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Planning Board Minutes 04/29/15

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


DATE:           April 29, 2015  
TIME:           6:00 PM

PLACE:          Tisbury Senior Center, 34 Pine Tree Road

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Robinson, Seidman, Thompson
ABSENT:         Peak

BILLS:          Verizon ……………………..$67.99
                        Tisbury Printers……………$223.00
                        Petty Cash (postage)………….$7.40

MINUTES:                As referred in the April 16, 2015 Meeting Agenda
25 March 2015, 01 April 2015, 08 April 2015 and
16 April 2015 - AVAILABLE


6:00 PM Thomas Pachico re:  High Point Lane, AP 22A13.11

Board members were informed that they had endorsed a division of land for the 1.28 acre parcel to create four lots in 2012.~ T. Pachico wanted to revise the plan to accommodate two prospective buyers, who had requested multiple points of access for two/three of the four  lots.

The party interested in purchasing Lot 4 wanted to use the 20 ft. R-O-W on State Road to access the property in lieu of the approved access, and the person interested in purchasing Lots 2 and 3 wanted to move the access to the easterly property line because of the topography.~ T. Pachico wanted to accommodate the two potential buyers and make a few adjustments to the unrecorded plan. He asked the Board if they had any issues adding a curb cut on High Point Lane for Lot 1, and adding a 20 ft. wide access easement along the eastern property line of lots 2 & 3 to provide access to the latter lot. Lots 1 & 2 would gain an additional curb cut on High Point Lane, and the current 20 ft. wide access would only be used as a utility easement.

Board members wanted to speak with L. Peak to inquire about the one access. T. Pachico understood L. Peak was intent on having one means of egress for all four lots on High Point Lane, but the steep hill on Lots 2 & 3 made it impractical. The eastern properly line, on the other hand was much more leveled. Board members concurred, noting that the elevation on Lots 2 & 3 was substantial (30 ft. from top to bottom).

The Board inquired about the 20 ft. R-O-W from State Road. T. Pachico explained that High Point Lane was not considered a road at the time his father divided the property. The 20 ft. wide easement off State Road was the only means of access to the property.

B. Robinson inquired about the 30 ft. of frontage on the abutting lot. T. Pachico replied that it was set aside to accommodate a service road the town wanted to run straight down towards Shirley’s Hardware that never materialized, and not part of the property under consideration.

D. Seidman was interested in speaking with L. Peak to inquire about the Board’s reason(s) for requesting the one curb cut when they endorsed the plan in 2012.~ C. Doble noted that the additional easement on the eastern boundary of lots 2 & 3 improved their development potential. J. Thompson did not see any issues with the additional curb cuts, except for the one closest to the Town Hall Annex entrance. T. Pachico advised J. Thompson that the access did not have to go right up to the bound.

D. Seidman inquired about the significance of the additional curb cut on Lot 1.~ T. Pachico replied that it was a matter of convenience for the potential buyer. He was much more concerned about securing a second means of egress for Lots 2 & 3 because the location of the approved access easement did not work with the topography.

D. Seidman recommended continuing the discussion until their next meeting on May 6, 2015 so that L. Peak could join them.~ C. Doble concurred, noting that she wanted to walk the land and familiarize herself with the terrain. B. Robinson agreed.

7:08 PM Community Workshop – Organizing the Vision Council
                Attendance: Refer to the attached signature sheet

Members of the community were advised that the Planning Board wanted to move the Vision Planning process into the implementation phase, and were considering the assistance of a citizen based group (e.g. Vision Council) to oversee the process.

Tonight’s discussion was intended to solicit the community’s opinion about the citizen based group’s purpose and organization.  Participants were given an outline of the topics the Planning Board had discussed. The topics were categorized into four categories (purpose, membership, protocols and proposing projects) to facilitate the discussions.

