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Planning Board Minutes 11/18/15


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


DATE:           November 18, 2015       
TIME:                   6:00 PM

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Robinson, Seidman and Thompson

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

BILLS:          Postmaster…………………………..$204.20
                        Comcast (July 2015)………………...$  40.34
                        Comcast (August 2015)……………..$  26.99
                        Comcast (September 2015)…………$  26.99

MINUTES:                As referred in the November 10, 2015 Meeting Agenda
                        21 October 2015          m/s/c  4/0/0
10 November 2015         m/s/c  4/0/0


6:00 PM Adam Turner, Exec. Dir. – MV Commission re: DRI Checklist
                Attendance:  M. Loberg, Selectperson

B. Robinson, the Planning Board’s representative on the MV Commission’s subcommittee reviewing the DRI Checklist thought the proposal for a structured concurrence process would remand many more projects back to the towns. A. Turner agreed, noting that approximately half of the referrals to the Commission were remanded to the towns.

He advised the Board that he wanted to expedite the process for proposals that were of a certain size and character that could be managed by the towns. On occasions certain proposals were detained at the MV Commission because the towns did not have regulations in place to protect their interest. He also wanted to increase the thresholds in the checklist to give the towns the ability to conduct the site plan review, but the towns had to adopt the necessary regulations. A. Turners wanted to complete the concurrence process and work with the towns to develop a set of standards and procedures delineated in section 3.2 in the DRI Checklist. C. Doble noted that it would require an area development plan.  A. Turner concurred and offered technical assistance in developing the plan, and regulations & procedures.

B. Robinson thought it would be great if the towns were willing to assume the responsibility, understanding that they would have to develop the necessary regulations. It would decrease the number of referrals.   A. Turner agreed and clarified that the towns had to convey what they wanted from the MV Commission to provide them the technical assistance they required.

C. Doble reviewed the DRI Checklist and noted that some of the referrals were triggered by size of the structure or land area. Proposals to subdivide a habitat required a minimum of 2 acres of land to qualify for a referral, which did not take into consideration that small subdivisions of such land could impact connections to open space or corridors.  She felt that it was important to review habitats under two acres if they were strategically located or provided a corridor that could be disrupted by the proposed development. In the quick perusal of the checklist, she did not find any language to regulate the removal of vegetation. A. Turner disagreed and referred the Board to section 8.4, which made reference to the federal government’s habitat map, which included 60% of the undeveloped land on the Vineyard.  He added that any development within a “Critical Open Space” that was delineated in the Island Plan could be referred to the Commission as a concurrence.

Discussions ensued with regards to discretionary referrals as a potential planning tool, and the application of this tool on the larger municipal projects with a regional impact.  Board members were uncertain about referring the Beach Road construction project because it had already been discussed and prioritized by the MV Commission’s transportation committee, following the MV Commission’s bike path study. They believed the Commission was included in the process when they engaged the services of their staff. B. Robinson did not think the town was prepared to refer the project at the start because they had to reconcile their own differences.  Other issues were noted, including their constituents concerns in having other towns to “interfere” with their projects.

A. Turner understood. The Commission however was required to provide broad parameters and policies. If they could mutually agree upon the policies, the towns could work with the Commission during the review process.  Ultimately the final execution of the decision pertained to the towns. A. Turner reiterated that the Commission’s had an obligation to the towns by state mandate to review and address regional issues including development, the latter of which could be done jointly.  If there were any issues or concerns the town wanted to address but did not have the regulations or jurisdiction to pursue, nothing prevented them from referring the applicant to the MV Commission to ask for assistance.

A. Turner offered to return in the beginning of the year to review the process they’ve implemented to develop the report he intended to present to the Planning Board with regards to the revisions they will be recommending for the DRI Checklist. The report was going to provide a detailed description about the protection(s) they want to afford each and every topic listed in the checklist, along with a rating system.

Board members thanked A. Turner and inquired if he would offer them assistance with the area development plan they had discussed earlier. A. Turner replied in the affirmative noting that he and B. Veno would also assist them with their zoning regulations as well.

  • ZBL Amendments
A.  Notices (s. 05.23.00 and 10.02.06)
B.  West Tisbury’s Accessory Structures
C. Special Ways
D. Height

The board secretary advised the Board that she had initiated the hearing process for two of the bylaw amendments they had discussed at a previous meeting. The amendment in S. 05.23.00 incorporated a special permit process for all construction, renovation, etc.  of 3000 sq. ft. or more within the BII District. The amendment proposed in the notice for S. 10.02.06 pertained to the removal of the text. Board members were advised that the section should have been deleted when they overhauled the Site Plan Review Board.

Board members were further advised that there was a possibility that they would not be able to hold the hearings for lack of quorum.  D. Seidman planned on vacationing from December 5, 2015 until December 21, 2015.  Although it was brought to the board secretary’s attention that the Board of Selectmen had adopted the Mullin Rule to allow the Planning Board to participate remotely, there was a question whether the motion included a restriction on its application.  Attempts to obtain information about the Board of Selectmen’s motion(s) have not been successful.  The Town Administrator was working with A. Jones to locate the minutes in hopes that it would clarify the situation. M. Loberg recalled that the Board of Selectmen voted to adopt the Mullin Rule and to give the Planning Board the ability to utilize the privilege, but did not recall the criteria that had to be met beforehand.  M. Loberg was asked for a copy of the minutes reflecting the Board of Selectmen’s minutes.  D. Seidman recalled that it was approximately 1.5 yrs. ago.

