Town Committee on Squibnocket
October 31, 2014
Chilmark Town Hall Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Present: Jim Malkin (Chair), Allison Burger, Steve Flanders, Jane Slater, Janet Weidner, Dan Greenbaum, Ron Rappaport
Also Present: Wendy Weldon, Emily Bramhall, Jay Walsh, Chris Murphy, David Damroth, Barbara Lee, Sue Regen, Richard Regen.
Minutes of October 28, 2014 were approved.
Communication from FoS LLC: Jim Malkin opened the meeting to discuss recent communication signed by four members of the FoS LLC which appears to present the Committee with an ultimatum indicating that land which would be of interest for parking or an access road would only be made available in connection with the implementation of the dune solution proposed by the FoS. He asked the Committee for reaction and guidance. He stated he felt it was time to become proactive, rather than reactive. Dan Greenbaum expressed concern that this approach undermines the process if it seeks to limit the Committee’s options to only one of the many proposals considered, and that this approach would not reflect the intent of the Town Meeting’s directive to the Committee.
Steve Flanders expressed agreement with Jim Malkin; Janet Weidner strongly supported Dan’s point in that the Committee is intended to be able to review a wide range of options and pick the best option or best combination of elements for a solution. Jane Slater voiced indignation at the idea that the Committee’s effort to thoroughly review all possible avenues towards a solution should be discounted in this manner. Allison Burger also stated her understanding that the Committee was asked by the Town to review a range of options and develop a recommendation. Ron Rappaport suggested that the Committee should continue its work of examining options and elements of options, and develop the best recommendation for the Town.
Jim Malkin proposed that he would like to send a letter to the four people who had signed the communication, asking them to clarify what they are saying. Secondly, he recalled Chris Murphy’s point that the emergency access route discussed by the Committee running over Great Island would be flooded during an emergency that impairs regular access, and that therefore, an emergency access further to the west should be considered. Jim Malkin has drafted a letter to members of the Blacksmith Valley Association and abutters who would be involved in the possible creation of an alternate emergency access route further to the north- west. In addition, Jim Malkin suggested sending a letter to Peter Weldon to explore options for Weldon properties on either side of the Squibnocket Road.
The Board reviewed the three draft letters prepared by Jim Malkin and asked that they be sent out as amended.
The “Big-Weldon” lot east of the Squibnocket Road, and “Little-Weldon” to the west will be added to the matrix as an option for consideration. The Committee discussed possibilities for the property such as the creation of affordable homesite lots (which would enable CPA funds to be used) as well as a truly durable parking lot for Squibnocket Beach. The Committee also noted that drop-off access for handicapped and elders was highlighted as a priority by the Beach Committee and Selectmen.
Janet Weidner proceeded to describe categories to be assessed, such as runoff into the Pond, disturbance to coastal dune, beach access and length of walk, Pond access, and durability of the various options, regulatory approvals required, and visual/auditory impacts.
A scope of work for an Environmental expert to assist the Committee has been sent to three companies; so far, the original bidder has responded. The Board of Selectmen meets on Wednesday and ideally, they can approve a consultant who can begin without delay. The Coastal experts have been given material and questions. A timeline for the Committee’s work will be reviewed at the next scheduled meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, November 5.
The meeting was adjourned at 09:27
Approved on November 18, 2014