Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Planning Board Minutes 01/29/2014

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


DATE:           January 29, 2014
TIME:                   7:10 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

PRESENT:                Aldrin, Peak, Stephenson, Thompson and Doble

BILLS:          Realty Publishing ……………………$150.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the January 22, 2014 Meeting Agenda
18 December 2013        m/s/c           4/0/0
08 January 2014 m/s/c           4/0/0
15 January 2014         m/s/c           4/0/0
22 January 2014 m/s/c           4/0/0


7:10 PM Municipal Parking Lot Design
Attendance:  Former Members of the Municipal Parking Lot Design Committee: Mary Ellen Larsen, FinCom; John Grande, Town Administrator;~ Hyuan Lee, private citizen
General Public/Town Officials: Harold Chapdelain,~Tisbury Historic Commission Chairman;~Mark London, Exec. Dir. (MVC);~Dana Hodsdon, Tisbury Historic Commission and Ben Robinson, private citizen

Planning Board Co-Chairman, Mr. Peak noted that in past discussions with former members of the Parking Lot Design Committee, the Planning Board became concerned about the review process, in that it appeared the committee may have been rushed to reach a conclusion about the layout, without resolving some of the more salient details. The Planning Board thought the project was extremely important not to consider the necessity of a Plan B that was outside the format created by the Board of Selectmen. Their intent was not to initiate a new process or to run a parallel operation, but to provide a means by which to continue the conversation under their auspices, so that their recommendation would be part of the process.

The Board of Selectmen at their meeting last evening held a forum on the subject soliciting comments from members of the general public and former committee members, and decided to extend the committee members’ appointments as a result of the discussions, which revealed that the committee had not yet arrived at a consensus, firm enough to draw a plan of sufficient detail for its actual construction.

Mr. Grand, at Mr. Peak’s request provided a general outline he planned to implement to move the review process forward. Mr. Grande replied that he had already emailed all of the members to reiterate the Board of Selectmen’s decision to reconvene the committee, since some of the members had left the meeting before the announcement, and the need to schedule a few meetings to work on the remaining issues relative to the parking lot.  He stressed that while they gained additional time to work on this project, they had to proceed with a sense of urgency, because he wanted to be in a position to enumerate in some level of detail the construction standard they expected for all of the improvements and treatments (e.g. walkways, tree plantings, landscape maintenance plans, etc.). He wanted to set the bar high in terms of the construction standards, so that the improvements were much more valuable for the town. Mr. Grande believed the committee members brought of wealth of expertise to the discussions to complete the task.

Mr. Grande wanted to see an attractive and functional parking lot for the town, notwithstanding the other objectives such as the shared use paths, etc. In a memo he had written and in his comments from the previous evening about concept D, he believed the other two plans reflected 90% of the comments he made relative to the issues. Mr. Lee’s recommendations for angled parking and orientation were reflective of a previous plan.  All three plans were consistent relative to the orientation of the layout, and the width of the isles.  They still had to work on the shared use path on the north side of the parking lot and the area on the west side, where the strongest of differences exist.

Mr. Grande wanted the committee to reach a consensus, and to see the improvements come to fruition at the applicant’s expense.  He believed the town should take advantage of an opportunity to set the bar for an attractive and functional parking lot utilizing the applicant’s resources, but they had to act swiftly.

Mr. London noted that the MV Commission had extended the applicant’s hearing given that there were an outstanding number of issues relating to the parking lot that impacted the proposal. He did however clarify for the record that the parking lot was not part of the application before the MV Commission. There were however certain aspects of the parking lot that were intimately related to the Commission’s review of the store on the Stop & Shop property. The one significant aspect pertained to the fact that the one means of access to the store lies on town property. If the town opted to close this access, it would jeopardize the applicant’s proposal for expansion. The Commission’s requirement for vegetation presented an issue for the applicant, because they are assuming that it will be on town property.   There were regional issues that needed to be resolved, principally the shared use paths, from a general planning perspective, because they wanted to see a linkage on the north side of the parking lot to the ferry, and another linkage on the west side to Veterans Park.

Mr. London and others met with the applicant’s representatives at their invitation last Thursday, and came to realize that the relationship between the applicant’s proposal and the parking lot was financial. He explained that the applicant has not been able to commit to its offers to the MV Commission for housing and other regional projects because they were waiting to hear from the town about the costs to improve the parking lot. It was the MV Commission’s motivation to help the town to move forward on this project.

