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Planning Board Minutes 04/17/2013

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


DATE:           April 17, 2013
TIME:                   7:03 PM

BILLS:          Postage……………….…$    6.77

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

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

MINUTES:                As referred in the April 3, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        06 March 2013   m/s/c           4/0/0
                        20 March 2013   m/s/c           4/0/0
                        27 March 2013   m/s/c           4/0/0
                        03 April 2013           m/s/c           4/0/0


7:00 PM Douglas Hoehn, SB&H, Inc.
A)      Craig Coutinho, Form A Application, Proprietor's Way , AP 07A02

Mr. Hoehn understood the Planning Board wanted the applicant to upgrade the road along the entire frontage of the proposed lot (Lot 2 in the plan of land) to the same condition of the existing dirt road coming in from Franklin Street to Lot 1.

Mr. Hoehn reported that his client, Mr. Coutinho has not made any improvements to the road as of this date. To satisfy the Planning Board’s request, Mr. Hoehn added a notation (Note No. 2) to the plan stating that the applicant was required to improve the road to the same standard of the existing dirt road.

The notation however did not prevent the applicant from recording or conveying the lot once the plan was endorsed. There were no assurances that the road would be improved. Mr. Hoehn acknowledged the Board’s concern, and suggested that the Board could hold on to the signed plan until the applicant improved the road. Mr. Peak preferred waiting until the road improvements were completed.

Mr. Seidman agreed, and thought the Planning Board should postpone their vote until it was verified that the applicant made the improvements. Mr. Peak noted that they had twenty-one days to act on the application, so that they could give the applicant the opportunity to improve the road.

Mr. Hoehn inquired if he could advise his client that the Planning Board had conditionally approved the plan with the understanding that the applicant had to improve the road as specified in plan of land (Note #2) before they would endorse the division of land.  Board members replied in the affirmative.
B)       Chris Dias, Holmes Hole Road

Mr. Peak informed Mr. Hoehn that he met with Town Counsel for a brief discussion regarding Mr. Dias’ proposal, and to give him the documentation pertaining to the applicant’s plan.  Town Counsel indicated that he would contact Mr. Peak once he had reviewed the material. Whereas a timeline was not mentioned during the discussion, Mr. Peak indicated that he would email Mr. Doneski to let him know that he’d like to respond to the applicant within a reasonable time.  

Mr. Hoehn offered some historical information about the development of the area, going back to the time when Henry Vickers owned the large tract of land.  He noted that Mr. Vickers was the first to develop the land. Prior to going into bankruptcy, Mr. Vickers managed to sell a few lots. His client’s lot was one of the building lots created by the subdivision. Connecticut Bank & Trust subsequently acquired the remaining property, and sold the remaining lots to private parties and the town.

He did not believe Mr. Vickers retained any interest in the road, and suspected that the ownership of the road was assigned to the town because it owned the majority of the lots. This did not extinguish any rights over the right-of-way afforded the  existing property owners.

Mr. Peak agreed, but felt uncertain about entertaining a proposal for a subdivision of land, when the subdivision road connected to a road within the Town of Oak Bluffs that lead nowhere except through the Town of Tisbury.

Mr. Hoehn inquired if the issue pertained to the overburdening of an easement, given that his client was proposing to extend his rights outside the subdivision. Mr. Peak recalled the previous Board approved a similar application for Jeffrey Robinson’s subdivision plan.  Mr. Hoehn noted that the plan the Board endorsed was for an expansion of a previously approved subdivision, where the subdivision road and lots lie in the Town of Oak Bluffs. He recalled that the two lots, Mr. Robinson wanted to create were at the end of the subdivision road within the Town of Tisbury.

Mr. Peak inquired if the Planning Board members in Oak Bluffs had expressed any concerns or issues with the proposal.  Mr. Hoehn replied in the negative. Mr. Peak offered to contact Mr. Hoehn once Town Counsel responded to his request.


1. Mass In Motion MV

Mrs. Doble has been communicating with Peg Ryan, the progam’s coordinator on the Vineyard about the Tisbury Elementary School’s walkability study and learned that the study had been postponed until the middle of May.

