Joint Meeting of Aquinnah & Chilmark Selectmen October 19, 2017 Meeting Minutes
Present: Chilmark Chairman Bill Rossi, Jim Malkin, Warren Doty. Aquinnah Chairman Jim Newman, Gary Haley Julianne Vanderhoop was not present. Executive Secretary (Chilmark) Tim Carroll, Town Administrator (Aquinnah) Jeffrey Madison. Chilmark Harbormaster Dennis Jason, (Aquinnah) Police Chief Randhi Belain, (Chilmark) Police Chief Jonathan Klarèn, MV Times reporter Rich Saltzberg & MVTV videographer Lynn Christoffers.
At 12:06 PM Chilmark Chairman Rossi called meeting order in the Chilmark Selectmen’s meeting room. Chairman Rossi said we will be discussing the Menemsha Pond dredging project and next seasons parking plan for Boathouse Road.
Dredging Menemsha Pond:
Mr. Madison said Juli (Selectman Vanderhoop) asked to discuss any issues regarding the dredging and the sand removal but was unable to be here today. Chairman Rossi spoke for the Board stating we are very pleased with the sand arrangement and the contractor managing the dredging is handling it very professionally.
Mr. Maddison asked if Chilmark was notified of the arrival and parking needs the dredging company prior to their arrival. Mr. Madison said personally he was not prepared for their arrival as he was just starting as Town Administrator. Mr. Malkin confirmed that the dredging company has been very good at communicating with the Harbormaster and Tow of Chilmark.
Mr. Madison said he was happy to hear that.
Mr. Madison asked if all of the sand had been delivered to you that you planned to take from the dredging project. Mr. Doty confirmed we have all the sand we contracted for. Chairman Rossi said a big thank you for that. Aquinnah Chairman Newman said the tribe has footage taken by a drone of the dredging project that you might want to see he said he found it fascinating.
Mr. Doty brought up the question of a summer management plan of Menemsha Pond for summer anchorage. Chairman Newman said we decided and designated an anchorage area. Mr. Malkin confirmed that and also said there is an informational pamphlet that was drafted (by Bret Sterns working with Chilmark harbormaster Jason) to educate the public on our rule and regulations. Mr. Malkin said we have the buoys (to designate anchorage) ready to put into play.
Mr. Madison asked if the Selectmen wanted to review the anchorage plan in the spring to make sure we are all clear on our mutual project. Selectmen agreed it would be a good plan to do so.
Mr. Doty said there are coastal guides that have already listed Menemsha Pond as a destination for boaters.
Parking along Boathouse Road:
Mr. Malkin said parking congestion has become an issue safety and the Creek Lots lessee’s necessity of access to their lots. The hope of today’s get-together is to have Selectmen hear input from our Police Chiefs and come up with a recommendation as to what to do for next summer.
Chilmark Police Chief Klarèn said he thought Tim Carroll came up with a good draft (overview map of Boathouse Road with overlay parking plan was distributed). Chief Klarèn thought the 10 parking spaces (shown on draft map) might be optimistic he thought 8 to 9 cars would be more realistic. Chief Klarèn said one vehicle per Creek Lot Lease would probably be a good plan.
Mr. Malkin asked if the Police Chiefs would say this parking as it exists prior to any plan is a public safety issue in the summer. Chief Klarèn said it could be. Though to date (Chief Klarèn recollection) we have not had a pedestrian hit, because the vehicles do go very slow in this area.
Mr. Carroll said no one tries to park on the channel side of Boat House Road, though at the end by Alfred’s old shack there has been a dump truck there on occasion. Mr. Carroll spoke about the layout of the area with the draft plan he supplied.
Mr. Doty said the commercial fishing lots in Chilmark need one parking place each. But the Aquinnah Lot lessee’s that are charter companies often have their cars and their customer’s cars. Mr. Doty said he believed that Book-a boat owner also had an assistant who parked there too, so how does that all work out.
Mr. Carroll said one of the problems this summer was the Book-a Boat had 2 cars parked there very often so it got tight for space. Then the person in Alfred’s shack would park on either side of the road with a dump truck and we had some pilings lying down in front of the telephone pole causing real congestion. Mr. Carroll said if each of the lots has a parking place it can be the lessee’s discretion if they want to allow a customer that spot as long as they park off site with their vehicle.
