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Planning Board Minutes 03/19/14

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


DATE:           March 19, 2014
TIME:                   7:10 PM

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

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

BILLS:          MV Times ………………………….$125.10
                        Vineyard Electronics……………….$   39.99

MINUTES:                As referred in the, 2013 Meeting Agenda
                        05 March 2014 – AVAILABLE


7:10 PM Charles Gilstad, Sourati Engineering re: Form A Application. AP 26D18

Board members were informed that the Form A plan currently under discussion was an amendment of an ANR the Board had previously approved in October 2, 2013. The plan involved a deep lot division of registered and unregistered land to create two lots. The applicant was asked to revise the plan so that the rearmost lot had 40 ft. of frontage for Form C purposes.

C. Gilstad informed the Board that the applicant withdrew the signed mylar from Land Court to unencumber the land. The legal modifications allowed the applicant to revert the land to its original status as unregistered land, which required the Planning Board’s endorsement. C. Gilstad eliminated the information that was required for Land Court to prepare the plan for the Planning Board’s endorsement.

A. Peak inquired if any of the land was registered. C. Gilstad replied in the negative. For clarification purposes, A. Peak noted that the Planning Board had already endorsed the plan to meet Land Court’s filing requirement, which was subsequently withdrawn from Land Court to legally modify the plan. The modification required the Planning Board’s endorsement to complete the process.

A. Peak requested a clarification for the need of an additional endorsement, if it had already been endorsed. C. Gilstad noted that he did not provide a mylar of the Form A application at the time of its endorsement because it had to go to Land Court for their endorsement. Not until after Land Court endorsed the plan, could he return with the mylar for their written endorsement.  Now that the applicant withdrew his application, Land Court released the mylar, which allowed him to return to the Planning Board with a revised plan that eliminated all references to Land Court’s registrations, since they no longer existed.

J. Thompson recalled C. Gilstad was asked to widen the frontage on the road to forty feet.  C. Gilstad noted that the Board recommended the forty feet frontage because the applicant was contemplating a Form C subdivision in the future. It was an informal discussion they held not long ago.

A. Peak entertained a motion to complete an endorsement of the plan as an ANR in its unencumbered form.  R. Aldrin so moved. H. Stephenson seconded the motion, which motion carried. 5/0/0

7:15 PM Public Hearing: Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment – Adoption of a definition and regulation permitting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary (including cultivation)
        Note:  See Signature Sheet for attendance

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:22 PM. A. Peak, Planning Board Co-Chairman asked the attendees to sign in. He informed them of the public hearing process, and had the Board members introduce themselves.

A. Peak read the public hearing notice into the minutes and explained that they were proposing a modification to the zoning bylaw that addressed the concerns within town, relative to the suitable location of the land use, should the state allow the activity

The Planning Board prepared language for the public’s review and comment.  A. Peak asked the Board and members of the general public if they had reviewed the language. He offered to read the entire text, if they thought it was necessary.  Members of the board and general public noted that they had read the text on line, and in the newspapers.

A. Peak opened the discussions to the Board. D. Seidman referred the Board to section 04. (Special Permit Conditions & Restrictions), subsection 01. on page three of the draft regulation and suggested a modification that clarified the applicant’s responsibility to secure the state’s approval before applying for a special permit from the Planning Board. He wanted to prevent the applicant from applying to the town and state simultaneously.

D. Seidman subsequently retracted his comment, noting that it had been addressed in section 03.01 (General requirements and conditions for all Registered Marijuana Dispensaries), on page two of the draft bylaw. He also understood that the state was incorporating a regulation controlling the quality of the product, because the targeted diseases responded differently to the concentrations of the product’s components (i.e. cannabanoids and THC).

There being nothing further to add to the discussions, A. Peak opened the floor to the members of the general public.  

M. Peters, MV Greenproc inquired if section 03.03 (No RMD shall have a gross floor area in excess of 1500 s.f.) included the cultivation area within the allotment for the dispensary and processing. A. Peal replied in the negative, noting that the following section (03.04) allowed a maximum of 5000 sq. ft. of land for the cultivation of the product. A. Peak understood that some of the dispensaries may or may not be cultivating their product on site, which was taken into consideration.

N. Peters requested a clarification. D. Seidman replied that an applicant could have a total of 6500 sq. ft. for their use; 1500 sq. ft. for the dispensary and 5000 sq. ft. for the cultivation of their product. A. Peak understood that they did not have to be collocated. D. Seidman concurred.  The one requirement, D. Seidman understood was that the cultivation area had to be covered.

