Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Planning Board Minutes 02/20/2013

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


DATE:           February 20, 2013
TIME:                   7:07 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Peak, Seidman, Stephenson, Thompson

BILLS:          MV Times …………………$125.40
                        Vineyard Gazette…………...$154.00
                        CPTC………………………..$  50.00
                        Verizon………………………$ 53.07

MINUTES:                As referred in the, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        06 February 2013        m/s/c   4/0/0


7:15 PM Informal Discussions Re: Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC)
Mr. Bradford, Planning Board Chairman in the Town of Oak Bluffs, and Mr. Kris Chvatal fellow Planning Board Member and member of the Zoning Board of Appeals were the two town officials present for the discussion.

Mr. Peak thought the invitations the Tisbury Planning Board sent to their counterparts on the island may have been somewhat premature given that the state was in the process of developing the licensing criteria for the MMTCs. Until the Massachusetts Department of Public Health prepared the regulatory framework, there was very little the municipalities could do. He nonetheless felt that the use warranted a uniformed approach because of its impact on the island as a whole.

Mr. Peak recently learned that the Oak Bluffs Board of Selectmen had approached the Planning Board to consider an interim procedure. Mr. Bradford confirmed that the Board of Selectmen had submitted a written recommendation for a moratorium. They were also considering of permitting the use in the Health Care District.

Mr. Thompson inquired if all pharmacies were being restricted to the Health Care District. Mr. Bradford replied that the restriction was limited to the MMTCs, and clarified that the pharmacy in the hospital (all pharmacies) could not legally dispense Class I substances since it was partially regulated by the federal government. In his discussions with the hospital administrators, they revealed that they did not believe the dispensary would be an appropriate use in a commercial district.

Mr. Thompson thought the restriction could be used to prohibit MMTCs, and believed the dispensaries should be regulated like any other retail business in a commercial district. It was a sentiment shared by Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Seidman. Mr. Stephenson asked Mr. Bradford and Mr. Chvatal to clarify the issues they were attempting to address with the centers that prompted them to consider the Health Care District as a location.

Mr. Chvatal did not view the product as an impulse purchase, or that a dispensary required a retail presence. Mr. Seidman asked the Oak Bluff officials to clarify what they feared about the dispensaries. Mr. Bradford replied that they wanted to keep the dispensaries a certain distance from schools, etc. Mr. Seidman understood and agreed with the distance requirement, as long as the restriction was not being used to prohibit (ban) the use, as in some communities.

Mr. Chvatal did not see why a town could not be proactive, and establish regulations that would allow them to manage the use. Mr. Thompson thought the precaution was excessive when the clientele were predominantly senior citizens and the terminally ill.

Mr. Stephenson did not have an issue with the moratorium, because the time would allow them to investigate howthe  other towns in the Commonwealth were addressing the issue. It was possible that they might develop regulations that could serve as a model.  Mr. Thompson noted that the State of Massachusetts was the eighteenth state to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Mr. Bradford did not see how they could consider any regulations until the Department of Public Health provided them with their regulations. Mr. Seidman reiterated a preference for a standard regulation island wide. Mr. Bradford disagreed, explaining that the regulations should reflect the individual town’s attitudes and preferences, which may not be the same across the island. Mr. Seidman believed it would allow for certain biases, which could be in conflict with the state mandate.

Mr. Peak understood the concern for protecting the town’s character, and preventing an ancillary effect that could be detrimental to the town. Although he could not think of any particular detriment, they had to consider that some people may associate MMTCs with methadone clinics, which have had a detrimental impact in some communities.

Mr. Chvatal questioned whether the product could be ferried, trucked, mailed or flown in because the transportation facilities were all regulated to some degree by the federal government.  If not qualified resident patients had to rely solely on island harvested products. Harvesting the product led to other considerations, such as dealing with excess product, and its enforcement.

Board members also discussed the design of the facilities. Facilities in other states ranged from the typical medical facility to retail shops, where the product and paraphernalia were openly displayed. Based on the discussions, the majority of the members preferred a more subdued and professional presence.

Following additional discussions with this regard, Mr. Bradford inquired if the Planning Board favored a short term moratorium. Mr. Stephenson replied that he favored a moratorium, but was indecisive about the term. He wanted to the opportunity to review ordinances from the other municipalities. Mr. Bradford noted that the Department of Public Health had until the end of April to promulgate their regulations.  Mr. Seidman agreed with a short term moratorium.

Board members were advised that the vast majority of the cape towns were recommending either a 6 months or a one-year moratorium. Mr. Thompson expressed a concern with the potential for its abuse. He inquired if moratoriums could be extended indefinitely to prohibit dispensaries. Board members reiterated that the moratorium was simply being proposed to give them sufficient time to see what the other communities were proposing, and to develop regulations that would permit a dispensary to coexist in town.  

Planning Board members indicated that they would support a short term moratorium. The discussions ended at 8:00 PM.


1. Citizen Planner Training Collaborative
RE: 16 March 2013 Annual Conference

Mr. Peak indicated that he would contact the Planning Board secretary to inform her of the workshops he wanted to attend.

2. Holmes Hole Road
RE: Christopher Dias’ proposal for a subdivision

Mr. Peak was provided with the plan of land depicting the layout for Holmes Hole Road, a copy of the warrant article recommending the layout and the road’s improvement, a copy of the deed and other referenced survey plans.

Mr. Peak indicated that he wanted access to town counsel to inquire about the procedure and about the access which lies in the Town of Oak Bluffs.

Mr. Thompson inquired if there were other subdivisions in the area. Mr. Peak replied in the affirmative, and referred to Mr. Robinson’s subdivision (Upland Drive).

3. Tisbury Elementary School
RE: Invitation to meet with the Planning Board

Mr. Seidman indicated that he had invited the School Committee Members to a meeting with the Planning Board on March 6, 2013 as requested by the Selectmen. He noted that he had been looking into other options, and mentioned Project Frog as one of the options. He was waiting to hear from them.

Mr. Stephenson was concerned at the discussions regarding the children’s safety in school and the need for security.  He did not think it had to do with the school, as much as it did with the community.  

Mr. Peak met with Mr. John Ferino who provided him with plans for two steel building constructions. The information was passed on to Mr. Seidman, who expressed an interest in speaking with Mr. Ferino about the “white building” on Pine Street.

Mr. Peak indicated that he also spoke with Mr. Ferino to inquire about the additional construction required to support solar panels on a roof. Mr. Ferino calculated that the construction had to be designed to support an additional 4 lbs per square foot.  He understood that the cost to provide the additional support the MVTV Building needed to accommodate the solar panels on the roof  was $10,000.00.


1.  Cheryl Doble
RE:  Letter of Interest (Associate Member)

Mr. Peak entertained a motion to contact Ms. Doble to inform her that the Planning Board was enthused to receive her letter, and will arrange a joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen to confirm her appointment as an Associate Member.  Mr. Seidman so moved. Mr. Stephenson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Stephenson indicated that Ms. Doble was very interested in working in landscaping in open spaces, and other projects the Planning Board has been working with the MV Commission.

2. West Tisbury Planning Board
RE: Medical Marijuana Center (meeting)

Mr. Peak read the letter in its entirety for the Board’s benefit.

3. American Planning Association
A. National Planning Conference, Chicago IL (April 13-17)
B. The Commissioner, winter 2013

4.  MV Commission
A. 21 February 2013 Meeting Agenda (Barnes – Evelyn Way)
B. 15 February 2013 Extended Meeting Schedule
C. March 11, 2013  LUPC - Stop&Shop
D. April 4, 2013 Hearing - Stop&Shop (tentative)

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:00 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