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Planning Board Minutes 09/03/2014


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


DATE:           September 3, 2014       
TIME:           7:00 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Board of Selectmen: J. Snyder, M. Loberg, Tristan Israel
                        Peak, Robinson, Thompson, Doble

ABSENT:         Seidman

BILLS:          Petty Cash (Postage)……………………..$  41.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the 20 August 2014 Meeting Agenda
                        20 August 2014 - AVAILABLE


7:00 PM         Charles Gilstad re: Form C Plan for 123 Greenwood Ave. AP 26D18

C. Gilstad advised the Board that the Town Clerk had released the original decision following the expiration of the 20-day appeal period. According to the Board’s decision, he was required to submit a copy of the homeowners/road association before they would consider signing the applicant’s Definitive Plan for recording purposes.

C. Doble referred to the Conditions & Restrictions of the July 16, 2014 Decision and noted that the applicant did not comply with the third requirement, relative to the written description of the surface material to be use for the traveled way. C. Gilstad replied that he would not know the specifics of the material until the day of purchase, because Goodale’s product varied per batch, depending on available materials.  L. Peak noted from past observations that the quality of the material utilized on former subdivision roads varied and often times did not meet the Board’s minimum expectations.  He explained that the Board as a result had been asking applicants to replicate the grade or quality of material utilized on Holmes Hole Road.  He understood that John Keene offered a better grade of material because he screened it. C. Gilstad concurred, adding that the material at Keene’s varied as well.

L. Peak asked the board secretary to contact the Tisbury Water Works for information about the surface material they used on Holmes Hole Road, and if they could provide the Board with the specifications of the material.

C. Gilstad inquired if the Board had the opportunity to review the Declaration of the Greenwood Avenue Association. L. Peak noted that the document incorrectly stated that he owned Lot 1, when it was not part of the subdivision. C. Gilstad noted that they were including Lot 1 within the Homeowners’ Association as part of their agreement, and to comply with the board’s regulations.  

L. Peak also noted that last sentence in the numbered paragraph, entitled “Easement Established” allowed Richard S. Dubin, the developer to retain the fee in the subdivision road until all of the lots were conveyed. The requirement for the homeowners’ association was to give the individual property owners an equal and undivided interest in the common areas, including the road. The Board required language that transferred the fee in the road to the homeowner’s association when 50% of the lots were conveyed. He asked C. Gilstad to revise the document to address the concerns, and to incorporate language specifying the expiration date.  Board members concurred with L. Peak’s recommendations.

C. Gilstad asked to be placed on the agenda for September 17, 2014. The Board agreed.

7:18 PM Public Hearing: Application for a Special Permit by Dunn Family LLC AP 09B19.18+

Hearing commenced in due form at 7:18 PM.  C. Doble, Acting Chairman immediately advised the applicant, R. Dunn and his attorney, R. McCarron that the Planning Board could not conduct the hearing with the three (3) members that were present. State Statute required a minimum of four (4) members, and only with the consent of the applicant.

R. Dunn inquired about Town Counsel’s legal opinion. C. Doble replied that she could not allow the discussion, and moved to continue the public hearing for the Dunn Family LLC until September 17, 2014 at 7:15PM. R. Dunn question the applicability of client-attorney privilege to town counsel’s opinion.  C. Doble advised the applicant that the Board has not had the opportunity to review the document to discuss its contents. Any discussion on the document could not be allowed since they did not have a quorum. C. Doble noted that the motion stood.  J. Thompson seconded the motion, and the motion carried  2/0/0

The Planning Board resumed their regularly scheduled session at 7:20 PM, at which time L. Peak joined the board.

7:20 PM Tisbury Board of Selectmen and Planning Board
Interviews for Planning Board Vacancy (Stephenson’s Term)
                B. Robinson and Douglas Reece
                Attendance: J. Grande, ME Larsen

J. Snyder, Chairman moved to convene the joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen with the Planning Board at 7:20 PM. M. Loberg seconded the motion, which motion carried. 2/0/0

J. Snyder deferred to C. Doble, who initiated the discussions with a brief overview of the situation that led the Planning Board to advertise the two vacancies i.e. board member and associate member. She clarified for the record that the appointment for the position of board member would expire at the next election in 2015, after which the person would be encouraged to run for the remainder of H. Stephenson’s term that expired in 2018.  The position of Associate Member had a five year term, which expired in 2019.

The candidates were invited to join the discussions and to share information about their decision to apply for the position(s).  D. Reece replied that he had moved into town the last year and currently resided on Lagoon Pond Road. In the short period of time, he had joined the Lagoon Pond Association, in which he currently served as President, and the Wastewater Committee.  His profession as a real estate agent in the town exposed him to the permitting processes and prompted him to attend a couple of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board’s meetings. The meetings sparked an interest in town politics that’s led him to consider the possibility of serving on a board in some capacity, in the hopes of making a contribution to the town.

B. Robinson had an intimate knowledge of the town being born and raised in Tisbury. He’s always believed that town residents should participate in town government, and applied for the position of Associate Member in July 2014. Membership on the Planning Board was a natural fit for him as an architect, which often required thinking in the abstract. It provided a different perspective on board when addressing planning issues.  

