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Planning Board Minutes 12/30/15

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


DATE:           December 30, 2015       
TIME:                   6:00 PM

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Robinson and Seidman

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

BILLS:          MV Times……………………………$390.60
                        Shirley’s Hardware…………………..$ 14.97
                        C. Cotnoir……………………………$160.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the December 2, 2015 Meeting Agenda
02 October 2015        m/s/c   3/0/0
18 November 2015       m/s/c   3/0/0
02 December 2015       m/s/c   3/0/0
03 December 2015       m/s/c   3/0/0


6:00 PM Kara Shemeth, SB&H Inc. Re: Jean Francisco, AP 8Q10 & Lolita Duarte, AP 8Q5

K. Shemeth informed the Board that L. Duarte, AP 8Q5 was conveying a 3,342 sq. ft. wedge (Lot A) to Jean Francisco, AP 8Q10.  The side note on the plan verified that Lot A was not a building lot and created for the purpose of being conveyed to her neighbor, J. Francisco. Submitted was a copy of the PNS confirming the conveyance between named parties.

There was speculation about the purpose for the conveyance. K. Shemeth could not J. Francisco’s plans for Lot A.

There being no further comment, D. Seidman entertained a motion to endorse the plan of land as submitted by K. Shemeth.

B. Robinson moved to endorse the Form A plan of land as presented as an ANR under the subdivision control law.  C. Doble seconded the motion, which motion carried. 3/0/0


  • Zoning Bylaw Amendments
  • Floodplain District (Definitions, Rules & Regulations)
Board members were given copies of the revisions to section 09.05 (Flood Storm District), section 02.00 (Definitions) and the Flood Storm District’s Rules & Regulations for their review.

The board was advised that the revisions were recommended the Eric Carlson, the Environmental Engineer – Flood Hazard Management, who had the opportunity to review the documents for additional recommendations.  The documents in their current form complied with the state’s requirements.

The definitions, contrary to the state’s recommendation were incorporated into the Board’s Rules and Regulations. The requirement for the Coastal Elevation Data Plan was above the state’s requirement, but acceptable. It was retained in the bylaw and Rules & Regulations at the building inspector’s request.

Board members were advised that sec. 09.05.01 and their Rules and Regulations were completely overhauled because they were so outdated.  They were advised to read the documents for potential errors or oversights.

  • Height
Board members were advised that the Building Inspector, Kenneth A. Barwick had revised the definition for Height of a Structure and the text in Sec. 07.00 pertaining to heights, and submitted the following language

  • Sec. 02.00      Definition for Height of Structures:
The height of a structure is the vertical distance from the mean natural grade to the highest point of the roof ridge of the structure, including the chimney.

  • 07.05.01        Principal Structure:
No structure shall exceed thirty-five (35) feet in height, including the chimney(s), as measured from the lowest base perimeter at the mean natural grade level.

B. Robinson did not understand what was meant by “the lowest base perimeter”. It did not make sense to him. He also questioned whether the Building Inspector meant to say “the average mean natural grade” in section 07.05.01.  It’s how they measured the height everywhere else on the island.  It did not make sense to measure the height from the lowest point, because it was too restrictive, especially if you were constructing on a hill.

D. Seidman recommended deleting “the lowest base perimeter a” from section 07.05.01 and adding “mean natural grade”.

  • Doble thought the text “the lowest base perimeter “contradicted the term “mean natural grade”.  D. Seidman thought the building inspector should clarify what he intended to accomplish with the revision and the regulation’s current interpretation or application.  He agreed with C. Doble and recommended the following modification:
No structure shall exceed thirty-five (35) feet in height, including the chimney(s), as measured from the lowest base perimeter at the mean natural grade level.

B. Robinson agreed with the recommendation. D. Seidman suggested giving the building inspector a copy of the revision so that he could prepare for the upcoming public hearing.

C. Special Ways

D. Seidman understood the public process entailed in nominating the roads would require time, and much preparation. He nonetheless wanted to pursue the project for next year’s town meeting.

  • Accessory Structures
The Board did not have the opportunity to review the existing regulation or research the subject to hold a conversation. D. Seidman thought it was important to pursue this year, and asked the Board to come prepared with recommendations at their next meeting. C. Doble offered to review West Tisbury’s bylaw for a comparison and to come prepared with recommendations for their consideration.