The participants were asked to review the Planning Board’s recommendation for the purpose of the Vision Council’s . S. Zablotny asked about the type and level of information they were referring to in “A better informed citizenry”.  B. Robinson referred to Town Meeting, where citizens were informed about projects on town meeting floor and asked to make a “snap decision ”. He believed town residents should see more of the planning process and participate in the discussions well before they are asked to vote on the project. It was an educational process that did not currently exist.  S. Zablotny agreed and thought every article should have “a cause and effect” incorporated into their proposals to clarify the rationale for a particular course or recommendation.  

B. Robinson thought the process could help them to generate a report on projects throughout the year, so that individual boards were not pressed to produce a comprehensive report at the end of the year. S. Zablotny clarified that he was not questioning a valid procedure. He suggested that the public would benefit from any information that explained the procedure (or process), and the parameters within which a determination was made. FinCom’s informative guide at town meeting did not serve this purpose.

C. Doble noted that participants in the workshops expressed an interest in periodic updates, workshops, and panels with different speakers on topics that were important to the town.  She thought the presentations and workshops could be used to help people think about the issues on an on-going basis, so that they were familiar with the topics that were going to be voting on at town meeting.

J. Snyder thought it was important to maintain a bit of momentum on the vision goals that they’ve worked on laboriously. It was his opinion that the council’s primary goal should be to focus on achieving the goals. He feared that they would be forgotten, if no one took the responsibility of steering the projects towards their goals. N. Orleans thought “creating a better informed citizenry” was a major project in and of itself. Many agreed.

M. London found the discussions about the Vision Council’s purpose somewhat confusing, and asked if they wanted the Council to share FinCom’s function.  B. Robinson clarified that the participants in the discussions thought the Vision Council could provide FinCom with additional information about the warrant articles they were reviewing, and to help the warrant article’s sponsors with their presentations to FinCom, so that the advisory committee had sufficient information to formulate a determination.  S. Zablotny thought the council could also connect the stakeholders on a project to resources that were unknown to them.  

H. Lee indicated that it was difficult obtaining information from the town’s current resources about ongoing projects or issues of interest. He thought the town should standardize the method of communication, and re-organize its website. It was equally as important to update the information posted on the website, and to limit minutes to a brief synopsis. In addition to the aforementioned recommendations, H. Lee added that the public should also be given the opportunity to comment on the town’s progress on projects and to rate the various departments.

M. Loberg asked the Board to explain how the vision council was going to bring to fruition the goals the town had prioritized in the visioning process. B. Robinson explained that they were envisioning the Vision Council to operate as a clearing house, in which projects were delegated to the corresponding advisory group, who would then move the project forward.  C. Doble thought the Vision Council could also report their progress, upcoming projects, etc. to the Board of Selectmen, since the meetings were televised.  B. Robinson added that an on-line presence would also give everyone access to the Vision Council.

H. Lee thought the Vision Council could be a “body” on-line and become the initial source of information.  In this capacity, the council would be responsible for updating the website, and prioritizing the information. C. Doble thought it was important that the smaller groups (i.e. neighborhood groups)  have access to the Council to accomplish their goals, without having their projects prioritized by the public. She also suggested the use of on-line surveys to have ongoing feedback.  

S. Zablotny thought the council could test ideas against a goal and/or purpose. If they couldn’t file it under a particular goal or purpose, they could add a new category.
B. Robinson agreed, noting that by situating a project under a particular goal or purpose they would be able to evaluate their success or failure.

C. Doble recommended moving on to the second topic pertaining to the council’s membership. Participants were asked for comments about its size, representation, expertise and length of service.  J. Snyder recommended discussing the term or length of service, because it was his impression that the council was going to exist for a number of years.  C. Doble thought of staggered terms. S. Zablotny thought members of the core group should serve 3- 5 years terms.  B. Robinson recommended a two-year term to give council members a year to gain the knowledge and experience they would need to participate in the process. M. Loberg thought they should make it long enough to benefit from the longevity and wisdom that comes with time.

H. Lee questioned whether the town department would come to see and use the vision council as a resource, rather than another advisory committee.  B. Robinson believed that it relied on the Council’s ability to be helpful and to make the departments’ job easier. A project’s success would benefit from a broader base of support that would be provided by the Vision Council.