He thought the committee should generate a list on all of the items they’ve agreed upon and disagreed on, and go through them systematically. It was important that all of the stakeholders participate in the discussions to clarify their needs, and come up with a few comparable designs that they can review and arrive at some consensus.

Mrs. Larsen noted that Mr. Grande tried to accommodate the committee members’ schedules, which led to long delays. She recommended against the practice, and thought Mr. Grande should set the meeting dates. If members were invested in the process, they would simply have to revise their schedules to attend the meeting.  

Mr. Lee requested a set schedule to allow them to re-arrange their work schedules. He did not think it was fair to issue last minute cancellations for working members (self-employed), because it was very disruptive. He also thought it was important to record the sessions to avoid the misunderstandings that plagued the previous process, and to elect a new chairman.

Mr. Stephenson agreed with a set schedule. Mr. Peak thought a set schedule would allow committee members unable to attend to submit comments.  Mr. Stephenson thought the boards represented on the committee could assign a fellow board member to serve as a substitute in their absence to continue the process.   Mr. Lee disapproved, concerned that meetings would continue to be cancelled if the applicant’s representative cancelled. Mr. Aldrin noted that the process did not require all members . A majority could keep the process moving forward.

Mrs. Larsen recommended having an agenda prepared for the meetings. Mr. Peak requested a clarification about the content. Mrs. Larsen replied that it would be the list Mr. London recommended.  Mr. Stephenson did not understand why the Board of Selectmen could provide the committee with a recording secretary.  Discussions ensued with regards to the number of meetings required. Mr. Grande thought a couple was ample. Others disagreed. Mr. Stephenson did not want to set a limit.  

Mr. Lee generated a volume of material for committee members to review, with the intent of helping them come to the discussions with a level of understanding to help their review process move forward. It concerned him that he was never afforded the opportunity to present his alternate plan, or that members were allowed to speak as expected in publicly conducted meetings. He thought the meetings were disorganized and manipulated by the Chairman, who failed to hold discussions objectively and unbiased. It was a disservice to the committee members and the town. He hoped the new process would be conducted in manner that served the public interest.   He noted that it was never clearly specified whether the objective was solely to improve its function or to redesign it as a public space. It was also difficult for him to divorce the parking lot’s design from the applicant’s proposal when they were intimately related.  

Mr. Grande understood, and reiterated that the Board of Selectmen had limited the scope of their address to the parking lot.  Mr. Lee thought that was impossible. He also contacted Mr. Fuller via email to confirm if the committee had taken a vote. Mr. Fuller replied in the affirmative, which resulted in the 01/08/14  Water Street Parking Lot Committee Plan.  Messrs. Chapdelaine and Lee disagreed.  Mrs. Larsen recalled the motion was seconded, but never voted on by the committee. Mr. Peak inquired about the motion. Mrs. Larsen replied that the motion was to review Mr. Stephenson’s and VHB’s plans to see if a compromised could be reached, so that the committee can review the plans.  The motion was not voted on.

Mr. Stephenson reiterated that the discrepancy was sufficient reason for having a recording secretary present at the discussions.  He recalled the motion differently in that the committee had arrived at a consensus for a three isle layout. They wanted to have VHB draw a revised plan reflecting the three isles, but were given a plan with four isles at the following meeting.  Mr. Grande concurred, and revealed to the committee it was an issue. The plan offered the Board of Selectmen a second option. Mr. Stephenson noted that it was also extremely disappointing and concerning to the committee to see that their proposal was not being forwarded to the Board of Selectmen.  He believed that part of the issue was that there “was a lack of clarity in the process”.  With regards to the chairmanship, the Board of Selectmen has the right to select their chairman.  Last he understood the Board of Selectmen selected Mr. Grande.

Mrs. Doble thought the committee needed a facilitator so that Mr. Grande as Chairman could actually participate in the discussions. She thought Mr. Grande could be more efficient and focused. It appeared it would also be extremely be very helpful to have a recording secretary present at the discussions. She deferred to the Board Secretary for an opinion. The Board Secretary inquired about the content of the minute’s e.g. verbatim (transcription) or summary.  Mr. London noted that a virtual transcription of a three hour session could be as long as 20-25 pages, where a summary could be 8-10 pages.