B. Robinson asked the board secretary to contact her counterpart in West Tisbury to inquire if by chance there were any issues they did not anticipate and that we should be made aware of.

  • BII District
D. Seidman noted that they were proposing to use the same language they approved for the BI District, without any modifications. B. Robinson affirmed. D. Seidman referred the Board to a print out of all of the developed properties within the BII District , noting that only 49 structures of the 127 listed contained buildings 3000 sq. ft. or more. It suggested that only 1/3 of the properties would be impacted by the bylaw amendment, if they were to expand. B. Robinson noted that the vast majority of the buildings were being used for storage.

  • Pre-existing, non-conforming structures
B. Robinson met with Adam Turner, Executive Dir. of the MV Commission about the issues he wanted to address with a potential bylaw amendment, and was waiting to hear from him with his recommendations.  A. Turner also offered to research information that clarified the regulation’s intent and application.

He has not heard from A. Turner, but intended to reach out to him.

  • Floating Structures
C. Doble understood D. Seidman wanted to discuss the subject at the All Island Planning Board, but it was her opinion that the Planning Board had to initiate the discussions within the town, because it appeared to be an issue specific to Tisbury at the moment.  She noticed that they now had two such structures in the harbor, and asked the Board if they should include within the discussions the subject or a moratorium.  B. Robinson agreed. D. Seidman did not see any harm in raising the subject at the All Island Planning Board.

M. Loberg thought the first issue they had to determine how they should be classified before they can regulate them.  The Harbor Management Committee did not appear to be interested in addressing the use.  C. Doble inquired if they referred the matter to town counsel. M. Loberg replied in the affirmative, and shared the fact that the Board of Selectmen had discussed the structures, and opposed any recommendation for a moratorium. They preferred waiting to hear from town counsel.

B. Robinson recommended contacting Woods Hole or towns in the state of Massachusetts with harbors to inquire about their regulations.
  • Planning Board Goals for FY 2017
At a meeting C. Doble and B. Robinson held with the town administrator regarding one of many projects the Vision Council is working on, he implied that the Planning Board was working outside the scope of their address on various projects, when they should be addressing other more important planning issues. B. Robinson was of the impression that  the town administrator  believed they were getting too involved in the details of  Owen Park and not reviewing the more salient issues. When he asked for a clarification, J. Grande thought they should be working on the waterfront. C. Doble added that he mentioned zoning, a master plan, and planning policies.  D. Seidman noted that the Vision Council was working on the project, not the Planning Board.  B. Robinson noted that the Vision Council was working under the Planning Board’s auspices and on long term planning issues.

Following the discussion, C. Doble developed a “To Do’ list of potential projects, the Board might consider. It included:

  • Parks Commission
A commission would address the community’s long-standing disappointment with the condition of the municipality’s parks (Lake Street) and public spaces (Tashmoo). It would provide the community a public process where they can voice their ideas and get involved. B. Robinson informed the Board that MGL Ch. 41 s. 81C refers to a Park Commission that functions within the Planning Board’s purview.

D. Seidman asked M. Loberg for an opinion.  He asked what she thought if the Planning Board assumed the role. She thought the town would benefit from having a Parks Commission, but felt it too early to comment on the governing board, when they were in the process of re-organizing the various elements of the DPW, now that the entity has been dismantled. They’ve not hired a director as of yet.  

C. Doble advised M. Loberg that the town administrator sought a recommendation for a Parks Department.  In the re-organization of the various responsibilities held by the DPW, the Board of Selectmen were considering the possibility of delegating the responsibility for the parks to another group or department, as they did for the wastewater portion. The latter was delegated to the Water Department.  C. Doble inquired if the Board of Selectmen were considering the possibility of assigning the responsibility to an individual in the department.  M. Loberg replied in the negative, and explained that the Board of Selectmen still had to manage the personnel in the department to continue the operations, and promoted R. Blanchard as a working foreman to manage the existing crew until they hired a director.  She believed the issue had more to do with the lack of a parks and recreation plan.  She inquired if they were recommending serving as the Parks Commission

B. Robinson replied that the Planning Board could serve as a parks commission, or they could create a separate Parks Commission that reported to the Planning Board. He thought they should ask town counsel to research the statute and recommend how they go about organizing a Parks Commission. D. Seidman they should ask the MV Commission for their assistance or negotiate an agreement with another town for the part-time use of the recreation staff.

