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Planning Board Minutes 01/18/2014

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


DATE:           January 8, 2014
TIME:                   7:05 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Aldrin, Peak, Seidman, Tompson, Stephenson (arrived at 8 PM)

MINUTES:                As referred in the December 18, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        18 December 2013– Deferred


7:05 PM Ralph Packer Re: Form A Application, AP 57A07 -  Lot line Adjustment (land area needs to comply with 61A designation)

Mr. Packer advised the Board that the previously endorsed Form A plan of land for the above referenced parcel had been revised again to reflect the correct land area, which added three tenths (3/10) of an acre, based on the Board of Assessors data.

It was later discovered that the error had serious implications to the property’s designation as farmland (61A), which would require the applicant to reimburse the town the real estate taxes he saved for the past ten years due to the special designation.

The applicant had the property line adjusted to move the boundary line approximately thirty (30) feet from the existing fence. In doing so he eliminated the three-tenths (3/10)  acre of land from the lot/property. The revision created one (1) - sixteen (16) acre parcel of land and one (1) -  three (3) acre parcel of land, the latter of which was presently under a purchase and sales agreement.

There being no further comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion on the proposed division of land.  Mr. Seidman moved the endorse the Plan of Land in Tisbury, Mass. surveyed for Ralph M. Packer by Vineyard Land Surveying & Engineering Inc., dated 26 December  2013; Scale 1”=40-ft; Job No. 1-10 for assessor parcel 57A07as an ANR under the Subdivision Control Law. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried. 4/0/0

7:00 PM         Deliberations (Cont.): Zoning Bylaw Amendments (Multiple) – Site Plan Review Board

The Board’s deliberations on December 18, 2013 were continued at 7:15 PM and Mr. Peak, Planning Board Co-Chairman noted that the discussions were continued in order to review the modifications to the proposed bylaw amendments for submittal to town meeting.  

Mr. Peak recalled that there were a few typographical revisions, and requested information from the Board Secretary regarding the unresolved issues raised at the last meeting. The Board Secretary replied that the Board had not completely reviewed the new section (10.06.01) that was being proposed, and revisit some of the language in the same section regarding the need to clarify “permits not requiring a hearing”.  It was further noted that Mrs. Barbera, Zoning Board of Appeals’ Secretary recommended deleting the Zoning Board of Appeals from the Site Plan Review Board, or revising the language to allow them to appoint a representative. Mr. Seidman in addition questioned whether the number of members serving on the board should be reduced to an odd number, because of the possibility of a tie.

Mr. Seidman concurred, but recalled that the Board was not persuaded. Mr. Peak recalled that the Board was not concerned about the tine in that the review was not an adjudicatory process. The board was operating as an advisory board to the special permit granting authority, and simply rendering an advisory opinion or recommendation.  Applicant’s would still be granted a favorable response with a tie vote. Mr. Seidman assumed a tie vote was interpreted as a loss. Additional discussions ensued with case law, and Mr. Seidman revised his opinion in favor of the proposal, given that the recommendation was solely an opinion, for which the applicant could not sue the town.

Mr. Peak noted the following typographical corrections he wanted to enter into the record:
1)      Delete “&” from “ ... Building Official and the Zoning & Enforcement Officer in section 02.66,
2)      Revise the reference to section 09.01 in Section 09.05.05 to state “Section 09.02,
3)      Revise the references to Building “Officer” to Building “Official in the fourth bullet in the proposed section 10.06.01 and the first paragraph in section 10.06.01.

Mr. Peak was asked to review the last bullet in the proposed section 10.06.01 because the intent of the language was not conveyed clearly.  Mr. Peak read the section into the record of the minutes, and recommended amending the language “a complete application or before the issuance of such permit not requiring a public hearing.” To state “a complete application for any permit not requiring a public hearing. (e.g. sign permit, building permit)

Discussions ensued with regards to the time constraints added into the language. It was agreed that it clearly noted that the special permit granting authority had a definite time frame by which to refer an application to the Site Plan Review Board, to give the latter  a reasonable amount of time to review a referral and write their advisory opinion.

