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Planning Board Minutes 10/07/2015

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


DATE:           October 7, 2015 
TIME:           6:02 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Robinson, Seidman and Thompson

BILLS:          P. Harris……………………..$    9.20
                        Vineyard Gazette……………$106.00
                        Office………………………..$  28.68
                        Postmaster…………………..$   66.00                      

MINUTES:                As referred in the September 9, 2015 Meeting Agenda
05 August 2015  Deferred
12 August 2015  Deferred
19 August 2015  Deferred
09 September 2015       Deferred

6:02 PM Nelson Smith re Form A Application for Ella Jenkins-Graves, Portion of AP 26D34

A) N. Smith submitted a plan for a division of land proposing a property line adjustment between Lots 4 & 5, noting that the lots were part of a previously endorsed Form A plan (1990).  He explained that the property owners wanted to make the lots proportionate in size to improve their marketability.

N. Smith noted that the lots met the dimensional requirements for the zoning district, and exceeded the minimum requirement for land area.

Board members reviewed the plan, and there being no further comment, C. Doble moved to endorse the plan for Ella Jenkins-Graves as an ANR under the Subdivision Control Law.  J. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried. 4/0/0

B) Form A Application – Charles J E & Mary Sue Arnold, AP 06C17

N. Smith submitted a second plan for ANR consideration, in which the property owner on AP 06C17 created a 166 sq. ft. non-buildable parcel for the purpose of conveying the sliver of land to the abutter on AP06C18.

Board members were informed that the abutter on AP 06C18 had been using the land area for parking and access. The conveyance legitimized the abutter’s use of the property.

B. Robinson moved to endorse the Form A division of land for C. Arnold & MS Arnold under the Subdivision Control Law as presented. C. Doble seconded the motion, and the motion carried.  4/0/0

Board members signed the linen, with the understanding that N. Smith was going to provide the Planning Board with four signed hard copies of the plan.

6:18 PM Daniel Vignolo, AP 8K1.1 re: Suitability of Cook Road for ANR purposes

Board members were advised that D. Vignolo’s property was one of a few lots created in a subdivision by Francisco Rodrigues Frades in 1970. The subdivision laid out Cook Road.  D. Vignolo had the ability to improve Cook Road to construct a traveled way of sufficient width, grade, etc. to serve the intended purpose of the lot.  D. Vignolo’s property was within the R10 District, which required a minimum of 80 ft. of frontage.

B. Robinson understood Cook Road was laid out as a 30 ft. right of way in the 1970 Definitive Plan, but only noticed approximately 10-14 ft. had been cleared up to the concrete blocks. C. Doble noted that the road was ill defined.  D. Vignolo explained that the 80 ft. of frontage he was required to clear was further down the road where Cook Road intersected with Oak Hill Lane Extension.

B. Robinson inspected the road, and noticed that it was higher than the property in question, so that it would make it difficult to cut a driveway down towards the property. D. Seidman inquired if an emergency vehicle would be able to travel on the road. C. Doble indicated that it could only go as far as the curb. In its present condition, the road would deteriorate quickly. B. Robinson did not believe D. Vignolo had improved the right of way sufficiently to qualify for ANR consideration. He provided the Board photos he had taken during his site visit, and certain areas had eroded from the last rainfall. B. Robinson thought the road had to be properly crowned, rolled and improved with a hardener. D.  Seidman inquired about the distance between D. Vignolo’s fence and the concrete block’s J. Glavin used to obstruct the road.  B. Robinson estimated that it was aproximately 12 ft. – 15 ft.

D. Seidman inquired if the road was wide enough to accommodate an emergency vehicle.  B. Robinson advised D. Seidman that a portion of the road layout D. Vignolo ‘cleared’ had washed out. He reiterated that the quality of the road was subpar and inadequate for travel. D. Vignolo understood, and wanted to know what the Planning Board was specifically asking of him to qualify for ANR consideration. He wanted to know if the proposal was feasible before investing in the road’s improvement.

D. Seidman viewed the photos and agreed with B. Robinson. C. Doble thought D. Vignolo should invest in the road, knowing that the Board would not have an issue endorsing his plan.  B. Robinson clarified that D. Vignolo had to improve the road surface with RAP. D. Seidman recalled that the Planning Board had set a policy about the quality, and have asked that the quality had to be similar to the material used on Holmes Hole Road.

