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Planning Board Minutes 06/26/2013

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


DATE:           June 26, 2013
TIME:                   7:10 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Aldrin, Peak, Stephenson and Thompson

BILLS:          Verizon (May 2013)………………………..$53.60

MINUTES:                As referred in the June 19, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        19 June 2013    m/s/c   4/0/0

8:00 PM Douglas Dowling Re: Form A Application, AP 23A42

Mr. Peak understood that Mr. Dowling received a copy of town counsel’s legal opinion from the board secretary. Mr. Dowling confirmed this to be true, and having read the document.

In a quick synopsis of town counsel’s written opinion, Mr. Peak explained that if a plan did not illustrate a subdivision of land, the Planning Board had the ability to endorse the plan as a division of land, normally referred to an ANR (approval under the subdivision control law is not required).

An ANR endorsement however does not constitute zoning approval or a determination of zoning compliance. In other words, nothing on the plan alters the status or conveys any legitimacy to the contents of the plan beyond existing conditions.  For that reason, ANR plans routinely carry a notation clearly stating that it does not stay other regulations or the application of the zoning bylaw. In absence of this notation, town counsel recommended adding the following note next to the signature block:

This endorsement does not confer zoning approval or constitute an opinion of zoning compliance, nor acceptance or approval of any change in a street sideline.

The notation clarified that there were limitations to the plan, and served to bring this to the attention of future property owners.  Mr. Dowling understood and accepted the fact that the notation was a condition to the Planning Board’s endorsement.

Mr. Dowling stated that the plan was just a short term solution, because he was still pursuing the initial plan with the Town of Tisbury to change the road layout to 40 ft. Mr. Peak mentioned that the initial proposal required a town meeting vote because it changed the value of the property i.e. from a buildable lot to a non-conforming, non-buildable lot. He added that the proposal required the Board of Selectmen’s support and recommendation at town meeting.

Mr. Stephenson inquired if the current proposal resolved Mr. Dowling’s issue with front yard setback requirements. Mr. Peak replied in the negative. Mr. Stephenson inquired if the same response applied to the initial proposal. Mr. Peak replied in the affirmative, and explained that the fee interest in the road was not applicable for zoning purposes.

Mr. Dowling did not believe it applied to a road that was established prior to subdivision control law. Mr. Peak explained that he could not alter the road layout or add the land area gained by the property line adjustment to his property until everyone impacted by the revision agreed to relinquish (abandon) their rights to the road.  Mr. Peak made reference to a court that town counsel attached to his written opinion. Mr. Dowling acknowledged receipt of the court case, but did not read the material.

Mr. Dowling did not understand why he could not change the street line to address the zoning issue pertaining to the front setback. Mr. Peak replied that it was not his property. His property terminated at the street line. A property line adjustment did not alter this fact. Mr. Dowling added that it was true, until such time everyone relinquished their rights to do so or abandons the way. Based on the discussions, Mr. Dowling understood that the Planning Board’s endorsement may still not remedy his situation. Mr. Peak replied in the affirmative.

There being no further comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to endorse the plan referenced as an ANR and to add to the plan, next to the title block this notation, “This endorsement does not confer zoning approval or constitute an opinion of zoning compliance, nor acceptance or approval of any change in a street sideline.”  Mr. Stephenson so moved.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Dowling offered to amend the plan to incorporate the notation, and to resubmit the revised plan to the Board for their signatures.  Mr. Peak was concerned that they would exceed the time constraint by postponing the endorsement until they obtained the revised plan. Mr. Dowling requested a waiver from the time constraint so that he could add the note and resubmit a revised plan in time for the next meeting on July 11, 2013.  Mr. Peak advised Mr. Dowling that the waiver had to be submitted in writing, before they could act on the request. This being acceptable to Mr. Dowling, Mr. Peak recommended that the Board rescind their vote and accept Mr. Dowling’s request for a waiver from the 20 day review process until July 11, 2013.  Mr. Stephenson so moved. Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

1.      Elections & Appointments for 2014
RE: Officers, Commissions and Boards

Board members voted to serve on the following committees as the Planning Board’s representatives:    m/s/c   4/0/0

Board and/or Committee          Representatives         Term

Site Plan Review Committee              L. Anthony Peak         30 June 2014
(Island Road & Coastal District)        Daniel Seidman                          
Land Bank Advisory Committee    Jeffry Thompson         30 June 2014
Harbor Management Committee     Jeffry Thompson         30 June 2014
Site Plan Review Board          L. Anthony Peak         30 June 2014 (Waterfront
                                                                        Commercial District)    2 Year Term
Tisbury Housing Committee               Daniel Seidman          30 April 2014
Cabinet                         L. Anthony Peak         30 June 2014*
                                        Henry Stephenson
Community Preservation  
Committee                               Robert Aldrin                   30 June 2014
                                                                        3 Year Term
Sewage Review Board             L. Anthony Peak         30 June 2014
Wastewater Advisory Committee   L. Anthony Peak         30 June 2014

Henry Stephenson and L. Anthony Peak were once again re-elected as co-chairmen on the Planning Board and to share the Board’s appointment on the Cabinet. 4/0/0

2.      Mr. Henry Stephenson
RE: Stop & Shop

Mr. Stephenson prepared a detailed list of the issues and concerns the Planning Board has expressed to the applicant and the MV Commission in past discussions for the Board of Selectmen’s review.  Board members were emailed a copy of the list for tonight’s discussions.