C. Doble thought the Planning Board should be drafting the long term plans for their parks, and not getting involved in the day to day operations.  The latter pertained to the DPW. B. Robinson concurred, as did M. Loberg. B. Robinson noted that it was part of the Master Plan, which was not limited to the goals of the town. They had some authority over the operations to help the town meet their goals. C. Doble did not think the Planning Board had the ability to develop a Master Plan for the town without the assistance of a consultant. D. Seidman thought they could with the assistance of the MV Commission. C. Doble disagreed, and recommended the use of an Area Plan.

C. Doble recommended researching the various models that existed for the Parks and Recreations Department (e.g. Brewster, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown) to support.  B. Robinson thought they should find out how they can institute a Parks & Recreations Commission based on state statute.

  • Area Plan  
A. Turner  offered the MV Commission’s assistance with the development of an Area Plan(s), which could serve as a master plan without the extensive data.

C. Doble recommended a meeting with the town administrator and A. Turner to discuss the Board’s long term trajectory,  and the development of a framework that would allow them to be proactive. D. Seidman agreed and asked the board secretary to schedule the meeting on the Board’s behalf with J. Grande and A. Turner.

  • Drawbridge Park Design (landscape)
C. Doble looked at the latest proposal after H. Lee brought out a couple of issues with the design, such as the guardrail, and formal planting plans. She thought the state could do “something more creative with the drainage”  so that they could redesign it for educational purposes.  She was given the impression that the committee were meeting  with the state’s representatives. She inquired if they committee had discussed the plan and considering any counterproposals.

M. Loberg replied in the affirmative, and explained how after several meetings the DOT agreed to change their initial proposal and to construct 2/3  of the storm water maintenance system underground, except for the filtration system. It was not until 1.5 months ago that they learned the state had agreed to create a park. DOT had apparently designed, reviewed and approved the landscape plan . The town contacted DOT immediately to discuss various elements of the design that had to be changed, including the location and material of the guardrail.  Although the design was “almost” etched in stone, they managed to eliminate 4-5 types of plants, change the material for the guardrail into wood, use color concrete for the service and erect a sign.  They wanted to discuss the location of the service road and asked them to consider  rerouting the maintenance road away from the perimeter, so that they did not need guardrail.  M. Loberg added that it there was anything in the design they wanted to eliminate, they had a good chance to do so, since it reduced the overall cost.

4. Community Vision Workshop
C.  Doble indicated that H. Stephenson’s presentation was well attended and included R. Packer, a major stockholder in the Waterfront District., who was interested in continuing the dialogue. She thought it was important for the Planning Board to invite all of the property owners on Beach Road to discuss their expectations for the road improvement and the growth of the area.  C. Doble thought the Planning Board should invite each property owner to the meeting, sometime in the near future.

C. Doble noted that the Vision Council is trying to get the Owen Park Committee to get a designer on board to prepare a plan. They are scheduled to meet on January 28, 2016 at the Senior Center.

They were working on a shellfish day for Shellfish Constable, who wanted to provide an educational workshop during the summer for the community and summer residents.  And it appeared other projects would be forthcoming in the near future, such as the preservation of the Tashmoo Overlook as a reserve.


  • Jonathan Snyder, Finance Dir.
Re: Planning Board’s FY 2017 Departmental Budget Increases (level funding – 0% increase/due 01/15/16)

  • Michael Loberg, Board of Health Chairman
RE: Mink Meadows Association’s (marsh lands)/Ditch Maintenance
  • Jay W. Grande, Town Administrator
RE: Joseph DeBettencourt DRI Project

  • Marc Fourner
RE: Amelia’s Crossing (Trees)

  • Massachusetts Association of Health Boards & Massachusetts Department of Public Health
RE: Health Community Design Toolkit – Leverage Positive Change

  • Reuter Thomson
RE: Zoning Bulletin, 10 December 2015

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 8:50 P.M.           (m/s/c  3/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Daniel Seidman