C. Doble solicited recommendations for the term.  B. Robinson thought it depended on number of people serving.  S. Zablotny thought it was important for council members to understand that they have a civic responsibility of serving as an advisory member for the next year.

C. Doble advised the participants that the council was also going to draw on people who have expressed an interest in serving on a committee or sharing their expertise.

H. Lee did not think a fixed two year term corresponded with the broader based participation because some projects may take longer than two years, require the expertise of a combination of groups, etc.  He did not think they should limit the membership to a particular group of people, but to start from the premise that every town citizen was a member.  B. Robinson concurred, but felt they needed an administrative body to keep the momentum going, and a project based group that were willing to invest their time and expertise on projects as they arise, followed by the broader community.  H. Lee reiterated that it was important to keep the process flexible.

N. Orleans noted that there were disadvantages to making the structure too rigid. They had to give everyone an opportunity to comment on a proposal if they were relying on volunteers and government. People want to feel that they will be given the opportunity to be heard. B. Robinson agreed that a abroad based membership would facilitate public comment.

N. Orleans re-emphasized the importance of educating the public on issues, if they were going to solicit their support. S. Zablotny believed the Council had the responsibility of presenting the issues, so that it elicited feedback.  

C. Doble asked the participants to consider the additional characteristics that were listed for membership, such as representation and expertise for the core group.  M. Loberg noticed the successful project always had a passionate member on board that kept the momentum going.  She thought they needed a passionate group of individuals in the core group that wanted to sustain the ideas presented in the visioning process and were committed to achieving the goals. The core group had to have a deep sense of responsibility and drive to invest the time to do the work. The question was how to find these people, and how were they going to be selected.  B. Robinson thought should consider the age groups. N. Orleans agreed. He added that it was important to keep in touch with them on a continuous basis so that they are constantly being updated, and suggested the use of a newsletter, which they could mass mail on a quarterly basis to keep everyone up to date on the vision planning process.

M. London, Exec. Dir. of the MV Commission offered technical support from his staff to help the council move forward.  He recommended against having a finite number of people on the council. If they were interested in soliciting broad participation and support, they should consider everyone as a council member because it would give the participants a sense of ownership.  M. London thought they could have a coordinating committee to manage or coordinate the activities of the council.  He advised the participants that they had to clarify or describe the council’s scope of address because they could not be expected to do everything.  They had to be realistic about the number of projects they could address within the year.  B. Robinson believed it relied on the number of people actively engaged on the council. They had to clarify the types of activities they were going to do.   B. Robinson thought it was important to see what the citizens wanted to work on and give them a forum where they could get advice.

H. Lee thought they could rely on the objectives and goals that were discussed at the workshops for the projects. It was his impression that they could begin with a test project to work out the activities needed to support and achieve the goal, the method of communication that best served their needs, and the process to employ for future projects.  The test project would in turn give them a better idea about each other’s abilities and skills .

C. Doble asked the participants if they had any suggestions for the size for the coordinating group. M. London referred to the rule of thumb “seven plus or minus two” or between five and nine. He thought they could also stagger their terms i.e. two or three year terms. B. Robinson liked the idea that there was a coordinating group and that everyone was a member of the council. He preferred seven to nine members for the core group. S. Zablotny agreed and thought the core group would be functioning in the capacity of “network coordination”.  C. Doble recognized that the ”communication” component was extremely critical. It was the reason they considered publishing a newsletter, but it required a large enough group to assume the task.

J. Thompson thought it was important to include the younger adults or children into the process, and to allow the free exchange of ideas to encourage their participation. The couldn’t employ the same process or procedure, because they were going to disenfranchise this particular group.