Mr. Carroll said each of the model “vehicles” on his map represent 8 feet wide by 21 feet long, which should accommodate a pickup truck. Mr. Carroll said from his talks with Chief Klarèn he has marked some yellow bounds outlined with red for location for signage. The signage would help delineate areas and help to clear any questions about our parking policies; and this is an area for your discussion and direction.
Mr. Carroll suggested 8 parking permits for 8 parking areas and that it would not necessarily mean you would get in front of your building but a space would be reserved. And vehicles without a permit would be ticketed by traffic officers. Mr. Carroll said this joint parking plan (whatever parking plan you choose) needs to be adopted by both towns and will need clarification and mutual understanding for enforcement to work effectively.
Mr. Haley said that the parking placards that hang on the rearview mirror make sense and said he supported this for Aquinnah.
Chief Klarèn said this plan could work as long as all of the lease holders in both towns are notified individually of the policy adopted by the town Selectmen.
Mr. Doty said speaking specifically about the area down towards the Galley (referenced on the handout) you might have Chip or Buddy decide to park there or Hollis or Jennifer decide to park there; that is 4 spaces and the space that says Vanderhoop that is reserved for Chip is already occupied by a friend of his. So you have 2 spaces available for 4 vehicles.
Mr. Carroll said the areas surrounded in back (on the handout) are fungible. They can park anywhere along that side of the road. Mr. Carroll said the question is whether you would issue a parking placard to Denny Jason and Chip Vanderhoop because they already have a designated parking in there lots and should not need a roadside spot.
Mr. Malkin said the other thing we need to do is re-draw the line at the corner of the Galley and communicate this with Frank Fenner. Mr. Carroll said for the benefit of Aquinnah who may not know except for the footprint of the Galley all that land is town operated. Mr. Doty said they have a big dumpster. Mr. Carroll said they have propane and a “wart” (entryway) on the side of the building that used to be for a lift to get to the second story. Mr. Carroll said the town has permitted the “wart” and the septic tank, the rest is negotiable as its town owned land.
Mr. Carroll said you (Selectmen) can reshape that corner however you want, but traditionally they have had at least a vehicle there. Mr. Doty said if we have an understanding from the businesses on the Aquinnah side (lot holders) that their customers park elsewhere. Mr. Malkin said or each business knows that they have 1 (one) parking space they can offer to customer if lot holder parks elsewhere.
Chief Belain said they (Aquinnah) do something similar but it’s not a hanging placard is a card that they can interchange with themselves. Sometimes it’s the lease holder sometimes it’s their guest. Mr. Malkin said hanging placard from rearview mirror is clearly visible.
Mr. Madison said these are all good ideas now we need to decide what our joint policy will be.
Discussion on policy took place. Mr. Malkin moved to adopt the following policy. That there are parking placards that hang from the rearview and there are 8 issued. Chairman Rossi seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 5 Ayes 1 (Juli Vanderhoop) not present
Mr. Malkin conditioned our policy to have a mandatory notice to all the lease holders from both towns informing them of this and how the process will work.
Chairman Rossi recommended that Mr. Carroll and Mr. Madison work on drafting the letter (notice to lease holders). Chief Klarèn requested that each of the lease holders sign a form confirming receipt of parking placard and policy.
Mr. Carroll further suggested that its permit parking between certain hours. Mr. Carroll said most charter boats and commercial fishermen are back by 4:30 PM every day. Mr. Malkin asked Mr. Carroll to explain his recommendation. Mr. Carroll said from 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM placard parking only for the signage.
Mr. Malkin said what about when a lease holder wants to come back to work on their shack. Chief Klaren recommended checking with the lease holders. Mr. Malkin said we might want to post signage that says permit parking only from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Mr. Carroll said it’s critical for the businesses to be able to use the parking during the hours of operation.
Mr. Carroll said he will work with Mr. Madison to write out the plan to bring back to the Selectmen for approval.
Mr. Doty spoke about shell fishing; saying that Chilmark has set our scallop season already. Mr. Doty said Family recreational season began October 1, 2017 but we kept Quitsa (Nashaquitsa) Pond closed for dragging for the recreational permits because of our eelgrass restoration. Mr. Doty said we are opening up our commercial scallop season November 20, 2017.
Mr. Doty asked how Aquinnah scallops are doing. Mr. Madison said he did not think anyone had been out to look yet but people have been asking him. Mr. Madison said there is supposed to be a meeting about the scallop season and he is unaware if that meeting has already happened or has yet to happen. Mr. Madison said he took it upon himself to tell the person who asked him to take a look and see if we have scallops. Mr. Doty said he has been told that this year scallop is better than last year in Chilmark.