M. Peters requested a clarification regarding the Board’s definition for public activity. D. Seidman replied that it was identical to the state’s definition of the use in their regulations.  A. Peak did not think applicants would be affected by the distance requirement in section 03.06 since they were limiting the use in the BII District, in which such uses did not exist, except for the future development of the Vineyard House (halfway house). D. Seidman added that they would have to be a certain distance from the mini-golf course on State Road.  A. Peak noted that the regulation referred to “public” activities. There was no mention or reference to “private” activities.

A. Peak noted that the regulation was not intended to be restrictive. It was designed to give applicants advance notice about what they should be looking for.

B. Byrne, a consultant for a client noted that a few businesses in the BII District had apartments on the second floor, so that the 500 ft. distance may eliminate potential sites from a limited pool of properties within the BII District.  He was concerned that future development in the BII District (e.g. Vineyard House, VNA’s building) would prohibit them from having a dispensary on the few lots that were available on Break Down Lane.  B. Byrne also inquired if he was restricted from using a larger tract of land for other purposes, if a portion was utilized for a dispensary. D. Seidman replied in the negative, provided it did not include any of listed uses in section 03.06.

A. Peak inquired about the rational for the 500 ft. limit. D. Seidman it was recommended by the state, but that it was a number they could revise, if in their opinion they believed it was too restrictive.  D. Seidman explained that the regulation was a compilation of several that was tailored to meet the needs of the town without making it overly onerous to prohibit the use.  A. Peak thought B. Byrne raised any important question about the distance requirement in section 03.06.  Board members discussed existing residences within the district that may have an impact. H. Stephenson understood the 500 ft. restriction was the minimum allowance, so that the town could not allow anything less than 500 ft.  D. Seidman understood that it was an arbitrary number that could be revised, if the 500 ft. distance requirement prohibited the use.  R. Aldrin inquired if they could relax the restriction on a permit by permit basis. A. Peak and D. Seidman thought it was best to clearly state the distance requirement within the regulation to avoid being viewed as arbitrary or capricious.

C. Doble inquired if the regulation could be designed to have the applicant demonstrate the need for a reduction in the distance.  A. Peak thought the purpose for the 500 ft. distance was to eliminate an impact by the activity of the dispensary.  He thought the dispensary was similar to a drug store, which was a very different from the type of activity that was generated by a bar. H. Stephenson thought a smaller distance requirement may be more appropriate since they were already limiting the use within the BII District.

M. Peters indicated that he had met with the Board of Selectmen and Board of Health to discuss the use of 392 State Road as a potential site for a dispensary, and reported that both board had supported the site They also obtained a site approval from the state.

A. Peak inquired if there was a difference between the dispensary and cultivation activities.  M. Peters indicated that he and his brother were proposing 1500 sq. ft. for the cultivation area and 1400 sq. ft for the dispensary on the second floor.  The cultivation area had to be secured from the public and the dispensary was accessibly by appointment only. A. Peak inquired if the Board would consider eliminating residences.  D. Seidman thought they could reduce the distance requirement to 100 ft.

M. Peters noted that the mini-golf could have an impact on his application, even though it was a seasonal operation.  B. Bryne inquired about the distance between the mini-golf course and 395 State Road. M. Peters replied that it was 200 ft.  D. Seidman recommended the reduction of the distance requirement to 100 ft. and the elimination of the reference to residences. M. Peters recommended keeping the 500 ft. distance from schools and play grounds.  C. Doble agreed and thought they could consider a tiered system where they retained the 500 ft. distance requirement for school, daycares and playgrounds. B. Bryne thought the 500 ft. distance requirement would restrict the availability of potential sites within the BII District. He noted that the BII District was predominantly commercial and offered a finite number of potential sites for the proposed use. The Vineyard House’s new residential units would essentially eliminate two potentially ideal parcels of land on Break Down Lane from consideration.  H. Stephenson asked other members of the public, some of which were interested in operating a dispensary for their recommendations.

D. Seidman questioned the need for the 500 ft. distance, when there was a very limited quantity of land area available on island. He did not think the intended target population should be treated as ‘pariahs’ or that the activities of the dispensary were clandestine.  A. Peak requested a clarification for the tiered system.  C. Doble explained that she offered the recommendation only as a suggestion. She thought they could have a more restrictive distance requirement for uses such as schools, daycares and a less restrictive requirement for uses that were not incompatible.  A. Peak agreed with D. Seidman because the use was not comparable to bars or adult entertainment.  D. Siedman added that a dispensary also required controlled access.

