the opportunity to see the four (4) conceptual designs they obtain from their RFP. He also offered to meet with Mr. Barwick to discuss Island Housing Trust’s proposal and the applicable regulations that would allow the applicant to apply for a special permit with the Planning Board.


1. Henry Stephenson’s Report
RE: Stop & Shop at LUPC’s meeting on April 1, 2013

Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Peak met with Mr. Coogan and Charles Sullivan, Stop&Shop’s architect for an informal discussion prior to attending the LUPC meeting later in the afternoon to review the latest revisions to their original proposal.

Whereas they’ve made some revisions, Mr. Stephenson noted that they did not address all of the concerns that were enumerated in their letter or suggested at the last LUPC meeting.  Mr. Stephenson mentioned that the applicant relocated the entry to the garage so that it aligned with the central aisle, and pushed back the wall level where they wanted to park the truck  on Cromwell Street about 15’-20’.

The applicant also eliminated the double stairway that was cascading down to the municipal, and streamlined the amenity with a double stacked stairway to preserve open space. Mr. Stephenson was concerned that the applicant remained resistant to the idea of having a continuous sidewalk along the building. Mr. Peak thought the applicant preferred to rearrange the parking lot instead.

Based on the discussions held at the LUPC on Monday evening, the applicant was asked to revise their plans to address the issues they had raised and for a report on the revised traffic projection. Mr. Stephenson reported that the MV Commission did not agree with Stop & Shop’s low projections and has hired an independent traffic consultant to study the applicant’s projections for a more accurate account.

Board members were disappointed in the applicant’s response to their recommendations, and hoped that Stop & Shop’s representatives would consider working with the town to have a store they could all be proud of.

2.  Special Town Meeting/Annual Town Meeting

Mr. Peak reminded Board members that both the Special and Annual Town Meetings were going to be held on 09 April 2013. Whereas they were not going to be meeting on April 10th, he recommended convening on the 9th of April in case they were asked to discuss any article pertaining to zoning regulations and any other article(s) for which they may be asked for an opinion.

He thought they should congregate at least fifteen minutes before Special Town Meeting, and recommended holding their meeting at 6:45 PM on April 9, 2013 at the Tisbury Elementary School Gymnasium.  Board members moved, seconded and carried the motion. 4/0/0


1.  Oak Bluffs Planning Board
RE: Hearing Notice – Interim Regulations for Medical Marijuana Uses (3/28/13)

2. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 29 March 2013 Meeting Agenda
B. 04 April 2013 Meeting Agenda

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:15 P.M.   
                        (m/s/c 4/0/0)   
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    L. Anthony Peak