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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Planning Board Subcommittee Minutes 02/21/18
Chilmark Planning Board Subcommittee Meeting
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Present: Janet Weidner, Chair, Peter Cook, Joan Malkin
Not Present:
Public: Debbie Packer
Staff: Jennifer L. Christy
Meeting called to order at 3PM:
  • Planning  Board Menemsha Master Plan Discussion:
  • Brief discussion occurred regarding the process for developing the plan for a housing program in Peaked Hill Pastures.
  • Mr. Cook suggested that the Planning Board encourage a process of developing a plan to present to the Town that has undergone the necessary analysis and reasoning determining why the program is the best of various alternatives with respect to the criteria that is important to the Town.
  • Mr. Cook emphasized the need for competing and various views to be entertained in order to create a well-considered and strong plan that is aligned with the goals and objectives of the Town.
  • Menemsha Forum Discussion:
  • Brief discussion occurred regarding the reaction to the information and ideas presented at the forum on Feb. 9, 2018.
  • Ms. Packer, regarding the proposed plans for the area opposite the Homeport, stated that the vegetation along the Greenebaum property is important for screening the light and noise from the Homeport and is also a home for birds and other wildlife. She further noted that the trees are very old and are specimens that are important to her and to those who live in Menemsha.
  • Ms. Packer noted also that the walkway that is proposed for the area along the Greenebaum property will most likely not be an enhancement of the area for pedestrians, will be hidden and will most likely effect a widening of the road rather than be a well-used enhancement of safety of pedestrians.
  • Ms. Packer warned against changes that cannot be undone and would risk changing the character of Menemsha irrevocably. She specifically warned against endorsing and using funds provided through Complete Streets due to the loss of control that Towns may experience when accepting funds through Complete Streets with results that seem more fitted to urban, larger locations. It was noted that no part of the Menemsha project is proposed to be funded under Complete Streets.
  • Ms. Packer noted also that better flow in Menemsha will bring more traffic to the area and noted that the livery vans are the largest problem without adding benefits to residents and businesses.
  • Ms. Packer lauded the efforts of a summer officer named Pierce Harrer who helped direct the traffic outside of the Menemsha Market.
  • Ms. Packer concluded that the Town would benefit by using island hands, such as high school building trades groups, to repair the Comfort Station, for example, and to look to how we can make improvements to Menemsha using island-based and cost-effective solutions.
  • Mr. Cook stated that there is a concern with liability to the Town when considering any changes proposed for Menemsha that address public safety issues. He noted that Ms. Packer’s concerns are warranted.
  • Ms. Packer urged the subcommittee to go slow and be “very Chilmark” about all that they recommend.
  • Development of a List of Recommendations from Board to the Selectmen using Brewster’s proposal:
  • Discussion occurred about how to organize a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen. It was decided to organize the recommendation memo in the following way:
  • Recommendations to implement now, prioritized
  • Recommendations that need more study
  • Recommendations that do not appear useful at this time  
  • Minutes:
  • February 12, 2018 minutes were not reviewed.
  • Next Meetings:
  • Monday, Feb. 26th, 2018, 3:30PM
  • Tentative Meeting, Thursday, March 1, 2018
  • Action Items for Feb. 26th , 2018 Meeting:
  • Recommendation Memo Draft
  • Documents:
  • Draft Brewster recommendation with priorities
Minutes respectfully submitted by Jennifer L. Christy

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Chilmark Town Offices: Chilmark Town Offices: 401 Middle Road, P.O. Box 119 02535-0119