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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Planning Board Subcommittee Minutes 03/12/18
Chilmark Planning Board Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, March 12, 2018
Present: Janet Weidner, Chair, Joan Malkin, Peter Cook
Not Present:
Staff: Jennifer L. Christy, Lenny Jason
Meeting called to order at 3PM:
  • Discussion re the Biennial Report to the Town Meeting on the Residential Building Size Regulation:
  • The subcommittee discussed the information contained in the report with Lenny Jason.
  • It was suggested that there may be no need to include the total square footage calculation on page 2 under the Summary of Residential Building Permits Issued.
  • There was brief discussion concerning the apparent trend of more below-grade building, i.e. finished basements.
  • Mr. Cook suggested that there are no disturbing trends and the bylaw appears to be working and that the addition of particular calculations may not be needed.
  • The subcommittee made changes to the draft Biennial Report and asked Ms. Christy to provide a new draft by the next meeting.
  • Planning Discussion:
  • The Board discussed with Lenny Jason the role of the Planning Board in the Town’s planning of projects.
  • Discussion occurred regarding how the Planning Board could be more proactive rather than reactive.
  • Discussion occurred about what is needed to be a proactive Board.
  • Mr. Cook stated that questions must be answered about what the people want the Town to be, to look like, what the priorities are for the Town and these are difficult to find because answers are not consistently held across the entire Town.
  • Discussion occurred about how the MVC could be used to develop an updated Master Plan. More discussion occurred about how the MVC could be utilized, while a “Chilmark voice” is maintained and prioritized. Mr. Cook observed that the Town of Chilmark has had more trouble, for example, fitting a Housing Production Plan to the needs and priorities of the Town than other Towns.
  • Discussion occurred about what the thrust of the Planning Board should be:
  • Should the Board work on a comprehensive Master Plan?
  • Should the Board select important topics and focus on them, such as Town land acquisition?
  • It was noted that there is an effort to find voters who would be willing to serve on subcommittees that are tasked with exploring important topics and making proposals to the Board.
  • Ms. Malkin stated her desire, as a Board, to be more active and less responsive.
  • Ms. Malkin noted the Guest House issue needs to be looked at.
  • Ms. Weidner reiterated the need for a review of Town-owned land.
  • Ms. Malkin noted that there needs to be a plan developed for the Town’s needs before Town land acquisition can be tackled.
  • Mr. Cook noted, again, the need to develop a vision of what the Town wants before specific plans, for land acquisition for example, are explored and chosen.
  • Mr. Cook noted his previous recommendation that the Town, when a project is proposed, should review that project in a critical atmosphere that shows how various approaches may be better or worse than the approach ultimately selected for proposal.
  • Discussion occurred about how Guest Houses are used in our Town and whether those uses are counted as Affordable Housing for the Town.
  • Minutes:
  • No minutes were reviewed.
  • Next Meetings:
  • March 26, 2018
  • Action Items for March 26, 2018 Meeting:
  • Draft Biennial Report 2018
  • In May, prepare for a possible forum for the summer residents.
  • Documents:
  • Draft Biennial Report
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