The Planning Board recommended that he contact the Building Inspector for assistance in addressing the road runoff from his neighbor across the street, and for the construction of the road.  

6:35 PM Doug Dowling - Informal Discussion re: Barbara Ronchetti, AP 37A02

The property in question was comprised of two lots, one (Lot E) of which was created in 1949 with access off Norton Avenue. In the 1950’s they provided a private 30 ft wide access easement to give AP 37A05, 37A05.1, 37A4, 37A03, and 37A02 access to Norton Ave. About the same time, the Vincent Family created a small lot (AP 37A01) off AP 37A02. D. Seidman noted that the house on AP 37A01 was constructed within the access easement.

D. Dowling indicated that the previous property owner had purchased Lot 5 (registered land) and combined it with Lot E (unregistered land) to create the 100,000 sq. ft. lot that was identified as AP 37A02. The situation D. Dowling wanted to address was that the current property owner hoped to expand the cottage within the shore zone of the Coastal District.  An addition within the shore zone was limited to 500 sq. ft.  Even if she was to utilize the tiny cottage as a guest house, it would limit the size of the primary residence, barring the fact that guest houses were not permitted within the coastal district.

D. Dowling mentioned that the only solution was to create a 20 ft. way off the 30 ft. access easement to provide the 150 ft. of frontage for an additional lot. He understood that the proposal may require several waivers, but the Planning Board had the latitude to grant waivers. It also allowed his client to preserve the cottage and to construct a house on the new lot. It was the only way they could have two structures. The resulting lots would meet the dimensional requirements. B. Robinson believed the applicant had the option of moving the cottage and constructing a much large dwelling outside the shore zone. The property owner also had the option of extending the cottage outside the shore zone via a breezeway to connect to a larger structure, if  she wanted to keep the cottage as a guesthouse and have a separate residence.

Board members noted that the proposed subdivision road connected to a 30 ft. access easement that had to be inspected to determine its adequacy. Local subdivision rules and regulations require access from a public way, way in existence prior to subdivision law or a previously endorsed subdivision road, of which the 30 ft. access easement did not qualify. D. Seidman indicated that he could not endorse the proposal.  C. Doble noted that his client had other options. Board members agreed.

D. Dowling inquired if the Planning Board would have an issue if the property owner conveyed land to the property on AP 37A01 (Jeffers).  The Board responded in the negative.

7:00 PM Adam Turner, Exec. Dir. for M V Commission Re: DRI Revision – No Show

7:15 PM         Thomas Pachico and Joseph DeBettencourt AP 22A13.11 (town property)

J. DeBettencourt submitted a preliminary site plan for the auto repair shop that was currently under review by the MV Commission. J. DeBettencourt indicated that he was interested in purchasing lots 2 & 3 of a previously endorsed Form A submitted by T. Pachico to operate his shop on High Point Lane. He noted that his appointment with the Planning Board was prompted by the Board of Selectmen. The Selectmen had approved his request for the use of town owned land abutting the Town Hall Annex site pending the further review and approval of the Building Inspector and Planning Board.

He explained that his property had a very steep slope that ran from east (top) to west.  In order to place his shop on the one leveled area, he had to cut into the slope and install a retaining wall to restrain the soil from the hillside. J. DeBettencourt wanted to maximize the use of his property and construct the building on the one leveled area.  By cutting further into the slope on town property,  J. DeBettencourt would only need to construct a retaining wall  10 ft. – 12 ft. high at the most. In his request to the Selectmen, he offered to replace the trees and to landscape the small buffer that faced the parking lot for the town hall annex.

B. Robinson observed that the grade on the west side of the property had to be built. J. DeBettenourt  concurred, noting that he was going to backfill the west end with the excavated soil to raise the area slightly above the natural terrain.  