T. Israel requested a clarification with regards to the number of positions. C. Doble replied that the Board had advertised for two position, that of board member and associate board member.  T. Israel asked C. Doble to explain the difference between the two positions. C. Doble explained that the Associate Member was not required to attend their meetings, but certainly encouraged. The Associate Member could not vote on house matters or any application, other than a special permit. The person was authorized to substitute (in case of conflict, absence, resignation, etc.) for a board member to participate in the hearing.

L. Peak expressed concern with D. Reece’s application; relative to the issues the Planning Board was addressing for Dunn’s application pertaining to  the Tisbury Marketplace.  L. Peak assumed D. Reece shared his concern. D. Reece indicated that he wanted to address the subject with the Board.

D. Reece further noted that he was not aware that B. Robinson was serving on the board as an associate member.  He questioned if it would simplify matters to have B. Robinson fill H. Stephenson’s vacancy and to have him fill in as the Associate Member. D. Reece indicated that he had been researching the conflict of interest law to determine whether his affiliation with the Tisbury Marketplace’s Condo Association presented an impediment. As long as he did not “have anything to gain or benefit” from the sale of R. Dunn’s restaurant, he was not prohibited from participating in the discussions.

L. Peak did not want to hold up the appointments, and recommended contacting the appropriate state office with the board secretary’s assistance for a clarification. Additional discussions ensued, and B. Robinson suggested that they approach the applicant to ask him if he had an issue having D. Reece serve on the board for his hearing.  R. Dunn replied in the negative. B. Robinson inquired if R. Dunn would have the five (5) members he had requested if D. Reece filled the Associate Member’s position. J. Grande replied in the affirmative.

There being no further comment, T. Israel moved to appoint B. Robinson as a Planning Board Member, and to appoint D. Reece to the position of Associate Member until the next election.  J. Snyder seconded the motion.  The motion carried.  6/0/0

D. Reece inquired if was required to take the test on the Conflict of Interest Law. Board members replied in the affirmative.  C. Doble also noted that both individuals were required to get sworn in before the Planning Board’s next meeting on September 17, 2014.   J. Grande added that all board members were required to retake the test, and to submit verification to the town clerk. M. Loberg asked that the appointees to give the Board of Selectmen a couple of days to send the Town Clerk their appointment slips.

The Board of Selectmen was advised that the C. Doble was prepared to provide the boards a progress report on the Vision Planning project, and to have a discussion on the town’s application to the state to improve the Tashmoo Overlook.

T. Israel had to leave, and asked the Board to consider the proposal he had raised in the recent past for regulations in the Business District 1 that would govern large structures. L. Peak informed T. Israel that H. Chapdelaine wanted to introduce to the Selectmen the idea of adopting a moratorium on projects over a certain size in the B1 District, until they developed regulations.  T. Israel was looking for a simpler solution, a bylaw that would refer all projects of a certain size (X,000 sq. ft.) to the Planning Board for a special permit. He thought it was important to have large scaled projects reviewed locally before they were referred to the MV Commission. L. Peak thought H. Chapdelaine’s proposal was similar to T. Israel’s suggestion. T. Israel disagreed and explained that the moratorium involved a lengthier review process that required the MV Commission’s and town’s support and vote. The zoning bylaw amendment required the Planning Board’s endorsement and recommendation and majority vote at town meeting. They’d have a regulation in place by spring.

Following his comment, T. Israel left at 7:45 PM due to an engagement.


1. Vision Planning
A. Update (OPED, advertising, interviews, venues, etc.)

C. Doble informed the board members that the Vision Planning Committee members held their first meeting on August 20, 2014 to discuss their role in the project, to develop a schedule and to formulate outreach strategies. From the discussions, several suggestions were made, including the need for an OPED.  The OPED was to introduce the town’s project, and to advertise the upcoming workshops.

C. Doble prepared a draft OPED for the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen to review. She wanted to solicit their comments before releasing the document to the Vision Planning Committee. Board members were given copies and to get back to her with their recommendations.

ME Larsen inquired about the venues. C. Doble noted that the venues were not correctly listed, but that she had secured the venues for the workshops. They were basically going to be held at the Tisbury Senior Center, the VH Library and the Emergency Services Building.

C. Doble felt it was important to let town residents know about the upcoming workshops and felt pressed in getting the local papers to write an article about the project in addition to the OPED.  L. Peak recommended inviting a reporter from the MV Times and Vineyard Gazette to the Committee’s meeting on September 19, 2014. D. Seidman recommended the use of a basic write up or fact sheet. L. Peak thought they could put an announcement and signup sheet at the top of the box right above the showcase at the Tisbury School, where there was a lot of foot traffic. C. Doble indicated that J. Custer offered to send out flyers to the school children’s parents. She added that the Committee thought they could also contact the newspapers to interview one of the committee/board members about the project, and send out mass emails using town and private organization’s databases (i.e. VH Library, Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, etc.) to notify people about the workshops. L. Peak recommended adding churches to the list.  J. Grande recommended the Chamber of Commerce.