C. Doble asked the participants if they had any suggestions about the coordinating committee’s meeting schedule, conduct, procedures, reports and sharing of information.~ ME Larsen thought they should leave these decisions to the core group. J. Thompson and~ B. Robinson agreed. He thought the coordinating group would require the flexibility to manage their activities as they deemed necessary.
H. Lee inquired if the coordinating group was going to be subject to the state’s open meeting law. M. London shared the same concern, and asked the Planning Board if the core group was going to be a citizen’s advisory group separate from town government or an official entity, subject to the open meeting law.~ The question led to additional inquiries about the selection process, selecting authority, scope of address, etc.~ D. Seidman believed it was a citizen’s advisory committee.~~ C. Doble added that it would also operate under the auspices of the Planning Board. J. Thompson preferred a more unstructured group of constituents, in which the membership varied depending on the projects. S. Zablotny understood, but thought they needed a core group had to facilitate and monitor the other groups. It was his opinion that the core group’s goal was to create “better informed decision makers”, whether they were town citizens, town boards, etc.~ N. Orleans believed the newsletter served this purpose. He also assumed that the Planning Board would be overseeing the core group’s development, since it was their project. ME Larsen thought they could insert a newsletter in the Times.

N. Orleans believed they had to attract the intended target audience with a newsletter that made them “feel special”. He suggested that the newsletter include progress reports on projects that were developed as part of the vision plan.~ ME Larsen added that they could also have a feature article in the newspaper. M. London suspected that they would have a few progress reports on a handful of projects during the off-season, because the summer months were the busiest time on the Vineyard for many people. C. Doble indicated that the Planning Board would also be generating progress reports on their projects as well.

M. Loberg informed the participants that the town voters voted to hire an IT person to develop an interactive program for the town, which could be expanded to include this group’s activities. H. Lee thought the IT person could generate and merge email lists for them to suit their needs. They had to be careful not to overload the intended target population with information, because people had the tendency of deleting their emails without reading its contents.~ S. Zblotny understood that 93% of emails read were based on the subject line.~ N. Orleans recommended that they keep the newsletter focused, so that people were given the opportunity to focus on the topics. He wanted to see the news they were publishing to be an advantage to the Tisbury Vision Project.~ It appeared to him that it was important for the core group to be transparent in their activities and reports, provided they maintained control.

C. Doble inquired if anyone had thoughts about an application process, and applications. She explained that they had initially considered drafting a form that would help the applicants refine their proposals; organize their presentation, and how their particular proposal accomplished a vision goal(s) to submit to the coordinating group. S. Zablotny thought they could have a form to pre-qualify the idea to determine if could be assigned to a subgroup and a second form to refine their proposal.~ D. Seidman concurred. B. Robinson noted that it was important to categorize the proposal at some time during the review process for recording purposes.~

H. Lee recommended starting on a simple project so that they could refine the review process. He thought the process had to be developed. C. Doble questioned whether the development of the review process should be developed by the core group.

H. Lee digressed to a previous subject pertaining to education. He thought they should videotape and post their informational meetings or presentations on their webpage to give everyone an opportunity to learn about important topics.~ C. Doble agreed, and suggested that the council could be sponsoring these discussion panels. S. Zablotny noted that they should market the council first, and demonstrate its significance. M. London brought to everyone’s attention that approximately half of the property owners were seasonal, so that it behooved them to reach out to them to let them know what they were planning, and to get them to sign up.

One of the participant suggested that they could also contact the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club and the West Chop Golf Club’s to schedule a coffee hour with the members to inform them the Vision Council, and of their activities and on-going projects.~ C. Doble agreed, noting that it was much more effective to meet with people in person.

M. London suggested the possibility of providing the non-resident islanders the opportunity to share their voice since many had an interest in the town’s affairs. H. Lee thought their participation could be project based, so that matters specifically impacting town residents were limited to Tisbury residents.

Due to the late hour, C. Doble thanked the members of the community for attending the meeting and providing the Planning Board with recommendations.


1. Beach Road Improvements
RE: Draft Letter

D. Seidman, Planning Board Chairman and fellow board members were aware of the emails between Jay Grande, Town Administrator and Thomas Currier, the Supervising Project Manager at MassDOT regarding Beach Road.  T. Currier confirmed that the state had completed 25% of the design for Beach Road’s improvements. The design did not reflect any of the Planning Board’s recommendations.