A. Peak asked the Peters’ brothers about the façade of the dispensary. M. Peters replied that the state allowed a covered window and one small sign. They were not allowed to display their product. A. Peak thought the regulations the state imposed on uses such as adult entertainment were being imposed on the dispensaries, so that the issue was whether the use was in fact similar and valid. D. Seidman replied in the negative, he did not think they compared.

A. Peak referred the Board to section 03.06 and asked the board members why they included a reference to correctional facilities, when they did not have such a facility in town.  D. Seidman reiterated that the language was recommended by the state. Each town had the ability to tailor the language to suit their needs.  

C. Doble inquired if the Board was considering leaving the list (except residence and correctional facility) in section 03.06 intact and reducing the distance to 100 ft. for all uses. D. Seidman preferred listing each individual use, except for residences and correctional facilities.

R. Aldrin thought the town will prefer a more restrictive distance requirement than 100 ft. Board members agreed that it was possible, but H. Stephenson noted that the use would not have the same visual impact a bar or adult book store had, or the access, since a dispensary was a confined and self-contained use.

A. Peak noted that 100 ft. distance requirement would not negatively impact M. Peters’ and N. Peters’ site at 395 State Road, which was 200 ft. from the mini-golf course.  M. Peters and N. Peters agreed.  M. Peters noted that he had a private conversation with Jeff Kristal, a member of the Board of Selectmen about potential sites and was advised by Mr. Kristal to choose the location at 395 State Road because he wanted to see the site ‘cleaned up’. It was a site that he would support .  M. Peters noted that his conversation with J. Kristal led to the abandonment of another site he and his brother were initially pursuing .  N. Peters indicated that it was the property abutting the Town Hall Annex on High Point Lane.  M. Peters reiterated that the state had approved the site, even though they did not meet the proposed distance requirement, because the mini-golf course was not a scheduled (structured) activity. A. Peak noted that the terms presented an issue. He did not know what the state meant by “scheduled activity”.  D. Seidman noted that they were all defined in the state’s model bylaw.

A. Peak asked members of Squash Meadow present at the hearing if they had a comment they wished to enter into the record that would represent the Vineyard House’s opinions about the RMDs relative to the issue of proximity or the definitions under consideration.   R. Silva, Vineyard House’s surveyor did not wish to respond for his client, but offered to mention this to John Jenkins or Brian Mackay.

H. Stephenson thought people may have an issue with the use because of the experience the larger cities had with methadone clinics. Cities such as New York were experiencing issues with the clinic’s patrons, who were creating a nuisance by congregating at the clinics. He did not foresee the same situation occurring with the dispensaries.  B. Byrnes noted that the dispensaries were experiencing a similar prejudice in that they did not want to have the use in the Back Bay area or nearby the methadone clinics in the hospital district.

D. Seidman located the definition for ‘scheduled activity’ and noted that it referred to a dance school, and a gymnastic school or similar locations were children commonly congregated in a location in a structured scheduled manner. It did not include ice cream shop.  

It appeared to A. Peak that majority of the discussions related to section 03.06. He asked the board if they should close the hearing and enter into deliberations to consider amending the section, or to consider preparing an amendment they might want to enter at town meeting. Board members spoke against the latter recommendation, and D. Seidman entered a motion to close the public hearing and to enter the deliberation. H. Stephenson seconded the motion, which motion carried. 5/0/0

8:17 PM Deliberations: Proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment – Adoption of a Regulation governing Registered Marijuana Dispensaries

The deliberation of the previously closed hearing was duly opened at 8:17 PM.  D. Seidman moved to revise section 03.06 so that the 500 ft. distance requirement was reduced to 100 ft. and to delete the reference to ‘residence’ and ‘correctional facility’.  A Peak recommended adding language to the motion that would protect the use against future residential development. He  suggested “…within 100 ft. of any lot with an existing ……”.  D. Seidman agreed, and amended his motion accordingly.  

A. Peak noted that he still wanted to meet with the Vineyard House’s representatives for their opinion. He asked the board if they would consider modifying the language if the Vineyard House had an issue with the language. Board members did not object.

H. Stephenson seconded the revised motion, which motion carried. 4/1/0   R. Aldrin voted against the motion, because he did not feel comfortable with the reduced distance requirement.

A. Peak inquired if anyone had a comment or issue with the time constraint in section 04.06. M. Peters replied in the negative.  

There being no further comment, A. Peak entertained a motion to close the deliberations. D. Seidman so moved. J. Thompson seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 5/0/0   The deliberation closed at 8:22 PM

8:22 PM Reid Silva, Vineyard Land Surveying RE: Vineyard House, Short Hill Road, AP 22A06

A. Peak informed the Board that the applicant wanted to modify the housing development that was approved by the Planning Board via special permits on April 25, 2012.