M. Loberg asked J. Grande if the town had the capability to place an announcement about the workshops on front page. J. Grande replied in the affirmative.  C. Doble noted that she and J. Grande were scheduled to meet with C. Cotnoir to understand what they could do on the website, and if they could add a link to a web based service i.e. surveymonkey. She thought it was important to give town residents a way to participate in the process if they were unable to attend the workshops.
C. Doble mentioned that the Committee members were in the process of preparing and disseminating invitations to the public from various locations.  J. Snyder recommended adding language about the request for an RSVP in the OPED. B. Robinson inquired if they’ve set up an email address for the project.  C. Doble replied that it was one of the topics that she planned to ask of C. Cotnoir.

B. Robinson inquired if they were going to permit non-Tisbury residents to participate in the workshop. L. Peak questioned the notion, and did not think their responses should be evaluated equally. J. Snyder observed non-resident islanders commenting on the Stop-N-Shop project were focused on specific issues or topics that were not necessarily in the town’s best interest. C. Doble thought it would be difficult to monitor and separate out-of-town participants at the workshops. She reconsidered and thought that  they could be separated into their own group. It wouldn’t be a problem on the surveys, since they would be asked about their residence. J. Grande thought they could solicit comments from non-residents on broader subjects i.e. state and regional issues and projects that would be useful for a master plan.

C. Doble noted that she was in serious need of facilitators and solicited volunteers from the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen.  She further noted that they had to provide refreshments at the workshops if they were expecting people to stay for a couple of hours. She inquired if they Planning Board could use some of their funds for this purpose.  J. Grande replied in the negative.  Board members suggested contacting the local businesses for donations. J. Grande offered to discuss the topic with the Town Accountant, on her return from vacation.  He was not optimistic.

C. Doble wanted the boards to think about changing their strategy for the second round of workshops. She wanted to convene a larger number of people in one large venue and conduct a variety of activities on broader topics. J. Snyder thought it would be physically difficult to manage a large group of people. The only location that could accommodate a large group would be the school, where smaller groups of people could convene in the classrooms for the different activities. C. Doble wanted the board members to think about the suggestion so that they could continue the discussion at a later date.

Tashmoo Overlook
J. Grande submitted a copy of the draft Project Need Form, that the MV Commission was submitting to the State for funds from the Transportation Improvement Plan. He explained that the project originated from discussions with the MV Commission, and a meeting that followed with Mass DOT, representatives from the traffic engineering firm (BETA), and members from the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board.

M. London had the opportunity to review H. Stephenson’s conceptual plan to improve the use and aesthetics of the Tashmoo Overlook, and has utilized the design as a reference point on referring the project to the MV Commission’s Joint Transportation Planning Committee, who was pursuing the project on the town’s behalf.  J. Grande explained that the application addressed the safety issues presented by the current layout, in addition to the aesthetics. The consultants advised him that it was equally as important to emphasize the healthy component in the application. The application promoted a “healthy community” with the additional pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. It allowed them to apply for funds available through the Complete Streets Program.

J. Grande clarified that they were not endorsing or promoting a specific conceptual design. They simply wanted to get the state to agree that there was a need to provide a certain level of improvement to create a safer environment.

J. Grande explained the process, stating that they had to submit a Project Need Form in the initial phase, which required a needs analysis. The traffic consultant, BETA developed the needs analysis with the assistance of the MV Commission’s staff members (Priscilla Leclerc and Bill Veno). C. Doble was asked to contribute to the portion of the application that pertained to public comment.  J. Grande explained that he was leaving a copy of the draft for the board’s review, because he was soliciting their recommendations, before the final draft was sent the state.

B. Robinson inquired if the drawings were part of the application. J. Grande did not know if they were the exact drawings, but offered to ask the consulting firm.  He also understood from the consultants that they were not locked into a specific concept at this point. It would not be address until after Mass DOT District 5 embraced the project. J. Grande indicated that the meeting with Mass DOT District 5 was scheduled on November 6, 2014. It was extremely important to get the Project Need Form to the state well in advance of the meeting, so that they could begin working on a conceptual design.  Board members were advised that BETA had a landscape architect on board to help out.

C. Doble wanted to make sure their recommendations and edits reached J. Grande before the application was submitted to the state. He suggested sending their edits to Priscilla LeClerc at the MV Commission.

J. Grande asked the Planning Board for their assistance in bringing the stakeholders (Tashmoo Overlook Committee, playhouse, etc.) into the process so that they were aware of the town’s plans.

Capital Facilities Program.  J. Grande reported that they were moving forward on the project.

There being no further discussion, J. Snyder moved to adjourn the meeting.  L. Peak moved to close the Planning Board’s joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen. J. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.

1.      MV Commission
A.      04 September 2014 Meeting Agenda
B.      29 August 2014 Extended Schedule

2.      Charles Gilstadt, Sourati Engineering Group
RE: Declaration of the Greenwood Avenue Association

3.      Thomson Reuters

4.      RE: Zoning Bulletin, 10 August 2014

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:35 P.M.   (m/s/c  5/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date            Cheryl Doble
                                                Planning Board Co-Chairman Pro Temp