Martha's Vineyard Commission


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​Thank you for your support at Living Local.  See you next year.

MVC is a proud sponsor of the annual Living Local festival that was a raging success last Saturday.  MVC Coastal Planner and Living Local board member Jo-Ann Taylor discussed resiliency with many, many Islanders and visitors. Former MVC intern Emma Green-Beach illustrated watersheds with Water Alliance member Gail Tipton. 














Public Hearing to be Continued

The continued public hearing for the proposed Oak Bluffs Water District Solar Farm (DRI 660) scheduled for Thursday September 22, 2016 at 7:15 will be continued to a later date without taking testimony on September 22. Information on the project can be reviewed on the DRI 660 Page on the MVC Website.


Meeting Changed

The previously scheduled Discretionary Referral public hearing for the H.S. Athletic Fields has been cancelled. The project (DRI 352-M4) will be reviewed as a Development of Regional Impact at a later date yet to be determined.The Commission Meeting on September 15, 2016 will now be held at the usual location at 33 New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs.

Housing Production Plans

The Selectmen, Planning Boards and Housing Committees of all six towns are working to create Housing Production Plans (HPP) to help address the Island's housing crisis. Your input is needed over the course of 3 interactive public meetings to help the towns decide how much housing they need and where and how they want to create it? Developing a HPP will require the towns to address some big issues about zoning, density and wastewater.

Come voice your needs and help shape the housing and zoning policies the Island will use to create housing people can afford. SAVE THE DATES BELOW. You can also participate by taking this brief 5 minute survey. Tell us about your housing needs and your priorities and concerns about housing issues: Take The All Island Planning Board Housing Survey

Aquinnah: Mondays at 7:00 on September 19, November 14 and December 12, 2016, Old Town Hall. Community Dinner starts at 6:30.

Chilmark: Wednesdays at 7:00 on September 21, November 16 and December 14, 2016. Chilmark Library in September and November, TBD in December.

Edgartown: Tuesdays at 5:30 on September 20, November 15 and December 13, 2016, Menemsha Room of the Harbor View Hotel.

Oak Bluffs: Wednesday at 4:00 on September 21 Oak Bluffs School Cafeteria. Wednesday November 16 and December 14, 2016, 7:00 Oak Bluffs School Cafeteria .

Tisbury: Thursdays at 6:00 on September 22, November 17 and December 15, 2016, Tisbury Senior Center.

West Tisbury: Mondays at 4:00 on September 19, November 14 and December 12, 2016, Public Safety Building

Food/snacks will be served. The meetings will be professionally facilitated. Here is more information about the meetings and Housing Production Plans.


New Unified Planning Work Program (“UPWP”) and Transportation Improvement Program (“TIP”).

The Martha's Vineyard Joint Transportation Committee has recently adopted a new Unified Planning Work Program (“UPWP”) and Transportation Improvement Program (“TIP”).  These documents outline the island goals, budgets and projects regarding transportation for the next four years.

Please click the following links to view the UPWP and TIP.


Map of the Month - Chilmark Overlay Zoning Map

Our latest series of 'Map of the Month' will focus on each town's Overlay Zoning.  Overlay Zones represent areas having regulations in addition to the town's standard zoning (i.e. Residential, Business, Commercial, etc.).  Some overlay zones are recognized as DCPCs (Districts of Critical Planning Concern) by the MVC.  See Chilmark's Zoning Bylaws (Articles 11 thru 14) for complete regulation details.  To peruse other maps, visit our Map Library.









Martha's Vineyard Commission ("MVC") Developments of Regional Impact ("DRI") Update

For several months the MVC has been working on revisions to the DRI Checklist (the “Checklist”), a sub-committee was established to lead this effort.

The Commission goes through this process every two years.  The revision process has included numerous public meetings at which commentary of DRI issues was heard, the production and review of a staff report that detailed historic DRI records, and documents, and a detailed evaluation of each checklist item.