Mr. Peak recommended adding a cover sheet that summarized the more salient points without any of the details contained in the list. He thought Mr. Stephenson could extract the “bullet points’ from the detailed summary and simply add a note in the cover letter to reference the attached list a more in-depth commentary.

Mr. Stephenson acknowledged the recommendation, and as a side note mentioned that he had met with the town administrator to walk through the business district to illustrate some of the issues the Planning Board wanted to discuss with the Board of Selectmen Board.  Mr. Grande thought the exercise was extremely helpful, and recommended scheduling a similar site visit for the Board of Selectmen and the MV Commissioners to help everyone understand the Planning Board’s issues. Mr. Grande also recommended having a landscape architect on board to review the plans.

Mr. Peak recalled that Mr. Grande made a similar suggestion in a conversation he had with the town administrator. It was his impression that Mr. Grande was of the opinion that a landscape architect could help bridge the gap between the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen , and work out any differences of opinion.

Mr. Stephenson referred the Board to the fourth page in the handout and began reading the document into the record. (A copy of the handout is herein attached.)

Mr. Aldrin recommended deleting the word “context” from the fourth paragraph under the section entitled Stop & Shop Building/Neighborhood Impacts.

Mr. Peak suggested revising the second and fourth paragraphs under the section entitled Analyze Traffic Impacts on the Surrounding District to read as follows:

Paragraph 2:  Consider expanding the study area to include the new Cultural District which should include the new museum (Lagoon Pond Road and Skiff Ave) to the Vineyard Haven Library (Main and Greenwood).~~~~~  

Paragraph 4: Consider rerouting one or more streets that access the ferry (e.g. redirecting the flow of Union St or making Union a two-way street).  Consider incorporating a shuttle bus service that avoids Five Corners by using Norton Lane, first and Union St. second for access to and from the area.  

Mr. Aldrin inquired about the management policy that was referred to in the second section entitled Parking. Mr. Stephenson clarified that he was referring to the Board of Selectmen’s policies for municipal parking lots, including the one on Beach Road. Mr. Aldrin mentioned that the local paper implied the Board of Selectmen had already developed a management plan for the new parking lot. Mr. Stephenson was aware of this, but wanted to revisit the subject with the Board of Selectmen to recommend that they keep the parking facility open to the general public, and charge a parking fee to generate revenue for the town. The arrangement would benefit the neighboring business community. Mr. Peak agreed.

Mr. Stephenson referred to the summarized list he had prepared for the board, and noted that he had to rename the third heading in the document i.e. New Pedestrian/Bikeways to reflect all of the topics contained within the section.  There being no further recommendations,  Mr. Stephenson reviewed the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh sections. The Board members held general discussions for each section, without any recommendations for  additional corrections or revisions.

Mr. Aldrin thought the summary was well written, but expressed concern over the possibility that the Board of Selectmen may not review the document. Mr. Stephenson thought the Planning Board should move forward to present the document as their official point of view.

Mr. Aldrin inquired if they’ve considered publishing the document in the local paper. Mr. Stephenson thought it was a possibility. Mr. Peak mentioned that he wanted to bring the subject to Mr. Grande, with whom he expected to meet on Friday.  Mr. Aldrin inquired if it qualified for an OP-ED. Mr. Stephenson preferred meeting with the Board of Selectmen and the MV Commission on a site visit, as Mr. Grande recommended, where they could use the opportunity to discuss and illustrate all of the issues listed in the summary, before they wrote a letter to the editor.  Mr. Peak reminded Mr. Stephenson that they had to schedule the meeting very soon, so that they could publish their letter prior to the hearing on July 11, 2013.

Mr. Aldrin believed the public should see their letter. Mr. Stephenson offered to call Mr. Grande to inform him that the Planning Board was interested in scheduling a site visit with the Board of Selectmen and the MV Commission as soon as possible. He wanted to wait until after the hearing on July 11, 2013 to submit a letter to the editor, because it was possible that the applicant may have revised the plans, and addressed some of their concerns.  Mr. Stephenson thought they should listen to the presentation on July 11, 2013, schedule the site visit on July 18, 2013, and submit a letter to the editor on July 25, 2013 to present their position on the proposal.


1.  MV Commission
RE:  21 June 2013 Extended Schedule

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:50 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