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Planning Board Minutes 12/04/2013

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


DATE:           December 4, 2013
TIME:                   7:05 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

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

BILLS:          MV Times …………………….$675.34

MINUTES:                As referred in the November 20, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        20 November 2013        Deferred


7:10 PM Christine Flynn, Martha’s Vineyard Commission re: Martha’s Vineyard Housing Needs Assessment  
        Attendance: Mary Ellen Larsen, Melinda Loberg, Tristan Israel

Ms. Flynn presented the Board with a final draft of the Housing Needs Assessment and a condensed synopsis of the 320 page analysis, entitled Summary Findings – 2013. She explained that the MV Housing Needs Study Committee was comprised of appointments from all six towns, the Dukes Count Commission and staff from the MV Commission. The Committee was charged with the responsibility of drafting the RFP for the study, hiring the consultant to conduct the study, and overseeing the entire study from start to finish.

The Committee hired Karen Sunnarborg in 2012 as their consultant and began the study in May 2012. They completed the study in May 2013, and finished the final version of the overall report and Summary in June 2013.  Ms. Flynn mentioned that Ms. Sunnarborg was a housing consultant and planner from Jamaica Plain, and was selected for her knowledge, and extensive experience in working with communities of varying demographics in both the metropolitan and rural areas (specifically the cape) within the New England area.

Ms. Flynn explained that the study consisted of four components: 1) Summary Findings, 2) Demographic and economic profile island wide and by town, 3) Organizational Analysis (cost benefits, capacities, etc.) of current projects and programs, and 4) Recommendations for addressing priority housing needs. In the course of the study, they discovered that there were presently more than twenty housing organizations on island. All competed for the same resources, which have dwindled over the years with the cutbacks. The housing consultant thought they could improve their effectiveness if they networked and pooled their resources.

Ms. Flynn noted that on reviewing the 2001 Housing Needs Assessment, they failed to meet one of the goals to generate 150 units per year. Over the last ten years, they’ve only managed to generate30 units per year.  On further analysis, they learned that the costs (i.e. land, construction, etc.) involved made the 2001 recommendation unrealistic.  Ms. Sunnarborg recommended 50 units per year through new construction, renovations, rehabilitation, rentals, etc.  Ms. Sunnarborg also suggested earmarking eighty percent of the fifty units for rentals to accommodate the island’s aging population and workforce, and dedicating one-quarter of the rentals for senior citizens, because the island’s elderly population (65 and older) was going to triple in the next twenty years.

An in-depth study of income and aging demographics clearly demonstrated an increase in the number of people that were going to be on fixed incomes, a significant increase in the number of residents living under the federal poverty level ($23,000.00/year), and a concomitant exponential increase in demand for housing under the eighty percent in AMI.

The final section of the study provides recommendations for addressing the island’s housing needs.  It suggests potential zoning bylaw amendments, the application and implementation of Smart Growth policies, cost sharing and other potential possibilities. For long term solutions, all of the towns were going to have to communicate and work with each other. The Towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury have expressed an interest in meeting with their housing committees and in joint sessions with other towns. She thought it important for the Planning Boards in each town to meet with their housing committees to discuss potential bylaw amendments that would help generate housing units.

Ms. Flynn thought it also important for the Planning Boards to meet as well not only to address housing, but other important issues or topics of interest. She offered to facilitate and organize the joint meetings, and suggested working on a date sometime after the New Year. She and the MV Commission were willing to provide the venue and support.

Board members were asked if they would be interested in meeting with the town’s housing committee and Planning Boards. Mr. Stephenson spoke on the Board’s behalf and replied in the affirmative.

Mr. Israel, Board of Selectmen recalled that the Planning Board had reviewed the possible use of irregular or substandard lots for affordable housing, but did not know if it was discussed by the current Board.  Mr. Peak noted that the town residents in the Town of Lexington were allowed to exempt certain lots from zoning restrictions for the purpose of creating affordable housing, on a lot by lot basis. Ms. Flynn mentioned that it was one of the recommendations offered by the planning consultant, along with suggestions for tax options (tax incentive for year-round affordable units).

Additional discussions ensued with this regard, and Ms. Flynn agreed to contact the board secretary in January 2014 to schedule and organize the joint meetings.


1.  December 10, 2013 STM Warrant

Mr. Peak informed Mr. Israel that he had spoken with several people in town about the special town meeting, and was extremely concerned that many were not aware of the meeting.  People attempting to find the warrant on the town’s website were experiencing problems locating any information about the special town meeting .

Mr. Israel offered to communicate Mr. Peak’s complaint to the Town Administrator, and asked Mr. Peak to raise the issue at the Cabinet Meeting.  

Mr. Seidman recommended the use of a banner on Main Street.

2. Article 8 - To authorize the purchase of 14 Pine Street

Board members were reminded that the Board of Selectmen had submitted an article proposing to take by eminent domain the parcel of land identified as 14 Pine Street.

Mr. Israel mentioned that the Board of Selectmen wanted to bundle the Superintendent’s article with their proposal, because Mr. Weiss was willing to consider staying at his current location, if he could expand into the property on 14 Pine Street.

