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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Planning Board Subcommittee Minutes 07/09/18
Chilmark Planning Board Subcommittee Meeting
Monday, July 9, 2018
Present: Janet Weidner, Chair, Peter Cook, Joan Malkin
Not Present:
Public: Debbie Packer, Ann Wallace, Leonard Jason. Jr., Rob Hannemann, Pam Goff, Jim Feiner, Clark Goff
Staff: Jennifer L. Christy
Meeting called to order at 3:04PM:
  • Green Communities:
  • Mr. Hannemann introduced an updated presentation of the Green Communities program.
  • Mr. Hannemann described the next step would be to gain the support of the Planning Board to go ahead with bylaw amendments that would make Chilmark a Green Community.
  • Ms. Malkin asked if Mr. Hannemann would please obtain the bylaw amendments that other island Towns have made to become Green Communities (West Tisbury and Tisbury).
  • Mr. Hannemann stated he would find the information from other island Towns and would send that information to Ms. Christy in order to forward to the Board members.
  • Ms. Malkin stated the subcommittee members would study the presentation that Mr. Hannemann provided and the neighboring Town bylaws (Tisbury & West Tisbury) in preparation for the next meeting.
  • Mr. Cook noted that this topic is complex and of great interest and that it would behoove the subcommittee and the Board to consider the ramifications of adopting the regulations in order to become a Green Community.
  • Historic House Bylaw discussion:
  • Ms. Goff described the issue of a recently purchased old house in Town that was built in the post-Civil War era and, therefore, not included in the definition of Historic House in the Town’s zoning bylaws. Ms. Goff noted that the Town Bylaw called Demolition of Historically Significant Buildings governs all houses noted in the Master Plan of 1985, rather than the houses built only prior to 1865.
  • Ms. Weidner remembered the extensive discussion surrounding which houses are to be protected by the zoning bylaw and remembered that there were particular reasons why the limit was placed where it was.
  • More discussion occurred regarding what changes area desired and/ or needed.
  • After discussion it was noted by Ms. Goff that she is requesting that the definition of a Historic House, in the zoning bylaws, be expanded.
  • Ms. Weidner reiterated her concern with rushing into a change in the definition without fully understanding yet why the limit in time period was instituted.
  • Ms. Goff stated she would like to see the results of a forthcoming study of island historic houses and use that information to determine whether a new list of historic houses should be developed and possibly included in the definition of a Historic House in the zoning bylaws.
  • Ms. Goff stated she would return once the results of the study are available.
  • Affordable Housing on Small Lots-Housing Committee Proposal:
  • The Housing Committee members described their proposal: to have the zoning bylaws allow for homesite housing lots that are less than one acre.
  • Ms. Malkin inquired about the details of their proposal and particularly probed whether there is a limit to how small the lots could be.
  • Mr. Cook noted the Peaked Hill Pastures Proposals Committee will be discussing the topic of very small lots at their Wednesday meetings.
  • It was noted by Mr. Jason that there is a requirement that there be 10,000 sq. ft. per bedroom. Ms. Malkin noted that a one-bedroom house would require a ¼ acre of land.
  • Discussion occurred regarding the pros and cons of Homesite Housing Lots and Youth Lots.
  • Ms. Malkin asked more questions in order to ascertain exactly what the Housing Committee would like to propose.
  • Ms. Weidner noted that it may be helpful to ask the Board of Health to attend a meeting to see what regulations may impact the possible proposal to allow for Homesite Housing lots smaller than 1 acre.
  • It was determined that the Board of Health would be contacted by Ms. Christy to see about the Board attending a Planning Board subcommittee meeting in September 2018. It was noted that the subcommittee would attend a Board of Health meeting if that proved to be a better plan for the Board of Health.
  • The Housing Committee members stated they would attend a meeting that is scheduled with the Board of Health and the subcommittee.
  • Menemsha Master Plan Update:
  • Ms. Packer noted her displeasure with the recent elimination of a Russian Olive bush along the Greenebaum property.
  • Ms. Weidner stated she had been contacted by Tim Carroll to be available to meet with him and a landscaper professional to review a plan to landscape the border of the Greenebaum lot to allow for a walking path as described in the Menemsha Master plan work created by William Brewster. Ms. Weidner stated that she plans to notify Ms. Packer as soon as a meeting is scheduled.
  • Ms. Packer stated she is against the removal of any trees or bushes in the area.
  • Ms. Weidner stated that the recent removal of the Russian olive is not related to the Menemsha Master Plan due to the fact that plans for the landscaping of the area have not been completed.
  • Fire Protection & Detached Bedroom zoning bylaw discussion:
  • Mr. Jason noted he is satisfied with the definition of the Detached Bedroom and sees no need for any changes or clarifications.
  • Minutes:
  • The minutes from June 11, 2018 were reviewed and approved with one change.
  • Next Meetings:
  • July 23, 2018, 3PM
  • Documents:
  • Island Towns Guest House Zoning Bylaw Comparison Chart
Meeting adjourned:   4:25PM
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