Mr. Peak understood that there were a minimum set of requirements for minutes that would satisfy the questions raised by the committee, such as the motions, the votes, amendments, etc.  Mr. London noted that the state laws have been revised to require a summary of the discussions with the votes.

Mrs. Larsen thought the committee could use a facilitator.  She did not think Mr. Grande could function effectively as the Chairman without the use of a moderator. Mr. Peak noted that The Roberts Rules of Order clearly stated that the Chairman operated as the facilitator, set the agenda, and only votes to break a tie. If he were allowed to vote on issues he could not function as a facilitator and remain neutral.  Mrs. Doble found it difficult to speak to the issues in the discussion, as a facilitator because it became too complicated. She also found it easier to be a facilitator and objective when she was not involved in preparing the agenda.  She thought the Chairman could request the services of a facilitator when necessary to participate in the discussions.

Mr. Grande commented that the first order of business for the committee was to select a Chairman. He found the position difficult to manage and preferred to serve as a resource. Mr. Peak inquired Mr. Grande had a member of the committee in mind to serve as Chairman. Mr. Grande preferred leaving the decision to the committee members.  Mr. Peak thought Mrs. Doble could assist him in the conduct of the meeting, as she has worked as a facilitator. Mrs. Doble recalled that Mr. London had worked in that capacity on similar committees. Mr. London replied in the affirmative.

Mr. Lee reiterated his primary concern about public process, the need for a recording secretary, and the need for an open forum to allow the free exchange of ideas among committee members which was crucial to public process.  He was upset that he was never given the opportunity to illustrate his work and frustrated with the whole process. Mr. Grande clarified for the record that the committee’s first meeting was organized by Mr. Stephenson and Mr. London.

Mr. London hoped the committee would not spend their meetings discussing the process. It was counterproductive.  Mr. Stephenson thought they could utilize a facilitator that was not a member of the committee, and have Mr. Grande participate as a member. Mr. Grande concurred, but felt the committee should vote on the topic of a facilitator.  Mr. Peak asked Mr. London if he could serve as the facilitator.  He would consider serving as facilitator, pending the committee’s wishes and his schedule at the MV Commission.  Mr. Peak noted that there were two potential candidates that could serve as a facilitator, and suggested that both individuals should be present at the committee’s first meeting.  Mr. Aldrin thought the idea of a facilitator was a good idea and agreed that the committee should vote on the subject. Mr. London thought the individual serving in the position of facilitator would be assisting as an ex-officio observer.

Mr. Peak thought the committee members should meet briefly before departing and discussing potential dates and times to start setting up a schedule.

Mr. Chapdelaine offered to facilitate or chair the committee and briefly outlined his experience, qualifications and goals. He described himself as a strong Chairman.

Mr. Peak noted that while he was not a member of the previous committee, he had expressed a strong interest in the topic.  Mr. Chapdelaine clarified that his interest lies in the process. He wanted to see the committee arrive at a solution within a timely manner. As a strong chairman he felt he could help the committee stay on their course to accomplish their goal. His primary issue with the applicant’s proposal was that they did not consider or include the historic structure as part of the application, until its value to the town was brought to their attention, and its fate was still questionable. Whether or not he was elected to the position, he thought Mr. Grande should set a schedule with specific dates. Members had to decide if they were available on those dates or step aside. He critiqued the time the town’s spent on the project without accomplishing their goal, because of its impact on public perception. In his opinion the public were viewing the town as inept or devious.

Mr. Peak mentioned that he has worked with Mr. Chapdelaine on the Site Plan Review Board as chairman and has admired his abilities. His also explained his motive for asking Mr. Chapdelaine about his interests in the subject, and it appeared that Mr. Chapdelaine would be impartial or neutral about the specifics of the parking lot to serve as chairman.

Mr. Lee thought Mr. Chapdelaine has expressed very strong opinions on the subject, often in line with his, and did not think he could be a facilitator, because he was already very much a part of the process. Mr. Lee thought Mr. Chapdelaine was an eloquent speaker, an independent voice on the subject they could not afford to lose. He preferred seeing Mr. Chapdelaine serve as their “public voice”.  Mr. Lee also raised a couple of questions regarding procedure, which were answered by Mr. Peak.

Mr. London thought the committee had to find a way to provide and revise their plans quickly to meet their schedule. He also suggested that the various plans be drawn in the same scale. The one issue he wanted to bring to the committee’s attention was that any decision made with regards to the comfort station was going to have long range financial ramifications that will need to be analyzed by the Board of Selectmen.