J. DeBettencourt continued with his presentation to inform the Board that he intended to use “rock faced” concrete blocks for the wall, and to install a 6 ft. high “black” chain link fence on top of the retaining wall to prevent anyone from falling  off the highest sections of the retaining wall.  B. Robinson inquired about the concrete block’s lifespan. J. Debettencourt did not believe the 2’X2’X6’ concrete retaining could be easily moved.  B. Robinson noted that ice could push the blocks. J. DeBettencourt conceded, but felt the large blocks would stay in place.  He then referred the Board to the  storm water drainage system he was installing on the property to manage roof runoff  and to control the road surface runoff in the parking area. Board members reviewed the drainage system he was installing along the north and east elevations, and were advised that the MV Commission had asked him to install a “curtain drainage” along the entire westerly property line. J. DeBettencourt clarified that the retaining wall on the east was going to gradually taper down from the northeast end towards High Point Lane (12 ft. to 3 ft.).

D. Seidman inquired about the access. J. DeBettencourt replied that the access was going to be off High Point Lane and at existing grade.

The board secretary inquired about the number of vehicles he could accommodate. J. DeBettencourt replied 17, but did not anticipate ever staging a large number of vehicles on the property, once he hired staff.

B. Robinson noted that the data on the plan was inaccurate when he noticed a discrepancy in the numbers listed between the cross section and site plan.  C. Doble inquired about the height of the retaining wall. B. Robinson replied that the grade was at the148’ contour. Based on the site plan, the wall was going to be 10 ft. high. He understood that the grades would vary, but not by 6 ft. It also concerned him that it did not clearly specify the depth or length of town property he was cutting into or removing from the town property’s parking lot.  J. DeBettencourt immediately clarified that he was not proposing to go any further than the buffer area. He did not have any plans to go beyond a few feet before the parking area. B. Robinson noted that it was approximately 2 ft. at the highest point. J. DeBettencourt explained that he was cutting down the mound in the town’s buffer approximately 5 ft. – 6 ft. and removing 19 trees. He wanted to replace the oak trees and to landscape the area with shrubs and other plantings. The MV Commission recommended a more limited design. At their recommendation, he was replacing all 19 trees (plus one) with  arrow wood viburnum, scrub oak and scarlet oak.  

B. Robinson and D. Seidman noted that J. DeBettencourt was cutting down the existing grade past the buffer and about 70 ft. into the parking lot, according to the site plan. T. Pachico affirmed that the information was incorrect, because the cuts went no further than the mound in the buffer. D. Seidman thought the plan should be revised to reflect the proposal. He thought it was important to be clear about J. DeBettencourt’s plan for the parking area.  J. DeBettencourt clarified for the record that he was simply asking to cut down the mound to reduce the height of the retaining wall. The town hall annex’ parking lot was not being altered in any way. According to the information on the site plan, B. Robinson informed  J. DeBettencourt that he had to construct a 12 ft. high wall, if the cement slab for the building was at the corrected grade (135 ft.) and the top of the retaining wall was at 147 ft. C. Doble confirmed that the applicant at the very least would require a 10 ft. wall.

Discussions ensued, and T. Pachico explained that they were referred to the Planning Board by the Board of Selectmen . The Selectmen’s letter dated 25 September 2015 indicated that the Board of Selectmen did not have an issue with J. DeBettencourt’s proposal. Their endorsement was subject to the review and approval of the Building Inspector and Planning Board. D. Seidman did not have an issue with the retaining wall. He was concerned that the plan appeared to illustrate that J. DeBettencourt was altering the topography for the town’s parking lot.

C. Doble believed they needed a vegetative buffer.  B. Robinson noted that J. DeBettencourt’s building was going to be 24’ above the parking lot.  J. DeBettencourt advised the Board that the building was going to have a single slope roofline to accommodate the solar panels he planned to install in the future.

B. Robinson believed the decision to use town property pertained to the Board of Selectmen. The Planning Board could offer J. DeBettencourt advice and assistance.  J. DeBettencourt advised the Board that he had tagged the area and trees on the mound beside the parking lot to mark the extent of the mound that he wanted to shave down and the location and number of trees that had to be removed.   

C. Doble thought they could support the proposal provided it did not negatively impact the parking lot, with either its drainage or its grade levels. There being no further comment, D. Seidman asked, C. Doble if she would make a motion. C. Doble obliged and moved to support the reduction of the retaining wall, and the proposal for plantings, which would stabilize the area, create a natural edge, and provide safety along the town’s property line.
She thought it important to clarify for the record that the Planning Board did not have an issue with the proposal as long as it did not create drainage issues for the town or have a negative impact the town’s parking lot.  J. Thompson seconded the motion.

