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Planning Board Minutes 08/07/2013

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


DATE:           August 7, 2013
TIME:                   7:07 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Peak, Seidman, and Stephenson
BILLS:          Thomson Reuters……………………….$279.48

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


7:15 PM Peg Regan, Mass in Motion MV/Complete Streets Program  Re: Tisbury Walk/Bikeability Study

Ms. Regan informed the board that she had students from the MV Regional High School’s Leadership Class walk the main routes leading to the Tisbury Elementary School in May 2013 to survey the condition of the routes to determine if they were in fact safe to walk or bike to school.

The high school students participating in the study utilized a bikeability checklist developed by Mrs. Doble to grade the routes. The data was compiled into a report, which was presented to the Board.  It was noted that 40% of the children attending the town’s elementary school were driven and 35% were brought by bus. Only 19% of the total school population walked to school.  And yet while 61.5% of the children surveyed had sought permission to walk or bike to school, their parents refused to grant them permission for one or more of the following reasons: distance, inconvenience, time, extracurricular activities, speed, traffic volume, and the condition of existing sidewalks.

Ms. Regan submitted additional photos taken by the students during the study to illustrate that the sidewalks along the primary arteries and roads in town were generally in good condition. The issue was that they were not being properly maintained. Photos illustrated sidewalks were covered with sand and debris, and obstructed by hedges or overgrown shrubbery.  The sightlines on some corners were poor, or lacked crossing lanes. The students sighted phone poles in the middle of sidewalks, crumbling roadsides, sidewalks ending without an egress and uneven surfaces (cobblestone).

Mr. Seidman questioned how the program was going to increase ‘walking’ in the community. He thought the issue had more to do with the parents. Mrs. Regan concurred, but noted that there best chance at promoting a healthier lifestyle is through school. She believed the parents would be much more engaged and cooperative if it was presented as part of the ‘school culture’. It was also important for the town to maintain the existing sidewalks, repaint the faded crosswalks, trim the hedges, and cut back the shrubbery at some of the intersection to improve the sight lines.  They were easy and inexpensive remedies. The school in turn could arrange and coordinate biking convoys with the older children, bike parades to promote safe biking, teaching bike skills, and implement the use of cross guards (safety patrol). Mr. Seidman thought they could encourage children to walk or bike with the use of incentives (rewards).

Mr. Stephenson noted that there were sections in town where the sidewalks did not connect, or were very narrow with little buffer to the road, so that they were not safe for children to bike to school.  Ms. Regan acknowledged Mr. Stephenson’s comment, and mentioned that she has met with Mr. LaPiana on other related projects and the need for sidewalks Mr. LaPiana was willing to assist her, and asked her to recommend the three or four areas in town where they needed sidewalks. Mrs. Regan stressed the importance in having the infrastructure to support the program, otherwise it would fail

Mr. Seidman inquired if she approached Mr. LaPiana about the poor maintenance. She replied in the negative. She was advised to pursue the matter, because the Town was responsible for removing the sand they used during the winter. They did not understand why the sand was still on the sidewalks/road in the month of May. The Board recommended scheduling an appointment or writing Mr. LaPiana to request his assistance with the improvements recommended in the report.

Ms. Regan informed the Board that her next project for Mass in Motion MV was to plot the school children’s residences on a map to prioritize the routes that need to be maintained by the town, and to design the safest walking/bike routes. She wanted the school children to help with the project, such walking the routes with pedometers, and mapping them out in class.

7:50 PM Philippe Jordi, Island Housing Trust (IHT)

Mr. Jordi noted that he had met with the Planning Board approximately six (6) months ago to solicit their recommendations about the uses that suited the property on 6 Water Street. The Board’s recommendations were incorporated into the RFP before they published their request. The RFP offered a small stipend to provide IHT with a conceptual design. Other than for the number of units, height restriction, and a few other criteria, the architects were given free reign with the design.

IHT met with the architects to give them the feedback they solicited from the local boards and abutters to make sure they were incorporated into their designs. Mr. Jordi indicated  three architectural firms replied to the RFP. During their review process, one of the conceptual designs was eliminated from further consideration, so that he had only two conceptual designs to present to the board for their impressions.  IHT, in addition planned to erect a poster displaying the two designs in the front of the property facing Water Street to solicit public comment.

Mr. Jordi submitted larger color prints of the two architectural renderings from Jamie Weisman and Dudley Cannada. Mr. Seidman commented that the two were extremely different.  Mr. Jordi concurred, and began his presentation describing Mr. Weisman’s proposal.  Mr. Weisman submitted a proposal for a large, three-story structure, similar in architectural design to the buildings along the waterfront. It was designed to accommodate a total of five (5) dwelling units (three [3] apartments and two [2] townhouses).  The apartments were located in the first and second floors of the building while the townhouses were in the second and third floors. The apartments had outside balconies that faced Beach Road, with the exception of the apartment in the first floor. The one apartment was handicap accessible, with access from a ramp in the driveway.