Mr. Israel added that the Board of Selectmen had matched the third party’s offer and  clarified that the Selectmen did not have any pre-conceived ideas about the use(s) for the property, except to say that they were pursuing the property because of its potential.

Mr. Peak understood that the third party had inquired about the property’s potential for development (subdivision). Mr. Israel spoke with the real estate agent, who denied the rumor.  He reiterated that the property could be used for a myriad of uses, such as offices, housing, a special needs residential facility, etc. but was very interested in hearing the Planning Board’s thoughts on the matter.

Mr. Peak asked fellow board members if they were prepared to comment or vote on the Board of Selectmen’s proposal.  Mr. Seidman moved to support Article #8.  Mr. Stephenson seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Stephenson thought the property was a perfect location for all types of houses because of its proximity to the Emergency Services Facility, Fire Station, Town Hall, elementary school and business district.

3. Connector Road (warrant, power point presentation, etc.)

Mr. Seidman informed the Board that Mr. LaPiana was asking the town to finance one of the three segments for the connector road in the amount of 1.3 million dollars, and explained the loan’s financial impact on their tax rate.

Mr. Seidman also learned that Mr. LaPiana was proposing to utilize the town’s chapter 90 funds to help finance the construction of the remaining two segments to complete the connector road in the second article, and asking the town voters in the third article to take Evelyn Way by eminent domain.

Mr. Stephenson advised the Board that he had simplified and condensed his power point presentation on the connector road as the Board recommended.  Board members in addition were given a copy of the flyer he had prepared to illustrate the layout of the connector road. Mr. Seidman urged Mr. Stephenson to condense the presentation so that it did not exceed three minutes, because the attendees were very familiar with the subject.

Board members viewed Mr. Stephenson’s power point presentation, and Mr. Seidman suggested deleting the last slide reflecting the layout of the bike path because it was confusing. The board agreed, and thought Mr. Stephenson could make a reference to the bike path, without getting into the details so that the focus would be on the road. .  
Mrs. Doble recommended ending the presentation with the slide reflecting the layout of the road in the flyer, because it was the image they wanted to impress upon the audience.

Mr. Peak thought Mr. Stephenson could mention that the improvements were not restricted to vehicular traffic, but included multi-user paths to improve pedestrian and bike access. Mrs. Doble agreed, and suggested modifying the slide by shading the protected areas in a light green, and explaining how the bike paths could be extended into those areas.

Mrs. Loberg suggested starting the presentation illustrating the current situation and existing conditions and enumerating the problems before presenting the connector road as a solution.

Mr. Peak thought Mr. Stephenson should script his remarks to stop the embellishments to make the presentation quick and simple. Board members agreed.

Mr. Peak thought the Board should be prepared to comment on Articles 1, 2 & 3 for the various aspects of the connector road.  Mr. Seidman entered a motion to have the Planning Board report their vote on the motion to support Articles 1, 2 & 3and the establishment of the connector road. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.   4/0/0

4. Planning Board Meeting Schedule

The board secretary added the subject on the agenda to ask the Board if they would consider holding meetings at an earlier, as did their counterparts in all of the other towns. Mr. Peak and the Board did not entertain the recommendation.

5. Stop & Shop
A. Cromwell Lane/Norton Lane
C. Press Releases regarding Lund Food Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Seidman provided the Board with press releases displaying the store fronts for Lund Food Holdings. Mrs. Larsen thought they were unattractive. The Board were surprised that the stores were similar to Stop –N- Shop’s format (i.e. large warehouse type facilities).  Board members did not find Lund Food Holdings presented an acceptable alternative to the applicant’s proposal.
6. Wastewater Planning Committee

Mrs. Loberg indicated that the committee was interested in meeting with the Planning Board to discuss some of the finer points in the needs assessment, specifically their expectations for growth. She mentioned that the Committee was meeting on December 12, 2013 at 4 PM.

Mr. Seidman inquired if they would be willing to meet with the Board at their meeting on December 18, 2013. Board members agreed to meet at 6:30 PM to accommodate the Wastewater Planning Committee at their meeting.  Mrs. Loberg accepted the appointment.

7. Workshops

Mrs. Doble thought the material she obtained from the workshop provided useful information. She believed it was a topic the Board should discuss, if they were going to meet and  with regional and other local boards on town issues. Mrs. Doble thought Mr. Seidman could also impart the wealth of information he obtained from attending the workshop on Master Planning.  Mr. Seidman agreed, and thought they should start holding  the planning sessions they’ve discussed in the past.

Mr. Peak thought they could add a meeting to their schedule in January and hold their first planning session on January 29, 2013.  Board members agreed and asked the Board Secretary to reserve that date as a work session.  


1. Marion Mudge, Town Clerk
RE: December 10, 2013 STM Warrant

2. Philippe Jordi, IHT Exec. Dir.
RE: Stop & Shop Supermarket Company Proposal

3. Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Case #2159 – Ryan Shea, AP 08A03 (accessory apartment)
B. Case #2160 – Nancy MacMullen & Jeffry Schwarz, AP 04D08.2 (guest house expansion)

4. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 27 November 2013 Extended Schedule
B. DRI 639 Decision – Tisbury Wharf Dredge (Vineyard Haven Harbor)

5. American Planning Association
RE: The Commissioner, Fall 2013

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:25 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