There being no further comment, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to accept the proposal bylaw amendment with revisions.  Mr. Seidman moved to accept and recommend the bylaw amendments as revised to town meeting.  Mr. Aldrin seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

Mr. Peak entertained a motion to close the deliberations and to return to the regularly scheduled session.  Mr. Seidman so moved.  Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  4/0/0  The deliberations were duly closed at 7:31 PM.


1. Zoning Bylaw Amendment
RE: Medical Marijuana Facility (MMF)

Mr. Peak informed the Board that the deadline for the submittal of a bylaw amendment was at the end of the month of January. He assured the Board that they did not have to submit the final version, at this time. A variation of the regulation would suffice as long as they worked on a final version in time to hold a hearing on the amendment before the warrant was posted for town meeting.  Given that they still had ongoing projects to address, Mr. Peak recommended meeting every week for the month of January to catch up on their projects.  Mr. Seidman asked that they postpone a decision on the suggestion at the conclusion of the discussion.

Mr. Seidman recommended adopting portions of the Town of Norwell’s and West Tisbury’s bylaws pertaining to the regulation of Medical Marijuana Facilities.  Mrs. Doble indicated that she was much more comfortable with the Town of Norwell’s regulations, because they laid out more. Mr. Seidman agreed and referred the Board to the Town of Norwell’s warrant article no. 21 proposing the adoption of a regulation governing Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.

Under Article II, pertaining to residential districts, Mr. Seidman questioned if they should consider a distance restriction for the residences within the BII District.  Mr. Peak thought it would difficult to regulate because they were encouraging mixed uses in the BII District. Mr. Seidman acknowledged, and inquired if they should clearly state that the MMFs must be 500 ft. from a child care facility, school, religious edifice, etc.  Mrs. Doble noted that the Town of Norwell incorporated the restrictions in their regulation. Mr. Seidman noted that the regulations (restrictions, such as hours of operation) are listing the Zoning Board of Appeals as the special permit granting authority. He inquired if the Planning Board wanted to follow suit. Mr. Thompson recommended revising the language to list the Planning Board as the special permit granting authority.  Board members agreed.  
Mr. Seidman referred to section 2310 (n) of Norwell’s proposed bylaw entitled Residential Districts with a recommendation for language that would prohibit the use in all of their residential districts. He suggested adding “All uses expressly....  are expressly prohibited. Mr. Peak thought they should incorporate language in all of the sections of the bylaw governing the residential districts, stating “any use not expressly permitted is expressly prohibited”.   Mr. Aldrin thought it was a standard.  Mr. Peak responded that the precaution clarified the intent.

Mr. Seidman referred to section 2341(n) of the Town of Norwell’s proposed bylaw entitled Medical Marijuana Treatment Center or similar facility.  He did not think the BI District was an appropriate location for MMFs, and suggested limiting the MMFs with the necessary qualifiers (e.g. distance from schools, daycare centers) in the BII District by special permit. Mr. Thompson noted that the qualifiers were already in place in the Department of Public Health’s regulations (105 CMR 725.000).

Mr. Seidman referred the Board to section 2341(n) 1. He did not believe (1) – “Prohibited in Business District C-3” applied to the Town of Tisbury, since they all agreed to prohibit the use in all districts, except the BII District by special permit.

Mr. Seidman recommended incorporating the language in section 2341(n) (2) Any medical marijuana center shall not be located within 500 feet of any lot with a residence, school or daycare facility, playground, public park, public athletic field or similar public recreations facility, and modifying the language in 2341(n) (3) Hours of operation shall be set by the Board of Appeals to list the Tisbury Planning Board as the special permit granting authority.
Mr. Seidman recommending adding the language listed in 2341(n) (4) “Special Permits shall remain exclusively with the applicant, who shall be the owner or lessee of the premises described in the application. The Special Permit shall terminate automatically on the date the applicant alienates that title or leasehold interest in the premises”.

