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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Planning Board Subcommittee Minutes 05/14/18
Chilmark Planning Board Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, May 14, 2018
Present: Janet Weidner, Chair, Peter Cook, Joan Malkin
Not Present:
Staff: Jennifer L. Christy
Meeting called to order at 3:03PM:
  • Housing Committee work on affordable housing in Peaked Hill Pastures:
  • Brief discussion occurred regarding the upcoming discussion at the Board meeting on the Peaked Hill Pastures housing project.
  • Mr. Cook described the proper approach to assessing a plan for the area: Each plan should address identified issues and needs.
  • Zoning Bylaw Work: Guest House
  • Discussion occurred about how to move forward in a reasonable way.
  • Mr. Cook suggested that the Board try to organize the Guest House discussion by first determining if the Residential Building Size Regulation bylaw should be used to govern the amount of  total living area in Chilmark, without identifying living area limits for specific types of structures and then, once that is determined yes or no to follow up with further discussion if necessary.
  • Ms. Weidner stated that a few options be developed for assessment: 1. do nothing, 2. let the ‘big house bylaw’ direct the living area requirements on a lot, or 3. change the size requirements of the Guest House only.
  • Mr. Jason stated that families with children will be pushing for a change that would allow a larger Guest House and that retirees will not want to change the bylaws due to less need and less of a desire for change.
  • Mr. Jason asked what the Town might be afraid of if a Guest House is allowed to be larger. Ms. Malkin stated that she would imagine concern would be in density and the aesthetics of multiple larger buildings.
  • Mr. Cook asked what has changed since the Guest House bylaw went into effect. He noted that buildings have to be up to building code and no longer can a building be built in the way that camps used to be built.
  • Mr. Jason noted that a change in the zoning so that the limits of total living area, as identified in the Residential Building Size Regulation zoning bylaw, govern development, without specific square footage requirements for specific kinds of structures, would be his preferred way to proceed.
  • Ms. Malkin suggested that the Board look at three ideas: to continue the zoning for Guest Houses as is, changing the Guest House criteria to a limit of 1200 sq. ft., or allow the Total Living Area in the Residential Building Size Regulation zoning bylaw to govern the amount of living area on a particular lot.
  • Mr. Jason suggested that the subcommittee begin discussion by addressing the idea of changing zoning to allow 1200 sq. ft. Guest Houses, which is the question that was brought before the Town Meeting and which the Planning Board agreed to discuss.
  • The subcommittee decided that this would be the correct way to proceed and agreed to recommend that the Board begin a discussion on this proposal at the next Board meeting.
  • Menemsha Master Plan & Master Plan Work Discussion:
  • The “preamble” document was briefly discussed and Mr. Cook stated he would need to edit the document further before it is complete.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the work that Kris Horiuchi has agreed to do and Ms. Malkin stated she would contact Ms. Horiuchi to see if there is a possibility that the work may still happen.
  • Minutes:
  • The minutes from April 23, 2018 were approved with changes.
  • Zoning Bylaw Issues Identified for Future Discussion:
  • Review the list of qualified family members in the 6.03 section of the Zoning Bylaws
  • Investigate the definition of dwelling in the 6.03 section of the Zoning Bylaws.
  • Investigate the intent of the bylaw that limits the Height of houses allowed even if the structure does not replicate a Historic House and to investigate whether this section allows a building to be replaced or reproduce a building that is a Historic House. Rich Osnoss stated that the intent is to value old houses as noted in the Historic Houses section of the Master Plan. Should the bylaw be limited to ‘dwelling’ or should it be ‘structure’?
  • Next Meetings:
  • June 4, 2018, 3PM
  • June 11, 2018, 3PM
  • Action Items from May 14, 2018 Meeting:
  • Ms. Christy is to find the data on Guest House size in the other island towns and the timeline for changes and why there was a change.
  • Obtain the list from Ms. Malkin about Guest House bylaw “questions”.
  • Contact Ginny Jones to see if she could attend a Planning Board meeting to discuss the WT “cluster zoning” bylaw.
  • In May, prepare for a possible forum for the summer residents.
  • Documents:
  • Draft Preamble Report from Peter Cook
Meeting adjourned: 4:20PM
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