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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Planning Board Minutes 06/11/18
Chilmark Planning Board
June 11, 2018
Present: Janet Weidner, Peter Cook, Joan Malkin, Chris MacLeod, John Eisner
Not Present: Rich Osnoss, Mitchell Posin
Public & Board/Comm. Members: Clark Goff, Ann Wallace, David Damroth, Charles Parker, Wendy Weldon, Candy & Richard Shweder, Barbara Lee, Jessica Roddy, Howard Grimm, Chris Alley
Staff: Jennifer Christy, Admin. Asst.
Meeting was called to order at 4:33 PM
Ms. Malkin nominated Ms. Weidner to be temporary chairperson. The nomination motion was seconded and there were all ayes.
  • Guest House Zoning Bylaw Discussion:
  • Ms. Weidner opened the discussion and noted that the Town Columnists had advertised that the Board would be discussing the Guest House issue beginning at this meeting.
  • Ms. Weldon explained her initial role in bringing forward the idea to increase the allowable square footage amount for Guest Houses from 800 sq. ft. to 1200 sq. ft.
  • Mr. Damroth was recognized and noted that in the early 1970s he was against zoning, but now he feels that zoning has worked well. He noted there was emphasis in the past to allow for smaller, accessory structures in order for landowners to afford to live here by renting the subordinate dwelling. Mr. Damroth noted his fear that Guest Houses will further “monetize” the zoning bylaws. Mr. Damroth also noted the danger of increasing traffic on private roads.
  • Mr. Parker noted that his house is 1000 sq. ft. He noted that an increase in the size of a Guest House would allow for more full-scale homes. Mr. Parker also noted his concerns with nitrogen-loading in the ponds. Mr. Parker noted that if there is a need to increase housing it would be important to look at whether an increase in the size of the Guest House will actually solve that problem or, possibly, exacerbate the problem of housing in Town. He reiterated the need to, if the Guest House zoning bylaw is to be amended and if the Board identifies that the reason is to help solve the housing problem, look at how there is an accompanying structure that ensures that the changes would assist with the housing problem.
  • Mr. Shweder wondered why, specifically, the suggested change to the Guest House bylaw has been brought forward and asked for clarification.
  • Ms. Weldon related that the proposed Guest House bylaw change came forward in an effort to help those who have Guest Houses or could build Guest Houses afford to stay in Town.
  • Ms. Roddy stated that she is not in favor of a change to the Guest House bylaw for the purpose of affordable housing assistance.
  • Ms. Wallace noted that 75 percent of homes in Chilmark are seasonal and stated that this should be considered when making any change to the zoning bylaws.
  • Mr. Parker asked what kind of long term effects larger Guest Houses would have and wondered if increases in size would increase the attractiveness of the property and they would more likely become a year-round rental. Discussion occurred about whether this is a good or bad thing. Mr. Parker noted the rents for Guest Houses are not low or affordable and noted that a change to the zoning bylaws to increase a Guest House size monetizes the zoning bylaws.
  • Mr. Damroth advocated a thorough and in-depth analysis of the Guest House issue.
  • Ms. Malkin asked for clarification on whether it would or would not be a good thing if more people lived here more than six months of the year. Mr. Damroth and Mr. Parker expressed concern with increased numbers of people living in Town for longer periods of time.
  • Ms. Weldon asked for more clarification on the level of impact an increased size of Guest Houses would be.
  • Mr. Cook asked if consideration should be given to the fact that the kind of Guest House that could have been built 20 or 30 years ago cannot be built now according to building code.
  • Mr. Eisner asked how the audience members felt about making the Guest House smaller than 800 sq. ft.
  • Ms. Malkin summarized the arguments so far: why would the Town do something that would increase the monetization of the land if it does not increase housing needed , why would this be done if the possible effects are more impact on the environment and why enable this to benefit mainly seasonable residents.
  • Mr. Eisner noted that short-term rentals are an issue in this case and he noted that year-round residents may perceive that this may be a way to stay on the land.
  • Ms. Weidner explained that there is a possibility more people are planning to come to Board meeting in order to give different thoughts and stated she would advocate more meetings to make sure all viewpoints are obtained that may be obtained.
  • Elias Preliminary Discussion, Map 21, Lot 41.1:
  • Chris Alley was present to continue the preliminary discussion. Mr. Alley noted that the Elias family would agree to a shared driveway and turnouts on the road.
  • Ms. Christy noted the Coastal District that impinges on a corner of the property and noted she had sent this information to Chairman Osnoss on May 10, 2018 and was now notifying the Board due to the fact that Mr. Osnoss was not present today.
  • Mr. Alley stated that his plan going forward is to submit a Form A and to expect the Board to refer the plan to the MVC due to the fact that a portion of the lot is within the Coastal DCPC.
  • Peaked Hill Pastures Preliminary Disussion, Map 20 (see map for lots):
  • The Board discussed which Planning Board member would serve on the Peaked Hill Pastures working committee. Ms. Malkin nominated Peter Cook. Mr. Eisner seconded the nomination. The motion was voted unanimously to nominate Mr. Cook.
  • Ms. Weidner requested that Ms. Christy please notify the Board of Selectmen in writing that the Board has chosen Peter Cook to serve on the working committee.
  • Update from Subcommittee on the Menemsha Master Plan Work:
  • Ms. Weidner briefly updated the Board members on the subcommittee’s progress so far.
  • Correspondence:
  • The correspondence below was reviewed:
  • Christine Flynn, MVC: no action was taken
  • Housing Committee: it was noted that this topic would be reviewed at the Peaked Hill Pastures working committee. No other action was taken
  • Jo-Ann Taylor, MVC: no action was taken
  • E-911/Verizon Memos: no action was taken
  • Reappointment Requests from Housing Committee members: the Board moved, seconded and voted to reappoint the three Housing Committee members who have expressed the desire, in writing, to be reappointed. Jessica Roddy, Jim Feiner and Michele Leonardi were reappointed. Ms. Christy was requested to notify the Board of Selectmen of these reappointments.
  • Oak Bluffs Hearing Notice: no action was taken
  • UPS Store invoice for Meeting House Road Map: the invoice was approved to be paid.
  • All Island Planning Board draft agenda and draft CPB agenda for June 20, 2018: no action was taken
  • Minutes:
  • The minutes from Apr. 23, 2018 and May 14, 2018 were reviewed. April 23rd minutes were   approved as written and May 14th minutes were approved with changes.
  • Next Meetings:
  • Monday, June 25, 2018, 4:30PM
  • Monday, July 9, 2018, 4:30PM
  • Documents:
  • Elias file documents & plans
  • Peaked Hill Pastures Plan dated Jan 9, 2017 and file documents & plans
  • Letter sent to Carlos Fragata re DEP Waterways license appl. #W18-5196

Meeting adjourned at 6:34PM. Minutes respectfully submitted by Jennifer L. Christy

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