Town Committee on Squibnocket
July 15, 2014
Chilmark Town Hall Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Present: Jim Malkin (Chair), Allison Burger, Steve Flanders, Billy Meegan, Jane Slater, Janet Weidner, Dan Greenbaum
Also Present: Warren Doty, Margaret Maida, Barbara Lee, David Damroth, Chris Murphy, Wendy Jeffers, Barbara Goldmuntz, Tony Orphanos, Michelle Lasser, Larry Lasser, Jay Walsh, Celeste Damon, Kent Damon, Wendy Weldon, Alex Elvin, Martin Hale, others unspecified
Jim Malkin noted that the Chilmark Master Plan, first completed in 1985 and updated a number of times since then, contains possible guidance for the Committee, and asked Marina Lent to post relevant sections on the Committee’s website.
The Committee has reached out to a broad range of groups and individuals to encourage the widest town input and information-sharing early on in the deliberative process of this Committee. So far, the following have indicated their intent to provide a submission: Friends of Squibnocket, Squibnocket Homeowners’ Association, the Squibnocket Pond District Advisory Committee, and Chris Murphy. The Committee asked Marina Lent to send a letter of invitation to all Chilmark Boards, Commissions and Committees inviting them to comment as appropriate in their area of expertise.
Members of the Committee noted that an organization such as the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS) should also be invited. Wendy Weldon stated that the Squibnocket Pond Advisory Committee has a membership, including VCS, the MV Shellfish Group and the Tribe’s Natural Resource department, which goes beyond Chilmark residents because it draws on thematic expertise, not just geographic association with the Pond.
Finance: Janet Weidner reported that there is nothing new to report at this time: Chuck Hodgkinson will keep her apprised of any change in status with regard to the grant money available to the Town for this project.
Data: Dan Greenbaum presented a draft file organization outline to help organize the information that forms the basis of the Committee’s work so that it can be made available to the public via the Squibnocket Project web page on the Town of Chilmark website.
One set of files would contain the basic information such as the proposals, and the experts’ reports. This file would also include questions regarding the proposals, identification of data needs, and requests for
additional information. A separate set of files would contain the base data (physical conditions,
land ownership, existing regulations and constraints, etc.).
Another important element of the files would contain descriptions and analyses of the principal components of the proposals (access road, parking, beach, etc.), and the the analyses of the impacts of these components. Included in the latter files would be a record of the development of the study process, including the establishment of evaluation criteria.
Committee activity and letters/comments would have a separate file area, but would be cross-referenced in the project components or other appropriate files.
The last file would contain the final report and recommendations, with drafts and comments/critiques regarding these drafts.
Jim Malkin suggested that the Committee will need funding for staff to set up the proposed system. Selectman Warren Doty indicated that the Board of Selectmen would be willing to receive a request for funding that includes a clear definition of work to be accomplished and hours needed to achieve it. Jim Malkin and Janet Weidner agreed to explore the Committee’s options in this regard.
The DVD of the “Director’s cut” of the movie “Shored Up” will be available to the public through the Chilmark Library.
Regulations: Billy Meegan reported on discussions with Paul Foley of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC), who informed him that the MVC will have jurisdiction as the Squibnocket Subdivision is a Development of Regional Impact (DRI). He also spoke to Paul McKenna of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), and with Kevin Cotelli standing in for Karen Adams of the US Army Corps of Engineers (US-ACE), who noted that the revetment removal with probably fall under require a US-ACE permit. US-ACE will also consult with the Wampanoag Tribe to determine if the project affects historic or cultural resources. In informal discussion, Chilmark Building Inspector Lenny Jason said that a bridge will not considered a structure under our town bylaws.
Questions which Committee members may have arising from information available to the Committee and from presentations heard so far should be sent to Marina Lent. Marina and Jim Malkin will collate the questions to send to the Committee for review prior to being forwarded to presenting organizations or other information sources for answers.
Jane Slater will talk to the Highway Department to determine how often the roadway has had to be repaired, how often it has been breached, and related matters.
Wendy Weldon noted that the Squibnocket Pond Advisory Committee has a wealth of information, and has been extensively involved with the Massachusetts Estuaries Program (MEP), which is undertaking detailed studies of pond water quality.
Jim Malkin reiterated the charge of the Committee to present an option or options regarding Squibnocket to the Town Meeting and the Board of Selectmen. Regarding the two main elements of the Committee’s work, the utility/road access for Squibnocket homeowners, on the one hand, and the town beach/parking area, on the other, he noted that the Committee has not been charged with negotiating solutions. Its charge is to determine alternative option(s) to present. Clearly, determining the most realistic proposal(s) will involve having relevant data at hand, some of it provided by presenters, some sought by the Committee.
Representatives of the Friends of Squibnocket (FoS) noted that, at the request of the Squibnocket Committee, they had withdrawn a request for data which they viewed as critical to determining the details of the proposal they are developing: will the request for data be able to go forward?
Alison Burger and Billy Meegan agreed to look over the FoS information request to integrate the requested data into requests for information to be made to the State.
Minutes of July 8, 2014 were approved.
Next Meeting: Jim Malkin reminded the Committee that there will be no meetings of the Squibnocket Committee during the first two weeks of August. There are no planned presentations for the next Tuesday, July 22nd, s, unless pressing business arises before the end of the week, we will next meet on July 29th to hear the presentation of the Suibnocket Farms Homeowners’ Association.
The meeting was adjourned at 08:59.
Approved as amended, July 29, 2014, 09:05