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Planning Board Minutes 12/2/15


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


DATE:           December 2, 2015        
TIME:                   7:34 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Seidman and Robinson
                        Public: M. Loberg, Selectmen; ME Larson, FinCom

BILLS:          APA…………………………….$150.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the November 18, 2015 Meeting Agenda
                        18 November 2015 - Deferred

  • Zoning Bylaw Amendments
A. ZBL 05.23.00 (BII) and 10.02.06 (Site Plan Review)

Board members were advised that the language in section 10.02.06 should have been deleted two years ago when they revamped the Site Plan Review Board. It was an oversight that had to be corrected.

The modification being proposed in section 5 of the bylaw was the adoption of a new subsection.  The proposal imposes a special permit requirement for all uses having 3,000 sq. ft. of gross area or more.  C. Doble thought B. Robinson should look at the proposed language for any modifications, since he was the most familiar with the text. B. Robinson questioned whether they should leave the text for pedestrian access, since there was not much opportunity for the amenity in the BII District.  D. Seidman did not see any harm in leaving the language.

B. Robinson was concerned that the proposed bylaw amendment would reduce the “by right” uses in the business district.  D. Seidman disagreed.  It was his impression that the same projects would be subject to a DRI review by the MVC.  The board secretary offered to secure data regarding the size of all of the commercial structures in the BII District.  C. Doble noted that while there were a number of small structures, the recent trend was for the larger building.  B. Robinson thought they might consider adding language to require and/or accommodate affordable housing.  The board secretary cautioned the Board about adding such text without reviewing the other subsections in section 05, because the regulation contained language that permitted apartments under certain conditions.

B. West Tisbury’s Accessory Structures

D. Seidman did not think it entailed a difficult process. The board secretary advised the Board that West Tisbury’s bylaw on accessory structures made reference to other sections of their regulation. Their regulations already contained language on accessory structures so that they had to decide if they were going to revamp or replace the text. Board members agreed that they needed time to look at the language for future discussion.

C. Special Ways

The Planning Board secretary volunteered to prepare the amendment(s) to adopt the new regulation.

D. Height

Board members were reminded that the Building Inspector met with the Planning Board for a bylaw amendment(s) of sections 02.26 and 07.05 to make the definitions for
 “ height” consistent.  D. Seidman was advised that he had suggested limiting the height to the roof. B. Robinson thought they could define the chimney to avoid a situation created by a previous applicant.  B. Robinson indicated that he was suggesting a definition that limited chimneys as a structure that supported combustion flues.

Brief discussions ensued, and it appeared that the Board preferred addressing a chimney as an add-on. B. Robinson thought the height restriction would have the most impact in the Coastal District. He referred the Board to section 09.01.06 (Coastal District)

.06     Regulations and Restrictions:
The regulations and restrictions of the respective Zoning Districts shall apply subject to the following: …..

Height of Structures:
The maximum height of structures as measured vertically from the mean natural grade level shall be as follows:

Twenty-four (24) feet for a pitched roof and thirteen (13) feet for a flat, excluding chimneys or shed roof (which is a roof of pitch one (1) in four (4) or less).

The Planning Board preferred pursuing the revision to section 09.01.06, but wanted to speak with the Building Inspector. They wanted to know if this was acceptable. If not, he was to be invited to Board’s meeting on 12/30/15.

E. Floating Buildings

B. Robinson thought they should consider a regulation for floating buildings. He noticed that there was one structure in their waters, and a second building in the process of being constructed. M. Loberg noted that the second structure was completed and moored out in the harbor. Although the owner was pulling the structure out into the harbor with another boat, he insisted that it was a boat with its own propulsion.

B. Robinson thought it was a viable strategy with the rise in sea level. It made sense to have regulations on structures that floated. It protected them and the town.  C. Doble understood that they were not intended for habitation. M. Loberg concurred, noting that they were being utilized as work spaces. It concerned her that they did not have regulations in place because of the potential for abuse.  B. Robinson concurred.

M. Loberg indicated that she dealt with such situation on the Harbor Management Committee, where the individual promised to keep the floating building tied to a mooring and moving it to various locations.  He has since tied the floating house to his dock and tied a boat to the building, thus circumventing their local regulations (land use). She offered to send the Planning Board the information she secured from interviewing the town of Petersburg, Alaska’s building inspector. The town zoned their bodies of water to permit the structures. B. Robinson believed they had to work with the manufactures to feel supportive, and to help people become receptive of their regulations, so that they did not feel limited or restricted.  M. Loberg indicated that they had to sketch out a way to control it.

F. Section 07.0: Pre-existing, Non-conforming Uses and Structures

C. Doble noticed that the board secretary listed section 07.01in the handout, and did not understand how the Zoning Board of Appeals could interpret the regulation to allow the total replacement and expansion of a pre-existing structure.