R. Silva added that the applicant had obtained an approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals, but that the project did not move forward for lack of financing.  Since that time, the applicant managed to sell their properties to finance the construction of the housing development, and have secured all of their permits, except for one.  

R. Silva explained that the applicant required a special permit in 2012 from the Planning Board because the housing development exceeded the maximum allowance of impervious surface (2500 sq. ft. or 15% of lot coverage) within the Groundwater Protection District. The application granted the applicant the right to improve the parking lot with gravel.

The applicant has since been advised that it would be much more cost effective to pave the entire parking lot with RAP, because the paving for the two handicap spaces would break down over time and require constant maintenance. R. Silva advised the Board that the applicant wanted to ‘break ground’ this spring and were pressed for time. He recommended approaching the board to discuss their proposal, in the hopes that the Planning Board would consider the improvement ‘an insignificant change’ to warrant an amendment of the special permit.

If the Board disagreed, R. Silva asked if the Board in their opinion agree with the applicant that if they limited the paving to the two handicap parking spaces to meet the state’s code for handicap accessibility was insignificant to require a modification of the special permit.  If the applicant opted to pave the entire parking lot, the applicant would then have to apply for an amendment of their special permit. The decision on the improvement of the two handicap parking spaces would allow the applicant to move forward on the construction.

D. Seidman asked R. Silva if the applicant could use a course concrete surface that remained pervious. R. Silva replied in the affirmative, but explained that the process in laying down that particular surface was extremely expensive. Woody Mitchell, the construction project manager noted that RAP was much more inexpensive than asphalt. A. Peak noted that they’ve learned from previous construction projects that the quality of RAP varied in quality, which was a major concern of theirs.  He was assured that the grade would be of good quality.

H. Stephenson inquired if the minor modification would require some sort of storm water management.  C. Doble suggested a retention basin or a bio-retention basin to capture the run off on site. R. Silva agreed that the mechanisms could dry wells, a surface swale into a retention area. He favored a catch basin or dry well because of the site’s terrain (slope). There was not a lot of room in the construction area that would allow for a large system.

A. Peak noted that the applicant was no longer installing a subsurface disposal system because they were going to get connected to the sewer system. D. Seidman inquired if the option was much more expensive than the Title V. W. Mitchell replied that the applicant was saving $20,000.00 in connecting to the sewer system.  A. Peak inquired about the Cultec Recharger Chamber and learned that it processed roof runoff in a similar manner wastewater was treated within an infiltrator leaching field. The primary differences between the two systems were that the Cultec Recharger Chamber was much smaller and treated rain water. R. Silva took the opportunity to demonstrate to the Board that by eliminating the ground disturbance required to install the Title V System there was a net reduction in the recharge to the aquifer. A. Peak inquired if the system could treat the runoff from the parking lot.

R. Silva thought they could increase the Cultec System.  A. Peak inquired if it would be less expensive if they installed a stand-alone system next to the parking lot. R. Silva thought it would be much more cost effective if they installed a couple of dry wells at the corners of the parking lot.

A. Peak understood that the issues with impervious surfaces were related to recharge in sensitive areas, but the argument appeared to be leaning towards not having a pervious surface, because of other issues in the long term. Parking lots specifically will generate runoff with oils and other materials (e.g. toxins and heavy metals) which can be treated by bio-swales.  A. Peak inquired if the gravel around a catch basin could be made of lyme stone. R. Silva noted that there were special materials that were designed to absorb hydrocarbons and other metals, but they’ve not been used frequently on the island because of the cost and maintenance.  If they had to address the run-off, he would recommend a retention basin with natural materials that could be planted. W. Mitchell thought they could install a retention basin. C. Doble thought they may have to consider the option.

R. Aldrin inquired about their objective for paving the entire parking lot, and not just the two handicap parking spaces.  An unknown gentleman replied that it was easier to maintain.

H. Stephenson did not have an issue viewing the request for a paved parking lot (plus a bio-retention swale) as diminimus change.  J. Thompson asked if the applicant exceeded the maximum allowance for impervious surfaces in the Groundwater Protection District. A. Peak replied that the maximum allowance was 2500 sq. ft. and the applicant was proposing 2700 sq. ft. J. Thompson inquired if that was for the entire project. A. Peak replied in the affirmative.

