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.
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