B. Robinson referred the Board to section 07.01.03, and read the following text into the minutes:
.03     The Board of Appeals may, after a public hearing, grant a Permit to allow a pre-existing non-conforming use or structure to be expanded in an area where, in the opinion of the Board, such expansion will not be more objectionable to, or detrimental to, the character of the neighborhood than the original pre-existing non-conforming use or structure.

He explained that the Board of Appeals have been allowing applicants to take a pre-existing non-conforming structure to the ground, built something completely new and enlarge it as long as they determine that it’s not making it more detrimental to the character of the neighborhood. D. Seidman did not believe it was in the spirit of the law.  Additional discussions ensued and the Board thought they should acquire the MV Commission’s assistance. B. Robinson volunteered to meeting with the Adam Turner for his assistance.

G. Flood Plan

The Tisbury Planning Board secretary reported that she will be working with Eric Carlson (DCR) to amend the regulations so that they are in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program Standards.

2. Vision Council
RE: Meetings, Webpage, content, notices, mailings, future projects, workshops, etc.

C. Doble informed the Board that the town administrator was in the process of arranging a meeting with members of the Vision Council involved in the Owen Park Project and a member of the Board of Selectmen and  DPW to describe the process they’d have to pursue to move the project forward.

C. Doble thought the Vision Council needed a more accessible and visible presence in the community, and planned on working on a newsletter in December 2015 to inform the town of the projects they were working on and any information town boards may wish to share with the community.  She felt that the Vision Council was “under the radar” and thought they should contact the local papers to see if they could solicit their help with and interview for an article or invite them to meetings so that they could report on the council’s activities.  She’s been thinking about setting up a webpage or contacting a member from the community for assistance in developing their site.  D. Seidman recommended contacting the local high school for assistance under their mentor program. B. Robinson spoke with an old schoolmate who designs webpages and was advised that he could create a webpage for them for $5000.00 or use a template for approximately $2000.00. It all depended on what they wanted.  C. Doble indicated that Steve Zablotny  offered to help but did not know to what extent.  S. Zablotny indicated that they could use MailChimp, an email marketing software program that helps one to design email newsletters and share them on social networks.

D. Seidman recommended using or to register a domain name and host their webpage. B. Robinson thought they could C. Laursen could serve as a mentor to the high school students and have the latter work on developing their webpage to drive the costs down.

C. Doble discussed the potential for the Vision Council to hold workshops during the winter months. She thought they could have educational and informative workshop on topics of importance, such as warrant articles, or launching more projects. She was soliciting the Planning Board’s impressions and recommendations.   B. Robinson recommended a conversation on town meeting’s process or protocol. It was important to make the process make more sense. M. Loberg noted that the Board of Selectmen had discussed the subject and thought they’d like to have a state of the town address at the beginning of Town Meeting to give the community an idea of what they could expect.

C. Doble informed the Board that she was meeting with C. Cotnoir to set up a page on the town’s website on December 9, 2015 for the moment to have some presence.

3. Planning Board Meeting Schedule
RE: Lack of quorum

The Planning Board secretary advised the Board that in D. Seidman’ s absence they could no longer meet for lack of quorum.  She inquired if the Board would consider meeting on December 3rd or 4th, before D. Seidman departed to entertain two Form A applications.  If the Board did not meet, the applicants would be entitled to constructive approval.

Board members agreed to continue their meeting at the Town Hall Annex on December 3, 2015 at 4:45 PM to review two Form A applications.


  • David Doneski, K&P Law
RE: Mullin Rule/Remote participation

The Town has the officially adopt the regulation. M. Loberg believed the town administrator was submitting the article.

2. J. Grande, Town Administrator
RE: Meeting 12/30/15 with BOS’ consultants (State Road/Overlook Improvements)

3. Frank Brunelle
RE: Interest in serving as an interim board member

4. Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals
A. Hearing – Tony Godfrey and Virginia Litle, AP 30A08 (demo, recon. And expan of a dwelling, plus modification of height restriction)
B. Hearing – David Grain, AP 05F1.4 (demo, replace and expand an existing boathouse)
C. Hearing – Simon & Annabelle Hunton, AP 12B05 (7 room lodging house)
D. Hearing – Mary Rentschler, AP 25E16 (guesthouse)
E. Special Permit # 2234 – Cosmin Creanga, AP 07K03 (guesthouse)
F. Special Permit # 2235 – Clarence A. Barnes, AP 23A10 (appeal of building inspector’s order)
G. Special Permit # 2236 – Jon & Elizabeth Linehan, AP 02F01 (in-ground swimming pool)

5. Tisbury Conservation Commission
RE: Hearing – Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard, AP 09B33 (two concrete boat ramps)

6. MV Commission
A. 27 November 2015 Extended Schedule
B. 03 December 2015 Meeting Agenda

7. Thomson Reuters
RE: Zoning Bulletin, 10 November 2015
PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:30 P.M.           (m/s/c  3/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Daniel Seidman