Mr. Doty said Bret Sterns recommended talking together and coordination between our towns and tribe about the shell fishing. Mr. Doty said we (Chilmark) and also the tribe have worked hard with the eelgrass restoration and we are hoping to allow the extra time for that project (allow eelgrass to seasonally die back) before allowing scallopers to drag.
Mr. Carroll said (having looked online to selectmen’s agenda packet) Chilmark commercial scallop season in Menemsha Pond starts December 1, 2017. And commercial scallop in Nashaquitsa & Stonewall Ponds starts November 20, 2017.
Mr. Carroll said no one should be commercial fishing scallops along Aquinnah borderline till December 1, 2017.
Mr. Madison said he wanted to bring up a subject that was not on our agenda but since both town selectmen are together he would like to have discussion. Mr. Madison said Aquinnah had a discussion with Hue Taylor about the expansion or reversion of his lease lot across from the Galley for the bike ferry. Mr. Madison said Mr. Taylor came into the Selectmen’s meeting about a month ago with some pictures of long-ago that show an expanded dock area down here (referencing the handout plan Mr. Carroll had distributed for the parking discussion) and his intention is to re-apply for permission to rebuild the dock area as it was shown in the long-ago photos. Mr. Madison said the photos are pre-hurricane of 1938. Mr. Taylor has had some discussion with the DEP about the permitting process to re-build that structure.
Mr. Carroll said a Chapter 91 permit and a Conservation Commission permit would be the process. Mr. Doty said if it remains a bike ferry the parking problem is not a big deal but if it goes back to having the Arabella (catamaran) with sunset cruses then the parking becomes a big deal. Mr. Malkin asked for clarification as he thought that that area was designated for commercial fishing. Mr. Carroll said there is a State statute that transferred it to the towns and it has to be, all of the State lands from the Galley out to the Coast Guard are supposed to be held/reserved for commercial fishing. Mr. Carroll said he will send Mr. Madison a copy of the statute. Mr. Madison said that would be helpful.
Mr. Madison said he was pleased with the cooperative spirit here and will work to continue that.
Mr. Carroll said the Menemsha agreement between Aquinnah and Chilmark is when we lease things out or whenever there is dock work we are to talk and send information and copies back and forth. Each town gets to pick who they want to pick but they are then supposed to send to the other town for them to look at.
Mr. Carroll said pertaining to Book-a-boat that was a plan Chilmark tried to reject (and did 3 times) because it was not a commercial fishing operation. Aquinnah responded that it was part of the commercial waterfront district zoning but that had no bearing on what we were talking about the state law stating the area is for commercial fishing only.
Mr. Doty said from his point of view; Aquinnah does what it sees fir to do with these leases and as it concerns Menemsha. The issue of parking; so when you have a business here that has six customers and each of them arrives in a separate car that is a problem. When you have a sunset cruse with 20 to 30 people at our busiest time of the day that a real parking problem. But if that business arranges for a shuttle to bring people from somewhere else that is not a problem.
Mr. Carroll said concerning the land swap at our town line in the Boathouse Road area the surveyor said there may be a little glitch in an area that may have been in land court property at the time. Mr. Carroll said it’s not a real big deal it just means a different set of paperwork. The little triangle at the point of the USCG Boathouse and Alfred’s shack looks like it’s part of the remainder deed of a land court parcel that we (Chilmark) owns which when we build the Drive on Dock so it’s not a big deal. Mr. Carroll said we could grant an easement in writing but that would require a town meeting vote. The Selectmen could give a license but you can’t carve it off without going to land court and paying big fees. Mr. Carroll said he doesn’t think it’s an issue. Mr. Carroll said but if we are (each
town) are going to be driving piles (as the discussed triangle is mostly underwater) we need to communicate with each other about our projects.
Selectmen decided not to act on the discussed triangle and keep up communications of any projects slated for that area in the future. Selectmen (from both towns) supported having meetings quarterly to keep up with important communications.
At 12:55 PM with no further items for discussion Mr. Malkin moved to adjourn. Mr. Haley seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 5 Ayes 1 (Juli Vanderhoop) not present
Minutes respectfully submitted by Diana DeBlase. Approved 11/07/2017
- Handout supplied by Tim Carroll of map of the Boathouse Road area with parking suggestions for reference during discussion.