It was suggested that the Mullin Rule required a quorum to conduct the meeting and implied that the board member had to participate in the hearing process before they could invoke the privilege.  J. Grande referred the matter to town counsel so that we could prepare accordingly.
D. Seidman suggested that the height should be limited to the roof, because they needed the chimney above the roofline for the draft.

B. Robinson thought they had to define the chimney correctly, because there was potential for abuse as seen in the Ferraro’s project.  M. Loberg inquired if there were any building requirements for a chimney.  B. Robinson replied that the chimney had to be 2 ft. if it was within 10 ft. of the ridge.  

Pre-Existing Non-Conforming

B. Robinson believed they had to revise the language to prevent the Board of Appeals from permitting applicants the ability to demolish a pre-existing non-conforming structure within the Coastal District and constructing new structures, which were normally larger than the original footprint. Although they did not all increase the non-compliance, they did not qualify as reconstructions.

Accessory Apartments

D. Seidman thought they should adopt West Tisbury’s regulations on accessory apartments.  C. Doble inquired if they could easily incorporate the language in the bylaw.  D. Seidman thought the language might need a few modifications.  B. Robinson inquired if the apartment had any restrictions. D. Seidman replied that it could be rented to family or income qualified.  B. Robinson inquired if he knew how the apartments were going to be monitored.  D. Seidman replied that they had to be monitored by the Dukes County Housing Authority.  The apartments had to be certified annually.

Special Ways

D. Seidman recommended Red Coat Hill Road because West Tisbury had designated the road as a special way. He believed there were other road that needed protection, but thought they could continue the discussions at another meeting.

  • Board Secretary
RE: Request for Vacation (11/23, 11/24, 11/25 half day)

D. Seidman moved to grant the board secretary her request for vacation. B. Robinson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0

3. Cheryl Doble
RE: Vision Council

C. Doble informed the Board that H. Stephenson wanted to give the Vision Council a power point presentation on waterfront access. She thought it would be useful for people to see because he was also offering solutions.  The question was whether it should be limited to the Vision Council’s participants or open to the public, because in the latter case they would probably have to select a different venue other than the meeting room in the library.

If they opened the presentation to the public, she questioned whether they should advertise the presentation. D. Seidman thought they should contact a reporter to inquire if he/she would consider writing an article. B. Robinson recommended providing the reporter with a compelling image from the presentation.  

D. Seidman thought the presentation could be limited to the vision council. Based on their feedback, they could then present it to a larger audience for their winter program.  He was concerned about including suggestions for private property without approaching the property owners beforehand.  M. Loberg thought they were trying to prod people to think about the future development of their properties. Is the public process a good incentive for the private property owners or a disincentive?  D. Seidman thought it was going to be a disincentive for E. Boch.  C. Doble thought they should limit the presentation to the vision council. D. Seidman was asked to attend to share his impressions. The Planning Board could then invite the property owners for a conversation.  D. Seidman questioned whether they should show them H. Stephenson’s power point presentation.

Additional discussions ensued and it was agreed that the presentation could be held at the library before members of the vision council. The consider holding a separate meeting with the property owners.  C. Doble thought it was important to have an article written on the Vision Council’s efforts.

On a separate matter, C. Doble indicated that the Tashmoo Tour was successful and well attended. She noted that the attendees expressed an interest in preserving the Tashmoo Overlook and concerned about protecting its status as a preserve with passive recreation. They also wanted to make sure that the Town could not use or sell the land, and asked if they would write a warrant article to make its designation as a preserve legal.  C. Doble understood that there was a core group of people that were looking into the matter, but were asking the town for assistance. She thought they should approach town counsel for assistance.

4. Jeffry Thompson
RE: Resignation

J. Thompson indicated that he will be sailing to several countries before relocating to Puerto Rico. J. Thompson’s years of service were recognized. Board members congratulated him on his new venture and wished him well.

5. Community Preservation Committee

C. Doble asked the Board if they would consider meeting later at 7:30PM or another evening because was doing interviews as a member of the CPC. Board members agreed to meet at 7:30 PM on Wednesday evening.


1. J. Grande, Town Administrator
RE: Announcement – Special Town Meeting, 12 January 2016 (11/25/15 deadline/articles)

2. Marc Fournier
RE: Recommendation to ask P. Adler to pay for any trees removed illegally

D. Seidman asked the board secretary to contact M. Fournier and respond to his concerns and questions.

3. MV Commission
A. DRI 653 – Dias High Point Lane

B. Newsletter, October 2015 Issue
C. 13 November 2015 Extended Schedule
D. 19 November 2015 Agenda

4. Thomson Reuters
A. Zoning Bulletin, 10 October 2015
B. Zoning Bulletin, 25 October 2015

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:39 P.M. (m/s/c  4/0/0)    
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Daniel Seidman