Greening Your Community: Cost-Effective Low Impact Development Solutions
Mass Audubon recently published several fact sheets to help fast developing communities chart a more sustainable future.
#1 Preserving Natural Resources with Nature Based Solutions delves into land use planning and cost-effective solutions to protect land and water.
#2 Conservation Design focuses on balancing growth and character and includes examples from New England communities.
#3 Low Impact Development Best Management Practices provides a list of tools like green rooves, rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavement and stormwater wetlands.
#4 Local Zoning and Regulations describes how designing regulations to reflect priorities and planning ahead can shape the future of the community.
#5 Urban Water Quality Improvements focuses on impaired waters and remediation techniques, such as hydrodynamic separators, deep sump catch basins and gravel wetlands.
Another Successful Living Local
As a proud sponsor, MVC was a part of yet another successful Living Local on Saturday, September 23. Still growing, the event drew 2500 this year. MVC staff Sheri Caseau, Bill Veno and Jo-Ann Taylor presented displays on the planning efforts of the Commission and were rewarded with considerable helpful feedback. We were happy to have several Commissioners stop by and visit. Thank you, Joan Malkin and Richard Toole!
Pictometry Free Trial Offer for Town & County Employees
For the next 60 days a free trial offer of Pictometry Aerial Imagery is available to all Town and County Employees. The aerial images, acquired in 2002, 2008, and 2017 provide oblique angle & straight down views of the Island. The imagery can be viewed via a desktop computer or mobile device. The images and analysis tools are beneficial to those working in public safety, 911 dispatch, emergency response, and assessing.
If you wish to participate, you must contact the MVC's Cartographer, Chris Seidel, for the log-in details. Please call 508-693-3453 x120 or email your request to seidel[at]mvcommission.org Click the here to view examples of the images.
The MVC has been working with Towns and others to investigate the permitting and spraying of herbicides on the island. This year Eversource plans to apply herbicides along the electric right-of-ways in Tisbury, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. The MVC has corresponded with both Eversource on April 19th and the Department of Agricultural Resources (the State department in charge of approving herbicide applications) on May 16th, June 20th, and July 10th on these issues, and requesting more research on the spraying, given the island’s shallow aquifer and unique State forest. Alternatives are available, including strictly mechanical means of removing the necessary vegetation. Information is found in the following links:
Map of the Month-ish - Lone Star Ticks
Extensive research is being conducted across Martha's Vineyard by wildlife biologist Dick Johnson. Within recent years, the the Lone Star Tick has been spotted on MV. View this document to read the Lone Star Tick Overview and to view a few maps. The document also includes hotlinks to other MV Tick related articles, studies, and maps.
Should you wish to report the discovery of a Lone Star Tick on your property or to have your property surveyed, you may contact Dick at ticksmv[at]gmail.com.
MVC Summer Interns
The MVC extends a huge thank you to our summer interns. We've had a great crew who have worked hard all over the Island. From left to right in the photo below are, Eleah Caseau, Deirdre Kearney, and John Ferguson who worked with our Coastal Planner, Sheri Caseau collecting water samples from the ponds. Next is Natalie Hill who assisted Chris Seidel, our GIS Coordinator, in researching information about our Island's open space and conserved lands. Jessica Wey, supervised by Executive Director, Adam Turner, worked on several projects including Edgartown's Dredging Master Plan, collecting water samples, and reserching sustainability indicators. Lastly, is Ben Hartman, working under the supervision of Dan Doyle & Mike Mauro, our Transportation Planners, has been organizing our traffic count information and collecting additional counts this summer.
Menemsha-Squibnocket Pond Embayment System - Draft Water Quality MEP Report Released
The MEP (Massachusetts Estuaries Project) report provides water quality, nutrient loading, and hydrodynamic information for the Menemsha-Squibnocket watersheds. The report indicates the current nitrogen load within the pond and predicts what additional amount of nitrogen the pond can withstand. Click here to view the report. More information about the Vineyard's coastal ponds can be found on the MVC's website. See the MEP website for more details about their program. This report is produced through a collaboration of the MVC, SMAST, and MassDEP.
Coastal Ponds Status Report
For many years, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and other bodies have been testing island ponds to determine water quality. Test results have been used in various reports, studies and programs including the Massachusetts Estuaries Program. To date, MEP reports have been prepared for eight ponds (Lagoon, Tashmoo, Tisbury Great, Sengekontacket, Farm, Chilmark, Oak Bluffs Harbor and Edgartown Great Pond).
The following chart reflects the data and findings of the most recent testing by the MVC, buildout data, characterization of the pond conditions, specific nitrogen load limits as provided in the MEP reports for the various ponds and other data. It is provided in this form to provide the most recent data to the public. This chart will be updated as new information is available. Other information will be made available on this site as it is reviewed and organized.
Click here to view the Coastal Ponds Status Report. This report was last updated on 3/15/2017 and is subject to change upon future data collection and analysis.
Visit the MVC's Coastal Pond webpage for more information about our ponds.
Please contact the MVC's Water Resource Planner, Sheri Caseau (caseau[at]mvcommission.org) if you have questions about the Status Report.
New Building Code Effective Soon
The Ninth Massachusetts Building Code (780 CMR) will become effective soon (August or September date to be announced). A period of concurrency will follow, when 8th or 9th Code rules may be applied. From January 1, 2018 onward, all building must comply with the 9th Code.
The updated code will include significant differences in flood elevation rules and considerations for high wind areas, among others of particular interest here on Martha's Vineyard. Home and business owners and their consultants should take note. Town review boards and agents should take note.
Click Here for a summary of the changes.
New DRI Checklist and Referral Form
The MVC updated the DRI Checklist with input from towns last summer. The changes were submitted to the State and approved at the end of January. The latest DRI Checklist went into effect on April 15, 2017.
Housing Production Plans - Draft Reports Released
The Martha's Vineyard All Island Planning Board (AIPB) established a Housing Work Group consisting of one representative from each town planning board. Jennifer Goldson and Judi Barrett have been hired to help the Working Group and provide professional planning services to organize and facilitate the HPP process. The Work Group is coordinating the planning process and has created a forum to identify common interests or problems, exchange ideas, develop Island-wide solutions and keep the AIPB and public apprised of their progress. Out of this collaboration, each town has been tasked with creating its own HPP to meet the affordable and workforce housing needs.
Beginning in September of 2016 and through the fall and early winter, a series of 3 HPP meetings were held in each town and an online housing survey was available for residents to provide their feedback regarding housing on the Vineyard.
The consultants have released the Draft Housing Production Plans for each Island town and an Island-wide version. Click the respective link below to view the Draft HPP plans.
Transportation Plans Available
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's goals, budgets and projects regarding transportation for the next four years.
For further information, go to this web page.