D. Seidman thought the most cost effective alternative for the applicant was just to pave the two handicap parking spaces. The MV Commission paved two spaces for handicap accessibility over seven years ago and they were still intact. If economics has been an issue for the applicant, it would be diminimus if they just paved the two parking spaces and leave the remaining area in its current state.  W. Mitchell and R. Silva concurred. R. Silva believed the applicant could always return to the Planning Board to amend their special permit.  R. Aldrin and A. Peak concurred with D. Seidman.

A. Peak deferred to the applicant’s special permit and noted that in the conditions and restrictions of the document the applicant was required to install a large drainage basin at the base of the hill to retain runoff on the premises. He did not see the large drainage basin on the plan. R. Silva believed that the requirement was for a different plan.  

W. Mitchell appreciated if the Board would allow them to pave the two handicap parking spaces and improve the remainder of the parking with gravel without the need of a modification to the special permit.

A. Peak entertained a motion from the Board stating that it was their opinion that the proposed change was insignificant to warrant a modification of the special permit.  D. Seidman so moved.  R. Aldrin seconded the motion.  5/0/0


1. Town Report
RE: Draft (2013)

D. Seidman did not have the opportunity to complete the draft report for the meeting, but expected to have a draft completed next week. Board members were to receive a copy of the draft before the meeting for comments or recommendations. D. Seidman asked the Board if they had any additional recommendations for the report.  None were offered.

2. CPTC Annual Conference on March 15, 2014
RE: Dan Seidman’s and Cheryl Doble’s report

D. Seidman and C. Doble provided the Board brief synopses of the courses they attended pertaining to medical marijuana, solar power, cultural districts and economic development in the Downtown areas.

3. MV Commission
A. 25 March 2014 All Island Planning Board Forum at 5:30 PM

D. Seidman and A. Peak expressed an interest in attending the forum, and asked the board secretary to contact Bill Veno to confirm their attendance.

B. Stop & SHop
H. Stephenson was of the impression that the tonight’s hearing would be the last public session based on M. London’s comments at the Municipal Parking Lot Design Committee.  He advised the Board of the Committee’s recommendations to the Board of Selectmen relative to the overall parking lot layout, and comfort station.  C. Doble added that the committee was recommending that they:

a. re-orient the building so that the entrance faced Main Street,
b. renovate the building
c. reduce the size of the building without jeopardizing or reducing the level of service, and
d. have the applicant contribute towards the comfort station’s annual maintenance

D. Seidman asked the Board if they would discuss a recommendation to have the applicant contribute “mitigation payments” as a condition towards affordable housing to offset the public subsidies some of their employees receive for housing.

H. Stephenson thought they could raise the subject at the hearing for the MV Commission to consider.  D. Seidman noted that the Board has always been supportive of affordable housing, and did not see why they could not state their position on the subject, in addition to the support of mitigation payments that would allow them to produce affordable housing. Board members confirmed that they’ve supported affordable housing and would not have an issue on supporting opportunities that would provide affordable housing.

4. Finance & Advisory Committee
RE: Planning Board’s Budget – Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 6:30 PM at Senior Center

Both D. Seidman and A. Peak agreed to attend the meeting to discuss the Board’s budget. A. Peak noted that the Finance Committee expressed a concern about their request for additional funds for consultants.

5. George Heufelder – Alternative wastewater treatment systems
Re: Field trip
D. Seidman indicated that he wanted to meet with G. Heufelder to discuss alternative wastewater systems, specifically to discuss the possibility of the idea M. Loberg obtained from G. Maulk, DPW Director.   A. Peak and C. Doble expressed an interest in joining D. Seidman.  The board secretary was to contact G. Heufelder for potential dates.


1.  Mass DHCD
A. Seminar on Managing Parking Systems – C. Doble expressed an interest in attending the seminar.  The board secretary was to make the necessary arrangements to facilitate C. Doble’s attendance.

B. Updating Tisbury’s Chapter 40B Subsidized Housing Inventory

2. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 14 March 2014 Extended Schedule
B. 20 March 2014 Meeting Agenda

H. Stephenson reminded the Planning Board that the MV Commission scheduled the continuation of Stop & Shop’s public hearing tomorrow evening at 6PM in the Senior Center.

D. Seidman noted that the Planning Board had not discussed their position on the potential for a mitigation payment addressing affordable housing.  A. Peak was of the understanding that it was part of the discussions H. Stephenson thought the Planning Board should have prior to the continuation of the hearing.

3. Vineyard Land Surveying & Engineering, Inc
RE: Waterways License application by Lagoon Pond LLC Martha’s Vineyard Marine)

4. TheBeacon, March 2014
RE: Verifying Medical Marijuana Dispensary’s applicants to undergo a series of rigorous verifications, inspections, etc. prior to final approval

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:43 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