From: Tim Carroll []
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 1:37 PM
To: Chuck Hodgkinson
Subject: Fw: Chilmark Annual Report - MVC section
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark London
To: Timothy "Tim" Carroll (Tim Carroll)
Cc: Jeffrey Wooden
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:13 PM
Subject: Chilmark Annual Report - MVC section



Here is the proposed text for the MVC section of the Chilmark Town Report.





Chilmark Town Report


The Martha's Vineyard Commission


As the Island’s regional planning agency, the Martha's Vineyard Commission began several initiatives to do more proactive planning, in addition to continuing to fulfill its mandate to regulate developments of Island-wide importance.


The year 2005 was marked by the beginning of an Island-wide, community-based planning effort, which the Commission will coordinate over the next few years. The goal of the Comprehensive Island Plan is for the community to renew its vision for the future . . . to figure out where we are, where we want to go, and how we want to go there. The Plan will seek to answer questions such as: What is the best way to manage growth on Martha's Vineyard so that we preserve the Island’s unique environment and character? How can we provide housing opportunities for all income groups? How can we protect the water quality of our coastal ponds? How can we preserve critical habitat and important vistas? How can we develop a more sustainable economy? How can we find ways for people to get where they want to go, while minimizing traffic congestion? The Plan will set out the strategy for achieving this vision by outlining possible programs, regulations, and other actions that could be carried out by the Martha's Vineyard Commission, by the towns, and by other entities. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission will adopt the plan as the official regional plan. In October the Commission announced the formation of the Steering Committee that will oversee the preparation of the plan, made up of 20 Vineyarders from all walks of life, all towns, and representing a wide range of interests including various town boards, non-profit organizations, and individual citizens. A program of meetings and workshops with Island citizens, town boards, and organizations will begin in the spring of 2006 in order to create a plan that reflects the goals of the whole Vineyard community.


Related to this planning effort, the Commission continued its popular series of public forums dealing with a variety of topics: sustainable energy, native versus exotic planting, affordable housing, smart growth, and traffic. These well-attended events were broadcast on MVTV and well covered in the newspapers. In addition, the Commission coordinates regular meetings of all Island Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, public and private non-profit affordable housing groups, and GIS users, promoting the exchange of issues and ideas across town boundaries and providing informational opportunities with the use of guest speakers. The Commission also hosts several courses and information sessions on a variety of topics of interest to town officials, the business community, and to members of the general public.


With respect to transportation planning, the Commission facilitates the Joint Transportation Committee, which meets monthly to coordinate transportation efforts on the Island and to schedule Transportation Improvement Projects, funded by MassHighway. Last year, the JTC began working on a triennial update of the Island’s Regional Transportation Plan and set up a subcommittee to work on a Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan. Chilmark’s representative on the Committee is Keith Emin. 


Also in transportation, the Commission continued to support the work of the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee, set up at the request of the towns of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury to represent the Vineyard community with respect to MassHighway’s proposal to replace the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge. The Commission completed its traffic analysis of Tisbury Planning Board’s proposal to restructure the road network between Upper State Road and the Park-and-Ride, and it carried out an origin-destination study and extensive traffic counts at various locations in Edgartown. The Commission also conducted traffic counts throughout the Island.


The Commission continues to carry out extensive water testing of Island coastal ponds with a view to having ponds qualify for inclusion in the Massachusetts Estuaries Project which will carry out detailed modeling of ponds to indicate how extensive water quality problems are, and how effective various possible improvement measures would be. The Commission is an active participant of the Martha's Vineyard Water Alliance and is working on a background document and presentation that will be used in 2006 to help increase public awareness of water quality issues. 


In other areas, the Commission coordinated  efforts to promote locally grown agricultural and aquacultural products including a well-attended Business-to-Business workshop sponsored by the MVC and South Eastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership. 


In addition to its planning work, the Commission continues to invest considerable time and effort in its regulatory reviews of Developments of Regional Impact. This review generally results in considerable improvements to projects to mitigate their environmental, traffic, and other impacts on the Vineyard. In order to make it easier for applicants and the public to understand how the MVC reviews proposals, the Commission has begun to prepare a series of DRI guidelines on various topics. The first guideline, on open space preservation, was adopted in draft form in 2005 and will be finalized early in 2006.


Specific Activities for the Town of Chilmark



  1. The Water Resource Planner conducted water quality sampling in Tisbury Great Pond (funded by the Riparian Owners Association) and from Chilmark Pond funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection under section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act.  A total of 46 samples were collected and sent to the lab for analyses of water quality indicators.  Water samples were also collected from Green Pond near the Home Port restaurant to assess the water quality in this small freshwater pond.
  2.  The Water Resource Planner coordinated the Massachusetts Estuaries Project start up survey work in Tisbury Great Pond.  In August, approximately 24 sediment cores were collected to measure and evaluate the release of nutrients from the sediment into the pond water.  Remote recording meters were set out at five locations in September to measure dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity and chlorophyll content at 1-hour intervals for 30 days.  A total of 30 sediment samples were collected in November for identification of bottom dwelling organisms that indicate the quality of the system.  Similar work was also completed in Chilmark Pond over the same time frame.
  3.  The Water Resource Planner assisted the University of Massachusetts in placement of stream gauges at Mill Pond and the Tiasquam River to assess the volume of freshwater flowing to Tisbury Great Pond and the amount of nutrients carried into the Pond.  Gauges were also placed at both branches of Fulling Mill Brook and at Mill Brook to assess stream flow and nutrient loading to Chilmark Pond.  The gauges will be in place for about 18 months and weekly water quality samples are being collected.
  4. Monthly groundwater elevation readings are collected from one observation well in Town.   MVC Staff participate in the Squibnocket Pond District Advisory Committee





Respectfully submitted,



DOUGLAS E. SEDERHOLM, Chilmark elected Member-at-Large and 

Commission Vice Chair


CHRIS MURPHY, Member appointed by the Chilmark Board of Selectmen


MARK LONDON, Executive Director