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Planning Board Minutes 07/24/2013

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


DATE:           July 24, 2013
TIME:                   7:10 PM

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

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

BILLS:          Advanced Printing……………………….$89.50
                        Verizon (June 2013)……………………..$ 53.60
                        Lancaster Typewriter…………………….$ 95.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the July 10, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        10 July 2013    Deferred


7:10 PM House Business


1. Stop & Shop
RE: C. Doble’s & H. Stephenson’s revised draft of a memo stating the Planning Board’s issues with the current proposal

Mr. Stephenson submitted a sketch of Stop & Shop’s latest proposal for their parking with a sketch of the existing parking lot noting that there were inconsistencies.  He mentioned that the separation between the planting strips was designed to be sixty feet, but that the parking bays at both ends of the parking lot were constructed at fifty-three feet. He suspected that the shortage was contributing  to the problems they were experiencing with traffic flow.

To improve the traffic flow, Mr. Stephenson recommended an alternative plan (Proposal A) in which he removed the parking strip in the first parking bay (No. 1) along Water Street and replaced it with a short-term pick-up/drop-off lane. The revision allowed him to a) expand the landscaped island to create a public space with the addition of a couple of  benches, and bike racks, and b) widen the driving corridor in the parking area (24 ft.) to allow for two-way traffic. The second parking bay remained essentially the same with the angled parking on both sides and a twenty-four ft. wide corridor.

Mr. Stephenson thought they had sufficient land area by the comfort station to create the twenty-four foot wide travel corridor without compromising the public amenity. He also suggested that they could remove the three parking spaces reserved for the police department to create an attractive area where all of the circulations paths could converge and lead to Main Street and Union Street, and relocate the entrance into the comfort station on Cromwell Lane to eliminate the wasted space created by the ramps.

Mr. Stephenson indicated that it was equally as important to improve the northern section of the parking lot by extending the existing sidewalk leading to the police station to the Union Street Mall, and improving the aesthetics with a row of trees along the crosswalk to the ferry. He noticed that the discussions about the parking lot were limited to the section impacted by Stop & Shop.

Stop & Shop’s proposal illustrates four parking bays so that the trucks could enter on the north end and travel in a westerly location where the existing comfort station stands to access the loading dock in the rear of the new building. He did not see why they could not go a shorter distance and cross through the wider lane, without having to move all of the islands and landscaping (trees).  He questioned whether the trees could survive. Mr. Peak commented that the trees were unattractive and misshaped. Mrs. Doble noted that their condition was the result of an inhospitable environment and poor maintenance. She recommended consulting with an arborist to examine the trees for recommendations to improve their health.

Mrs. Doble inquired about the location of the loading dock. Mr. Stephenson replied that it was in the rear of the building, which required the truckers to drive towards Water Street for a bit, then back up their tractor-trailers to the rear of the building. She expressed a concern about the storefront’s entrance because the stairs and ramp led into the street. It was safety hazard.  Mr. Seidman and Mr. Stephenson agreed and thought they had to scale down the building to allow for a sidewalk on their property.

Mr. Aldrin inquired if the applicant’s latest proposal addressed the more significant issues to allow the town to negotiate a compromise. Mr. Stephenson replied in the negative, explaining that they were still proposing to relocate the comfort station in the back of the store in an obscure location.  Mr. Seidman did not think the public should access a public amenity through the store. Mrs. Doble agreed that a public amenity should be in a public space and visible. Mr. Stephenson noted that the issue with the proposal was that they were placing the public bathrooms in the rear within close vicinity of the loading dock. Mrs. Doble noted that Mr. Krystal had suggested using the empty bay in the police station for the public restroom. Mr. Seidman spoke with the police chief and learned that they were using the bay to store bicycles and other abandoned items.

Mr. Aldrin thought they had to be realistic about the situation, and hoped to see the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen come to an agreement on the most significant issues they wanted to pursue with the applicant.  Mr. Aldrin wanted to comment on the applicant’s traffic estimates to say that they were unrealistically low. Board members agreed.

Mr. Stephenson redirected the discussions and asked the Board what they thought they should do with the four-page summary they had reviewed the previous meeting. Mr. Seidman noted that the town administrator had requested a one page synopsis of Mr. Stephenson’s four-page letter to the Board of Selectmen.  Board members engaged in a discussion of the format and topics that they could extract from the letter into the one page synopsis. Mr. Peak recommended adding a cover letter explaining that the four- page letter is attached to the synopsis (bullet points) to explain in detail all of the itemized topics.  Board members agreed to have Mrs. Doble and Mr. Stephenson prepare the cover letter, so that it could be sent to Mr. Grande and Mr. London for the Board of Selectmen and MV Commissioner’s review.

Mr. Stephenson offered to meet with Mr. Grande on Monday to give him a copy of the cover letter, bullet list of topics and the four-page summary. If Mr. Grande was unable to spare a few minutes to discuss the submittal, he did not see any issue in having the documents emailed.

Planning Board/Board of Selectmen Site Visit on July    ,2013
Attendance: Aldrin, Doble, Peak, Stephenson, Grande, Krystal, Snyder, and Jernigan

Mr. Peak indicated that the spent the early part of their conversation standing on Water Street discussing the sidewalk, the size of the building and closing off Cromwell Lane. Most of the comments about the last subject were not in support of the idea.

Mr. Israel’s comment, as relayed by Mr. Grande was that he did not have an issue closing off Cromwell Lane provided that there was one entrance into the parking lot. The one entrance had to be centrally located to the opening between the theater and bookstore to create an avenue there. Mr. Peak took issue with the suggestion because it relocated the pressure points to the perimeter of the lot, and made the parking lot much more a part of the store and less of the town by adding a road down the center of the parking lot.  Mr. Israel indicated that he was concerned that the parking lot’s existing entrance was directly across the main exit point from the Steamship Authority property.

In the course of the discussions, Mr. Peak brought to the Selectmen’s attention that the proposal to close off Norton Street foreclosed a number of concerns, such as the north –south matrix of vehicular ways (Main Street, Water Street and Cromwell Lane), pedestrian ways and the utility of turning Union Street the other way. Mr. Krystal opposed the latter topic.

Mr. Peak thought the town should consider taking the property behind the comfort station to eliminate the “bump” that protrudes into Norton Lane, if the Selectmen were considering the possibility of taking Cromwell Lane.

Board members were advised that Mr. Krystal did have concerns about the project, but feared that any opposition would persuade Stop & Shop to relocate elsewhere.

Additional discussions ensued and Mr. Peak advised the Board that the MV Commission was holding the hearing on July 25, 2013 at 7:00 PM in the Tisbury Senior Center.

Mr. Peak offered to bring the letter to the Board of Selectmen at their next meeting to bring them up to date about the Planning Board’s issues.  

2. Bill Veno
RE: CPTC Fall Courses

Board members reviewed the list Mr. Veno provided, but did not have any recommendations to make at this time.


1.  Fred LaPiana, DPW Director
RE: cc: Requesting permission for solar photovoltaic installation at current compost site from Board of Health

2. Susan & Sherman Goldstein, Mansion House
RE: Stop & Shop

Mr. Peak read Mr. Goldstein’s letter into the record of the minutes.

3. MV Commission
A. Updated 19 July 2013 Extended Schedule (Stop & Shop’s hearing cont’d on 08/01/13
B. 18 July 2013 Meeting Agenda

4. Thomson Reuters
RE: Zoning Bulletin 25 June 2013

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:10 P.M.           (m/s/c  5/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Henry Stephenson