Mr. Seidman asked the Board if the initial special permit should have a one (1) year term with the option to renew for a period of one(1) or three (3) years.  Mr. Peak recalled that the Board issued the mobile truck vendors in the Waterfront Commercial District a permit that expired in the first year of their operation, since they were a whole new use in the district, and allowed to renew their special permits, provided they did not have any complaints lodged against them with the police.  Mr. Seidman thought they should proceed with caution, and was willing to renew their special permits anywhere from three (3) to five (5) years.  Mr. Seidman recommended using 2341 (n) (5) with some modification, and entered the following language, “Special Permits shall be valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of the decision. Not less than three (3) months prior to the expiration of the special permit, it shall be incumbent upon the applicant to re-apply to the Tisbury Planning Board for a permit. Said permit shall be valid for a five (5) year term,  and renewable for successive five (5) year periods provided that a written request for renewal is made to the Tisbury Planning Board not less than three (3) months prior to the expiration of the then-existing five (5) year period”.

There was additional discussion about the language, in that Mr. Seidman did not want the applicant to assume that the renewal was automatic. He also did not think the Planning Board should be held responsible for contacting the applicant to remind them to renew their application. He felt that was the applicant’s responsibility. Mr. Peak did not understand why the Planning Board could not have a list for all of the “termed” permits, to make sure applicants are complying with the conditions and restrictions of their permits.  Board members agreed.

Board members reviewed the remainder of the proposed bylaw amendment the Town of Norwell would be reviewing this year at their town meeting, and thought the language should be incorporated into their proposal for the town as written.

Mr. Peak clarified for the record that portions of the language were to go into the regulations governing the residential districts, the BII District and definitions.

Mr. Seidman inquired if the Board wanted to limit the size of the facility.  Mrs. Doble inquired if they wanted to limit both the structure and cultivation area as part of the regulation. Mr. Seidman noticed that some of the regulations restricted both. The Town of West Tisbury restricted the cultivation field (50’ X 20’) to an area that was not to exceed 1000 sq. ft.  Mr. Seidman recommended 1000 sq. ft. for the registered medical marijuana dispensary (RMD) and 5000 sq. ft. for the cultivation field.

Mrs. Doble thought they should be consistent with the other towns on island.  Mr. Seidman noted that they tried to get everyone on board, without any success.  There was a question about regulating the cultivation area. Mr. Aldrin thought the process was all going to be indoors because they had to generate the right conditions to cultivate the plant.

Mrs. Doble question if the area required for the cultivation should be part of the permit, so that the applicant has to justify the land area. Mr. Seidman replied that the applicant did not have to cultivate the product. Applicants could be just retailers, retailers and suppliers or just suppliers.  Mr. Peak noted that they could also just be importers or exporters.  Mr. Seidman agreed, and inquired if they should include language requiring all aspects of the business within an enclosed area. Mr. Peak and Mr. Thompson replied that it was all regulated by the state.

Mr. Seidman inquired if they could grow the products outdoors. Mr. Peak asked the Board Secretary to contact the state about growing the product outdoors.

Mr. Peak recommended meeting next week to discuss how they should revise their regulations.

2. Tisbury Planning Board
A.  Budget FY 2015

Board members were given copies of last fiscal years’ budget, and a list of this year’s expenditures to determine if they’d like to revise next year’s line items.  

Board members noted that they’ve spent half of their budget for FY2014, and overspent on a couple of line items.  Advertising this year exceeded the amount they allotted because of the increase in advertising fees and advertisements (bylaw amendments).

Mr. Seidman noticed that they’ve been very consistent in their spending, and did not see any reason for not keeping the budget the same at $7700.00, understanding that it would increase with their staff’s salary.  Any information on salaries would not be available, until the Town Accountant released the data.  The Board Secretary left a message with the town accountant, and hoped to obtain the information soon.