D. Seidman believed the state’s actions warranted a letter from the Town expressing their concerns and reiterating their recommendations. He suggested sending the state a plan with an alternative proposal to clarify their preference.  C. Doble agreed, but did not believe the town achieved a consensus on one particular plan. At the last public meeting they solicited several recommendations. The recommendations were being drawn up in three to four possible configurations by B. Robinson.  D. Seidman thought the letter to the MassDOT should clearly inform the state that they did not agree with their proposal, and were in the process of preparing an alternative schematic that they’d like to present and discuss sometime at the end of the month.

She favored the proposal, provided they were prepared to come forward with a proposal they all supported.

B. Robinson read the MassDOT’s guidelines and learned that they required a minimum of 4 ft. for a bike lane, and 5.6 ft. for sidewalks (including curb), so that if they followed through on their proposal within the 30 ft. right-of-way and 6.5 ft. (?), they would have to take 1.5 ft. of land on either side. If they stayed within the 40 ft. layout without the 1.5 ft. they would not have proper sidewalks. To meet their requirements within the 40 ft. layout, they could only have a 5.5 ft. sidewalk, a 4 ft. bike lane and a 10.6 ft. curb.  If they wanted a larger sidewalk, they could take land from the bike lane, but it would then convert to a shoulder.

D. Seidman inquired if he was proposing a sidewalk on both sides of the road. He recalled that residents did not think it was necessary. B. Robinson thought they should have a sidewalk on both sides from Five Corners to the Tisbury Marketplace due to the volume of pedestrian traffic.

B. Robinson noted that the state was still proposing to keep the telephone poles in the last 1.5 ft. in their 25% plan. D. Seidman thought they could amend the draft letter to include language about scheduling a meeting to discuss their hybrid proposal. B. Robinson thought they should speak directly to the 25% drawing and more directly about a context sensitive design (S. 1.2 of the guidelines). C. Doble added that the letter should reiterate their opposition to any taking of land and their preference to keep all improvements within the existing 40 ft. wide road layout. B. Robinson concurred, and recommended revising the draft letter to clearly state their preference for the 40 ft. road layout, the concept that there are 2 sections to the project (Five Corners-Tisbury Marketplace and Tisbury Marketplace to the bridge) and the wider sidewalk.

B. Robinson thought they should ask the state to demonstrate what they could do within the 40 ft. wide road layout. C. Doble and B. Robinson read the draft letter and wanted to make a few edits to reflect the issues they discussed. D. Seidman understood and asked that they have the revised draft completed by the end of the week.  C. Doble recommended sending the Board of Selectmen a copy of the letter for their comments before they forwarded it to the state. D. Seidman agreed, noting that the Board of Selectmen was meeting on June 5th. He wanted to send out the letter as soon as possible.  


1. Tisbury Conservation Commission
A. Hearing Notice – Denise Shapiro & Martin Nager, AP 16A10 (pruning on a coastal bank)

2. Tisbury Board of Appeals
A. Hearing Notice –Tony Godfrey 8 Virginia Litle, AP 30A08 (mod. of height restriction)
B. Hearing Notice – Glenn Pachico, AP 08E25 (food service w/outside activity)
C. Hearing Notice – Jon Blau (Copper Wok), AP 07F17 (food service operation)
D. Special Permit 2210 – Stephen Bowen dba Waterside Market (food service est.)
E. Special Permit 2211 – Seth Williams, AP 36A21 (accessory apartment)
F. Special Permit 2212 – Joan Goldberg, AP 06F07 (add/pre-existing, non-conforming)

3. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 27 April 2015 MVC Extended Schedule
B. 07 May 2015 Meeting Agenda
C. DRI 411-M3 – Clarence Barnes, Evelyn Way (converting a house to storage)

4.   Robert Dickson
RE: Renaming Dickson Way

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:50 P.M.           (m/s/c  5/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Daniel Seidman