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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Planning Board Subcommittee Minutes 04/23/18
Chilmark Planning Board Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, April 23, 2018
Present: Janet Weidner, Chair, Peter Cook, Joan Malkin
Not Present:
Public: Ann Wallace, Jessica Roddy, Zach Lee
Staff: Jennifer L. Christy
Meeting called to order at 3:00PM:
  • Zoning Bylaw Work: Guest House
  • Subcommittee Chairperson Ms. Weidner stated that member Mr. Cook would address the guest house size increase Article on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant at tonight’s Town Meeting.
  • Ms. Weidner gave a brief description of the discussion so far on the guest house size zoning bylaw issue.
  • Brief discussion occurred regarding how to proceed on the issue and what the goals of the process are. It was noted that an important objective would be to investigate various answers to the question of whether the guest house zoning bylaw size criteria should be changed and explore what the ramifications are of altering the guest house zoning bylaw.
  • There was brief discussion regarding the possible future results of a change to the guest house zoning bylaw.
  • Mr. Cook noted the age of the guest house zoning bylaw (40+/- yrs.) and noted there may be  an interesting debate in how the recent passage of the Residential Building Size Regulation and its accompanying living area size limitations may impact thinking about the viability of a change to the size criteria of the guest house zoning bylaw.
  • Ms. Weidner noted that a discussion of the creation of a guest house zoning bylaw subcommittee, separate from the current subcommittee, should be established.
  • Ms. Roddy suggested that the investigation of other zoning bylaw changes that could help with affordable housing should be pursued. She noted the possible Peaked Hill Pastures project.
  • Ms. Wallace noted that the MV Commission could be utilized to investigate and develop various plans that would address the plans for affordable housing in Chilmark.
  • Ms. Malkin inquired what Town entity “owns” the Peaked Hill Pastures project.
  • Ms. Malkin suggested that the Planning Board write a letter to the Board of Selectmen suggesting that they direct the Housing Committee to investigate various approaches for developing the Peaked Hill property.
  • The subcommittee members described how a consultant, like the person used for the exploration of alternatives in Menemsha for the Master Plan, might be employed.
  • Ms. Wallace suggested a plan for affordable housing in Peaked Hill Pastures that is “staged” and not all at once.
  • Mr. Lee stated he lived in Vail, CO and described the Aspen, CO affordable housing strategy as successful and one that should be looked at.
  • Mr. Cook stated that the recent conclusions of the Housing Production Plan process showed that affordable housing issues may need to be solved differently in Chilmark from many or most other places due to the unique nature of our Town.
  • Ms. Roddy urged the subcommittee to consider carefully whether there is a need for immediate and thorough investigation of the guest house zoning bylaw right now or whether there are other more important affordable housing initiatives that need to be discussed.
  • The subcommittee agreed that they would recommend to the Board that the discussion of any changes to the guest house zoning bylaw should be discussed by the Board and not in a subcommittee.
  • More discussion occurred regarding possible changes to the guest house zoning bylaw and how they may improve circumstances for different demographic groups in Town.
  • Menemsha Master Plan & Master Plan Work Discussion:
  • The subcommittee members discussed what the progress may be on the various projects in Menemsha.
  • The “preamble” document written by Mr. Cook was discussed very briefly.
  • Minutes:
  • The minutes from March 26, 2018 were reviewed and approved as written and April 11, 2018 minutes were approved with a change.                              .
  • Next Meetings:
  • Attend the BOS meeting on May 1, 2018, 5PM
  • May 14, 2018, 3PM
  • Action Items from April 23, 2018 Meeting for May 14, 2018 Meeting:
  • Request of the BOS that the subcommittee be placed on the agenda to discuss the Menemsha Master Plan progress.
  • Letter created to share with the full Board regarding the Housing Committee’s work on a proposal for the Peaked Hill Pastures project.
  • Obtain the list from Ms. Malkin about Guest House bylaw “questions”.
  • Inquire with Lenny Jason on whether a person may build an 800 sq. ft. guest house as a first structure on a lot or may they build an 800 sq. ft. as a principal dwelling and then later, once they are able and obtain a building permit for a second, larger home, change the “designation” of the 800 sq. ft. building to a Guest House?
  • Contact Ginny Jones to see if she could attend a Planning Board meeting to discuss the WT “cluster zoning” bylaw.
  • Documents:
  • Draft Preamble Report from Peter Cook
Meeting adjourned: 4:20PM
Minutes respectfully submitted by Jennifer L. Christy

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