Mr. Seidsman inquired if they had a separate line item for “travel” in addition to “in-state” travel , because he was interested in traveling to California or Florida for the Neighborworks Training Institute’s seminar in August 2014.  The Board Secretary offered to ask the Town Accountant for the information.

There being no further discussions, the Board agreed with Mr. Seidman, and directed the Board Secretary to submit a budget identical to last year’s.

B. Town Report 2013/14

Mr. Seidman has written the Planning Board’s report these past two years, and has created a template to make the task easier for anyone interested in writing the report.
He thought the Board should discuss the topics that could be incorporated into the report this year.

Board members recommended Stop & Shop, the connector road, the Medical Marijuana Center bylaw, and IHT’s project on Water Street (a possible redevelopment). Mr. Stephenson thought they could offer their support in their report to the town.  Board members added the new parking lot at the old fire station site on Beach Street, working with the School Committee, their participation in the Complete Street project for Mass. In Motion (e.g. High School Student’s study, report and presentation), and the installation of the solar panels at the landfill.

There being no volunteers, Mr. Seidman accepted the responsibility of drafting the Board’s report by February 2014.

3. Wastewater Planning Committee
RE: Build-out projections & designated areas of growth

4. Workshops
A. Cheryl Doble – Resiliency on Coastal Community Planning (NOAA)

Mrs. Doble noted that the seminar focused on the application of Smart Growth principles in coastal communities with respect to preserving their resiliency along the coast.  Attendees were provided with planning tools (visualization tools and funding resources) to study their development patterns, and learn how the traditional patterns no longer serve the community in light of storm erosion and rise in sea levels.

Mrs. Doble indicated that they were taught to utilize some of the tools, such as the Community Score Card, which she recommended for use in Tisbury. The planning tool could be used to study various areas in town to see how they compared to their community plan.  

Mrs. Doble strongly advocated the use of the Community Visioning process, which was demonstrated to be much more effective in informing and preparing the community for upcoming issues and changes. She explained that the community’s  participation in the public process gave them a sense of investment, which helped build their  understanding to draw a consensus.  It was a concept that could have been applied when presenting the connector road. She felt they had an obligation to reach out to the town to ask them what they believed was the most important issue(s) that needed immediate address, and work on them with the community. It was equally as important to incorporate an educational piece to the public process because it would allow help them to develop guides on approaching other issues (development) in the future.

Mrs. Doble surrendered her copies of the materials and books that were disseminated at the workshop for the Board’s review, but felt the one handout she had copied for each board member was much more informative.  Members were encouraged to review her written summary and to email her, if they had any questions or interested in additional information.  

Mrs. Doble thought they could work with design students on some of these projects.

B. Dan Seidman: Center for Coastal Studies – Shifting Coasts, Planning and Action in a
Changing Environment

Board members learned from Mr. Seidman’s brief synopsis of the seminar that the topic specifically dealt with land use planning in a dynamic coastal zone. They had to be adaptive and resilient to sea level changes (SLC) in order to control the environment. To do this, they had to control their expectations.

Portland ME responded by redoing their coastal harbor, in which they balanced both marine related and compatible uses with non-marine related uses. By adopting a mixed use zone to allow compatible, non-marine uses above the first floor and in certain areas along the periphery of the district, the community found themselves to be much more flexible and prosperous. Under the previous zoning designation, the waterfront areas were restricted to solely water dependent uses.       The zoning change allowed wharf owners to fill vacant properties, and to generate income by leasing 2nd floor and other commercial space. The additional revenue helped pay the high cost of maintaining the marina commercial structures, and the rents from the non-marine tenants subsidized the water based activities. More importantly, the mixed-use overlay encouraged the development of appropriate transitional uses (i.e. research facilities).

Mr. Seidman noted that the single most important recommendation the presenters stressed through the workshop was that coastal communities should have strong regulatory control over their coastal districts, which could be obtained from a DCPC designation. With such a designation, coastal communities can make their waterfronts much more resilient to the ever changing environment.