Mr. Doble noted that his design allowed for a small open space up front and utilized architectural elements i.e. trellis from the existing building. Mr. Jordi noted that the design did not provide any parking accommodations or any type of vehicular access for utility or repair trucks.  

Mr. Jordi presented Mr. Cannada’s conceptual design, noting that the architect opted for a plan that divided the five (5) dwelling units among three (3) smaller structures and provided parking. The smallest structure facing Water Street was designed as a single family dwelling that could be redesigned into a mixed use, with commercial space on the first floor, and an apartment on the second and third floors.

The second and third buildings were designed as duplexes with parking accommodations. The egress into the buildings was on the north side, facing Stop & Shop. Mr. Jordi explained Mr. Cannada’s design took into consideration the building code’s requirements, so that the design he choose eliminated the need for a sprinkler system, and handicap access.

At the Board’s request Mr. Jordi noted that the total square footage for his proposal was 4466 sq. ft. and distributed as follows: a) 996 sq. ft. for the one 2-bedroom apartment,  b) 751 sq. ft. for the two 1-bedroom apartments, and c) 990 sq. ft. for the remaining two 1-bedroom apartments.  The total square footage for Mr. Weisman’s proposal was 3650 sq. ft. with five 1-bedroom apartments that ranged in size, from 600 sq. ft. to 865 sq. ft.

Mr. Stephenson liked the public space Mr. Weisman’s proposal provided, but felt that the architect should have provided parking arrangements. They did not have to be on site (Stop & Shop’s garage parking or the town’s new parking lot on Beach Road).  Mr. Jordi mentioned that the open area could be hardscaped to a degree to provide parking without making it appear as a parking area. Mr. Stephenson acknowledged, and  Mr. Jordi thought the concept was a good idea. The Board members and Mrs. Larsen preferred the smaller structures proposed by Mr. Cannada.

Mr. Jordi announced that IHT planned to make a decision on the conceptual design in September 2013.

Mrs. Doble advised the Board that they still had the opportunity to voice to the architects any issues they may have with the design, since the plans were preliminary.


1.      Stop & Shop, Water Street
RE: Proposal for expansion and reconstruction

Mr. Stephenson was concerned that the applicant had not made an attempt to address any of their concerns since they submitted their proposal. He felt that the Board at some point had to take a position on the proposal if the applicant persisted in pursuing the same plan, without addressing any of their concerns. He wanted to communicate to the applicant that they had to address these issues, if they wanted to solicit their support. With that thought, Mr. Stephenson prepared a document to explain the issues in great detail, along with diagrams illustrating potential solutions to their issues.

Mrs. Doble submitted a one-page bullet list outlining the issues, Mr. Stephenson had explained in his document. She suggested that the two documents complemented each other, and clearly specified the issues they’ve been trying to convey to the applicant throughout the public process. She thought they should send the applicant both documents with a cover letter explaining their position. It was important to bring to the applicant’s attention that the Planning Board will not be able to support their current proposal, if they do not address their concerns. It concerned her that the applicant was not acknowledging the issues they’ve been bringing to their attention, even though they’ve tried working with them and provide them with suggestions to address those concerns.

Mr. Peak noted that the commission had recently prepared a revised list of materials being requested of the applicant. The MV Commissioners were asking the applicant to provide the materials prior to the hearing. Mr. Peak read a few of the materials being asked of the applicant for the Board’s benefit. Mrs. Doble was happy to see that the MV Commission’s list included the information and documentation the Planning Board had been asking of applicant.

Mr. Peak informed the Board that the Town of Tisbury had granted the applicant’s predecessors (A&P) three (3) easements. He learned that they were granted an easement for a subsurface septic system, until  the town provided central sewering, the back entrance into the store, and a truck loading dock (12’X12’), which clearly stated that it was not be used for parking or storage.  The information lead to myriad of questions pertaining to their current status and enforcement. It was a subject the Planning Board hoped to learn more about from the Board of Selectmen at their next meeting.


1.  Fred LaPiana, DPW Director
RE:  Letter of Intent to Retire

2. M V Commission
A. 02 August 2013 Extended Schedule
B. 08 August 2013 Meeting Schedule

3. Thomson Reuters
RE: Zoning Bulleting, 10 July 2013

4. Tisbury Board of Health
RE: Consent for a Photovoltaic Solar installation at the compost pile with stipulations

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:48 P.M.           (m/s/c  3/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    L. Anthony Peak