She understood that Ms. Ryan has been meeting regularly with the Commission for assistance and support. She was disappointed to see that they could not involve the children or high school students in the project to obtain their perspective, but understood that they were in the middle of testing.  Ms. Doble raised the subject, because she wanted to know if any of the Board Members would be able to attend the exercise, if they had to conduct the study during class.  Mr. Peak and Mr. Stephenson expressed an interest in participating.   

In general the majority of students were driven to school, because their parents did not feel it was safe for them to walk to school.

2. Stop & Shop
RE: Update

Mr. Stephenson was given the impression that the LUPC’s meeting scheduled on April 22, 2013 may have been postponed, even though it was still listed on the Commission’s Extended Schedule.  Mr. Peak asked the Board Secretary to contact the Commission to verify whether or not the meeting’s been postponed.

Mr. Stephenson noted that he had prepared a list lf all of the concerns they’ve been raising with the applicant and members of the LUPC, and added potential recommendations for addressing these issues.  He thought it was important to bring this to everyone’s attention, because the Board’s last letter regarding these issues was largely ignored.

Mr. Stephenson thought the Town of Tisbury had to take a position on the proposal, and approached Mr. Grande, the Town Administrator to discuss the Board’s concerns with Stop & Shop’s impact on the entire area, and the significance of the Board of Selectmen’s involvement. Mr. Stephenson raised the fact that the applicant’s operations relies to a large extent on the municipal parking lot.  It concerned him that the applicant failed to see its importance. Mr. Grande thought the project’s impact on traffic circulation warranted further scrutiny, and thought the applicant should be asked to provide a 3D model of the project.  

Mr. Stephenson learned that Mr. Grande had a conversation with Mr. London regarding the project, which may have led the postponement of the LUPC’s meeting.

Mr. Stephenson also had the opportunity to discuss the proposal with Mrs. Sibley, who questioned whether the building itself would fit and accommodate the number of patrons, Stop & Shop anticipates. Mr. Seidman did not believe the size of the building had any bearing on the number of shoppers. He suspected that the Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven would gain patrons, but that the overall revenue for both stores would be about the same.  Mr. Stephenson agreed.

Additional discussions ensued, and Mr. Stephenson provided the board members with an outline of the issues and suggested changes he wanted to address with the applicant at the upcoming LUPC meeting. Mr. Stephenson reviewed the outline with the board members to solicit their comments and recommendations.(See attached)

Board members engaged in further discussion, and agreed that the outline clearly itemized all of the issues they’ve expressed to the applicant at a previous meeting and in subsequent correspondence. Mr. Stephenson wanted to share his recommendations to the applicant, and offered to draft a letter listing the suggested changes, should the MV Commission postpone the LUPC meeting. Board members would receive an email for their review and consent.

Mr. Peak thought they could also meet with the local architect, Mr. Sullivan to discuss the issues. He thought an informal discussion would be much more beneficial and productive.  Mr. Stephenson was willing to meet with Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Peak expressed an interest in accompanying Mr. Stephenson. Board members were asked if they wanted to join the Co-Chairmen, noting that they would have to post the meeting if they met quorum. The board thought it was best to keep the appointment with Mr. Sullivan informal. Mr. Stephenson advised Mr. Peak that he was available on Friday (04/19/13) and Monday (04/22/13). Mr. Peak indicated that he would be available on both dates.

3.  Planning Board’s Meeting Schedule

Mr. Stephenson advised the Board that he would not be available on May 1 and May 8, 2013.

The board secretary informed the Board that Chris Flynn wanted to schedule an appointment with the Board to discuss the concept of a Cultural District in town. At the time, the board secretary spoke with Ms. Flynn, she suggested May 8th, thinking that Mr. Stephenson would be attending the meeting. Given that Ms. Flynn wanted to meet with the board at the earliest possible time, it was suggested that the appointment should be scheduled for their next meeting on May 1, 2013. The Board did not favor altering the meeting schedule.


1.   Marion Mudge, Town Clerk
RE: Transportation Bond Bill to fund a 10-year plan to modernize & expand our transp. system

2. Massachusetts Municipal Association
RE: TheBeacon, April 2013

3. Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals
RE: Hearing Notice – William Bernstein, AP 61A04

4. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 12 April 2013 Extended Schedule
B. New DRI Checklist 2013
C. DRI Process
D. DRI Application Guidance
E. DRI Application Form

5. West-Thomson
RE: Zoning Bulletin, 25 March 2013

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:30 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