The sub-committee has made recommendations as to changes in regarding revisions to the Checklist.

These proposals will be discussed in a public hearing on July 21, 2016.

The following documents are available for review:

A.    A detailed report on historical DRI reviews and public comments on the current Checklist,

B.    A marked-up version with deletions and additions made to the current DRI Checklist.

C.   A revised Checklist along with an annotated memo explaining such proposed changes

D.   Mapping used for the Checklist.


If you have questions, please call the MVC for more information or email Adam Turner at turner [at]


Innovative/Alternative Conference

The MVC hosted an Innovative/Alternative Conference on May 12,2016. The goal of this conference was to bring together industry professionals, scientists, policy makers and local stakeholders to discuss the issue of nutrient pollution in our local ponds and estuaries, and to explore various technologies and solutions to this problem. With the wide range of potential solutions discussed, we are confident that our community can prevent further degradation of water quality and take measures to improve the health of our ponds. The MVC will continue to host informational sessions on alternative solutions and we look forward to collaborating to help clean up our waters.  Click below for links to the presentations given at the conference and to MVTV video.

  1. Cleaning Up Our Water
  2. MBR Technology for On-Site Wastewater Systems
  3. A Watershed Nitrogen Mitigation Plan
  4. Permeable Reactive Barriers ("PRB")
  5. frma Onsite Treatment-Amphidrome


 Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Opens to Traffic

Drawbridge AerialWhen the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge opened to traffic on November 24, it was the culmination of a ten-year collaboration between the towns of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury, the Martha's Vineyard Commission, and MassDOT, largely facilitated by the MVC. 

Though there was some controversy in the earliest days about the necessity of building a temporary bridge, the rest of the process was a model of open cooperation. This is mainly as a result of having a standing Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee representing Island interests to speak for the Island in dealings with MassDOT throughout the complex planning, design, and construction process. The Committee succeeded in ensuring that the design harmonized with its surrounding, that landscaping improved open space and waterfront access under and around the bridge, and that environmental impacts were minimized.

Drawbridge Tender HouseTisbury Selectman Melinda Loberg, Chair of the Lagoon Pond Committee, Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel, Oak Bluffs selectman Gail Barmakian, and former MVC Executive Director Mark London, were in were in the first cars to cross the $40-million bridge. 

MassDOT’s contractor Middlesex Corp. is now demolishing the temporary bridge and will complete the landscaping in the spring. 

For further information, go to this web page and/or contact Priscilla Leclerc, MVC Senior Transportation Planner leclerc [at]

Review of DRI Checklist is Underway

The MVC's DRI Checklist consists of Standards and Criteria used to determine when a development is a DRI and must or may be referred to the Martha's Vineyard Commission for review. The standards and criteria relate to a project's likely impact on the environment, traffic, and municipal services, among other factors. 

Every two years or so, the Martha's Vineyard Commission reviews the DRI Checklist to identify whether any of the triggers for referral should be revised. Here is a link to the current DRI Checklist, which went into effect in 2013.

In the fall, the MVC’s Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) held a series of public meetings attended by town officials and members of the public and the Executive Director met town planning boards, building inspectors, and other professionals to get input for the biennial evaluation of the standards and criteria for what should be reviewed by the MVC as Developments of Regional Impact.

At year’s end, the Executive Director was compiling comments, a review of the past decade’s referrals, and recommendations into a report for Commissioners. 

The current Critical Open Space map, referred to under section 8.6 of the DRI Checklist (ver. 12) is available here.

For further information or to give comments, please contact Adam Turner, MVC Executive Director, at turner [at]

See the Title VI and Nondiscrimination Notice of Rights

The Martha's Vineyard Commission Audit is now available, FY2015 Audit Report

Office location:

Office location:

The Stone Building
33 New York Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Telephone: 508-693-3453
Fax: 508-693-7894

Mailing Address

Mailing address:

Martha's Vineyard Commission
P.O. Box 1447
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

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