C. Doble favored J. DeBettencourt’s  use of the native plants, and mix of plants (canopy trees and understory).  While she understood that the MV Commission recommended against the use of native evergreens, she would have liked to see them added to the landscape.  

 There being no further discussion, the Board voted 4/0/0.

7:44 PM Paul Adler and Doug Hoehn re: Amelia Crossing, AP 24A24

D. Hoehn submitted a revised Form C Plan of Land and Form A application for P. Adler. He informed the Board that he revised the 7th note to correlate with the written decision, and added another note to reference the Form A.

Note #7 was revised to read as“ Except for a parking area and driveway access.. around each of the 6 lots”.  D. Seidman did not recall discussing an exception for the parking area. B. Robinson concurred.  He asked that the plan be revised to delete “a parking area and”. P. Adler was acceptable of the revision, and asked D. Hoehn if he could remove the Text. D. Hoehn replied in the affirmative and suggested doing so on the linen and hard copies.

D. Hoehn referred the Board to Note #8, which read “There will be a Form A, “Approval Not Required” plan, created after the date of this plan that revises lots 3 &4 and the Reserve Area”. D. Seidman believed the language reflected their agreement .

There being no further discussion, D. Seidman entertained a motion. B. Robinson moved to approved the applicant, P. Adler’s  Definitive Plan, dated 04/01/15 , plan no. MV10759 with the revision to Note #7, as previously discussed. J. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried. 4/0/0

D. Hoehn submitted a Form Application for P. Adler, dated 10/02/15 (Plan No. MV 10759) removing the Reserve Area from the previously endorsed Form C Plan for P. Adler.  D. Seidman entertained a motion. B. Robinson moved to endorse the ANR as presented. J. Thompson seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 4/0/0

Board members reviewed and accepted P. Adler’s revised Declaration and Protective Covenants for Amelia’s Crossing as presented.

C. Doble indicated that she would like to continue working on a design guideline for buffer planting, that she has been working on with P. Adler.  Although it may not be exactly what she recommended, he was going to have a mix of plantings that were appropriately sized.  The exercise taught her that they could do so much more for applicants if they provided drawings to give them.


1. Tisbury School Building Committee’s Mtg on 10/07/15
RE: D. Seidman’s report

D. Seidman missed the meeting due to a conflict in schedule. He asked the board secretary to send J. Custer his apologies.

2. Paul Adler re: Amelia’s Crossing Subdivision
A. B. Robinson’s report on final grade – To be arranged with P. Adler
B. C. Doble’s report on buffer planting
C. Town Counsel’s revisions (Homeowner’s Declaration & Covenants)

3. CPTC Workshops
A. Site Plan Review Committee - B. Robinson expressed an interest in attending the session on Oct. 17, 2015.  C. Doble was interested in attending the course on 11/21/15.
B. Planning Board
        Staffing for subcommittees/Planning Board (Postponed)

4. James Geoff, Wolf’s Den Pizzeria
RE: Change in hours (7A-10P) currently (10A-10A)

Board members were advised that J. Geoff wanted to expand the hours of operation from 10A to 7A to serve breakfast. Closing hours was to remain the same. The question the Board had to address was whether the change was significant or substantial to warrant an amendment to his special permit.

B. Robinson entered a motion stating that the time change proposed by J. Geoff was an insignificant revision to warrant an amendment of the Wolf’s Den Pizzeria’s special permit.  C. Doble seconded the motion.

B. Robinson inquired how they amended the time listed in the special permit, if they were not amending the document.


1. P. Adler, Amelia Crossing
RE: Request for information

2. Adam Turner, Exec. Dir. – MV Commission
RE: State sponsored Zoning Reform Act (S122)

3. Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Case #2230 – Penny Parrot, AP 32C07 (exp. of pre-existing, non-conforming sfd)
B. Case #2232 – Margaret White, AP 06C14 (demolition, reconstruction, addition…

4. Quinlan
RE: Zoning Bulletins (2 issues/August 2015)

5. Planning Board Staff
RE: Recommended revisions to job descriptions

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:30 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Daniel Seidman