Mr. London suggested that Mr. Grande and the Planning Board may wish to meet before the committee and make a determination about the facilitator, and generate a list of all of the items the committee has established consensus to present to present to them at their first meeting. He offered to help generate the list and attend the first session. He thought it was important that all of the preparatory work was completed prior to the committee’s first meeting.

Mr. Lee thought it was important to know if they were reviewing the improvements to the parking because of the applicant’s proposal for expansion or are the improvements solely to improve parking lot’s functionality.  If the latter was correct, then it should be clearly understood that the pedestrian path had to be separated from Norton Lane and they needed to create public space for the focal point. If they were reacting to the applicant’s proposal for expansion, then the design becomes very complicated.

Mr. Grande replied “no” because they were being asked to design a parking lot to serve all of the businesses, all of the users and the town, irrespective of the tenant. It was somewhat complicated because he wanted all of the utilities to go underground, install a storm water management system and incorporate a higher level of improvements. Once these issues were addressed, the committee will be asked to move on to the next level. The committee also had to understand that they had to work in “public safety” into the design of the parking lot. Mr. Stephenson understood, noting that part of the issue was that the parking lot also served as a public square that included other elements, such a shared use path. He noted that they were an essential part of public safety, and yet they were not included in the plans they’ve been asked to review.  It was suggested that the item should be included in the list for the committee to discuss.

Mr. Stephenson noted that the police station in the long term will have to relocate to higher ground as did the fire station and ambulance service. Mr. Grande inquired about a short term solution. He felt they had to merge the interests of all of the stakeholders.  Mr. Peak thought it was important to find the underlying issues, because in doing so, you’ll find there are many ways to resolve the problem. It would dictate what the transition could be from this particular solution as it was understood, to some other solution for the same problem.  Mr. Grande inquired about the goalpost. Mr. Peak replied that it was to satisfy the underlying concern in a way that is least disruptive of the other parts of the plan.

Mrs. Larsen noted the term “stakeholders” utilized in the discussions and thought it important to invite them to their meeting if any item on the agenda requires their input. They’ve worked on assumptions in the past, and it has proven unproductive. She also felt the committee was not representative of the stakeholders, whose interests they were trying to accommodate.

Mr. Lee thought Mr. Stephenson should develop their agenda, and make sure that the items solely reflect what they will be discussing. He also requested an opportunity to present his material to the committee, because it provided a wealth of information that could be used in the design of the parking lot. The information would help committee members understand the design issues and potential solutions, which have been limited to VHB’s interpretations.  Mr. Stephenson agreed that Mr. Lee should have an opportunity to present his material, given that much of the information was consistent with their comments.

Mr. Aldrin recommended spending less time on the past, and move forward to complete the project.

Mr. Robinson inquired about the source and funding for the plans. Mr. Grande replied that it was produced by the applicant’s consultants at their expense.  He noted that if the committee wanted to produce a document, they should produce their own drawings. Otherwise it would be perceived negatively. He felt the town should come up with their own requirements, rather than to allow the applicant’s consultants to come up with suggestions, when they are paid to protect their client’s interests. He believed the applicant could easily estimate a dollar amount for the parking lot’s improvement, so that the funds could be held in escrow for as long as the town needed to implement the improvements.

Mr. Grande thought it behooved the town to get the developer to absorb the risks (permits, inflation, hire contractors, potential lawsuits, etc.) in the development of the parking lot and all of the associated costs. Mr. Robinson thought they also risked surrendering the town’s needs to the developer’s interests.

Mr. Peak asked Mr. Grande if he could approach VHB if they could produce a perimeter plan  of the property (boundary lines and buildings).  Mr. Grande inquired if the MV Commission has a digital copy of the file.  Mr. London was not sure, but thought VHB could easily reproduce the plan they need.  Mr. Hoehn created the plan for VHB, but Schofield, Barbini & Hoehn would not release a digital copy. Mr. Peak offered to approach Mr. Hoehn for a digital copy of the plan.  Mr. Stephenson agreed with they needed a base plan on a 20 ft.  scale.

Mr. Chapdelaine did not think they should portray VHB as the villain, when they’ve produced plans for the committee. Although they did not correctly interpret the committee’s recommendations a hundred percent, they worked with the committee and saved the town money.