5. Henry Stephenson
A. Stop & Shop (Draft letter of conditional support for review)

Mr. Stephenson was of the opinion that as the town moved forward on the applicant’s parking plans; they should begin considering their position on the proposal in principle. He drafted a letter of support with conditions for the Board’s comment and vote.

Given the late hour, he asked the Board members to review the letter, so that they could come prepared to discuss the proposal.

B. Review of the status of the municipal parking lot proposal

Mr. Stephenson reported that the committee members by and large reached a consensus on the parking lot schematic (3B) he had provided for their meeting earlier in the evening.  

Stop & Shop in addition appeared to be open to reconsider their proposal for four (4) driving lanes, seventy (70) parking spaces, etc. in favor of keeping the shared-use path and green space on the west end of the parking lot, and on improving the frontage on Water Street.  The applicant’s consultants offered to work some of the recommended elements into their proposal for further discussion and a consensus.

Committee members agreed to meet next week on January 15, 2014 at 6PM to review the applicant’s proposal.

Mrs. Doble inquired about the revisions the Committee was discussing.  Mr. Stephenson replied that they were still discussing the specifics of the comfort station, the number of public spaces and the shared use path. The applicant’s consultants were stressing the importance of their service area to the operations of the store, which have essentially remained the same.

Mr. Peak did not understand why the town was entertaining the proposal, if the applicant could not accommodate the trucks on their property without disrupting other uses.

6. Connector Road
Re: Revisiting the possibility of a warrant article

Mr. Seidman urged Mr. Stephenson to reconsider his proposal to bring the subject back to the table. He felt the town voters were very angry that the topic was raised at town meeting, when they voted not to fund the project at the precious town meeting.  He felt they would fuel their anger even more, and guarantee another rejection. Mr. Peak agreed with Mr. Seidman and felt town residents were tired of being badgered about the connector road, and vote against the proposal out of anger.

Mr. Stephenson asked to raise the Board to reconsider, because the project always met the majority vote.  The recent vote was just a few votes shy of the 2/3rd majority vote.

Mr. Seidman understood, and reiterated that they should spend the time formulating a different approach and reach out to the community.

Mrs. Doble thought they had to pursue the project in a larger context, and demonstrate how it connected to town’s road system.


1.  Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Public Hearing – Ralph Dweck, AP 11A58 (Expansion of a pre-existing, non-conforming dwelling)
B. Public Hearing – Herbert & Joan Foote, AP 05K15 (variance ‘lot size & depth)
C. Public Hearing –     Georgette Eldredge, AP 19A1.1 (accessory apartment)
D. Public Hearing – Fella Cecilio, AP 07D11 (Food Service operation in BI District)
E. Special Permit #2158 – 867 Main Street, AP 02H05
F. Special Permit #2161 – Orland & Kim Donald, AP 07L06
G. Special Permit #2162 – William Bruno, AP 05G2.1
E. Special Permit #2166 – Hans Adcock, AP 05A21.2

B. Public Hearing – Herbert Foote, AP 05K15 (variance: min. lot size & depth)
C. Public Hearing – Luther Eldredge, AP 19A1.1 (accessory apartment)
D. Public Hearing – Fella Cecilio, AP 07D11 (Food Service operation in BI District)

2. Tisbury Conservation Commission
RE: Public Hearing – Sarah G. Shepard, AP 11A19

3. The Beacon, December 2013
RE: House Bill 1859 – Zoning Reform Bill (Act Promoting the Planning & Development of Sustainable Communities)

4. Vineyard Land Surveying & Engineering
RE: Notice-Ch. 91 Waterways License Application , Lagoon Pond LLC, AP 09B02

5. Tisbury School Committee
RE: 12/09/13, 12/10/13 and 12/18/13 Minutes & notification of meeting on 01/14/14

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:50 P.M.   
                        (m/s/c  5/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________          _________________________
Date                    L. Anthony Peak