Former members of the Parking Plan Design Committee were encouraged to meet for a few minutes before departing to discuss potential dates and times.


1.      Planning Board’s FY 2015 Budget
A.  Revision (addition of a line item & warrant article/Consultants)
B. Copier (article for $8000.00)

A. Mr. Peak informed the Board that a $28,000.00 line item was added to their budget for consultants. He prepared the board that the Finance & Advisory Committee may react adversely to the dollar amount, but managed to speak with Mr. Gomez about the Planning Board’s revised budget. Mr. Gomez agreed that the dollar amount should be included in their overall budget as a line item, but recommended starting off with $5000.00.  

Mr. Gomez did not realize that the Planning Board had specific work/projects they wanted to pursue, and advised him to come prepared to defend the request.

B. The board secretary advised the Board that the copier was starting to fail. The repair man recommended a new copier, because of the wear and tear.  Mrs. Harris mentioned that the weather (winds, rain and snow) on occasion ruined copies of the material they copied because the copier was in the trailer next door.

Mr. Peak noted that the request for $8,000.00 was approved by the Board of Health. The request was in the form of an article.  There being no discussion, Mr. Peak entertained a motion to submit an article to see if the town will vote the raise and appropriate the sum of $8,000.00 to replace the photocopy machine in the Annex.

Mr. Aldrin inquired if they intended to replace the existing copier.  The Board secretary replied in the negative.  Mr. Stephenson moved the motion.  Mr. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0
2. Board of Selectmen’s Meeting on January 28, 2014
RE: Response (Refer to the discussions at 7:10 PM)

3. Stop & Shop
A. Supermarket’s expansion
B. Municipal Parking Lot, Water Street (Refer to the discussions at 7:10 PM)

Mr. Stephenson indicated that the Commissioners’ discussions were predominantly about the size of the building, correlating it with its impact on traffic and transit and in the context of its location.

Mrs. Doble noted that they also spent time about A-Hold’s European operations, and asked for information these stores for their next meeting. She recalled there were questions about the lot trade (Elios), and the scale of the property/building. She noticed that people were struggling with the different perspectives (aerial views) and having a difficult time understanding the size issue, because they do not walk you through or away from the property.  She thought they could draw cross-sections elevations to get a better perspective of the scales.  Mr. Stephenson noted that Mr. Lee created a 3D sketch up model you could walk through for the entire territory.

Mrs. Doble inquired if the hearing on 02/20/2014 was the final hearing. Mr. Stephenson got the impression that Mr. London hoped it would be.

Additional discussions ensued with regards to the need for an integrated traffic analysis, but understood that it was both difficult and expensive.


1.  Marion Mudge, Town Clerk
RE: Year-end Campaign Finance Form

Board members were asked to sign the form to return to the town clerk.

2.      Kenneth A. Barwick, Building Inspector
RE: Mary J. Goethals, Tr., AP 05G02.1 (Letter of enforcement)

3. Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Public Hearing Notice – Friends of MVY Radio LLC, AP 19A23 (installation/antenna)

B. Public Hearing Notice – David Maddox, AP 26A01 (accessory apartment)
C. Public Hearing Notice – Orland Donald, AP 07L06 (adj, height of a structure)
D. Special Permit #2165 – Ralph S. Dweck, Tr. , AP 11A58 (expansion of a pre-existing, non-conforming structure)
E. Special Permit # 2169 – Fella Cecilio, AP 07D11 (food service operation)
F. Special Permit # 2170 – William Wing, AO 40A04 (exp. of a pre-existing, non-conforming structure)

4. Tisbury Conservation Commission
A. Public Hearing Notice – Tisbury Dept. of Public Works, AP 37A1.2
B. Public Hearing Notice – George Rogers, Lagoon Pond LLC, AP 09B02
C. Public Hearing Notice – George Rogers, Lagoon Pond LLC, AP 09B02
D. Public Hearing Notice – Tisbury Wharf Company, AP09C13 (trenching/installation of utilities)

5.  MV Commission
RE: 24 January 2014 Extended Schedule

6. Tisbury School Committee
RE: 15 January 2014 Meeting Minutes

7. Massachusetts Municipal Association
RE: TheBeacon, January 2014

8. Thomson West
RE: Zoning Bulletin, 10 December 2013

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:39 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