Martha's Vineyard Commission

​How to Read Flood and Storm Surge Maps

Flood and Storm hazard maps may be confusing.  There are storm surge maps of inundation from the dangerous surge of rising hurricane waters.  There are flood maps for a nor'easter type of storm.  FEMA produces the flood maps to determine rates for its federally-subsidized flood insurance policies.  Towns (except for Chilmark) use the maps in floodplain regulations to keep the subsidies available.

 Here is a handy 2-sided guide to reading each type of map.                                           ​jat 3/23/18 

RFP for Site Suitability Tool for Affordable Housing

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission is seeking to contract with a software developer possessing experience working with municipalities or government entities to develop a user-friendly, web-based, site suitability tool to identify optimal sites for affordable housing development.  All responses are due no later than April 23, 2018.  Please see the Request for Proposal in its entirety.

lcm 03/19/2018

There's a storm coming.  Flood insurance claim info - FYI

​A link to FEMA's website for policyholders, which includes good information on how to file a claim as well as a link to the NFIP Claims Handbook.                                                           

jat 3/1/18

Flood Insurance Policies in the 2018 Federal Lapse

FEMA announces that, during the 2018 federal lapse in authorization, flood insurance policies will be honored but new ones will not be issued. If you need flood insurance and are involved in an upcoming closing, take note.  This posting is for information only.  (MVC is not directly involved in issuing these policies.)  Update 1/23/18:  Reprieve until February 8;   Update 2/19/18:  Reprieve until March 23   FEMA's Reauthorization page

​jat 1/22/18

Permanent Traffic Counters

The MVC was given funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to plan and implement a permanent count station program. Permament count stations are automated traffic counters that provide digital data on traffic conditions in real time. The Commission has funds to install six counters in various locations.


lcm 2/8/18

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.

lcm 10/05/17

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!


​jat 9/26/17 

Herbicide Spraying

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:

For more information, please contact Executive Director, Adam Turner his assistant Lucy Morrison.

lcm 9/20/17

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.                           

jat 7/25/17

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.

DRI Checklist (Version 13)

DRI Referral Form

Summary of Changes

lcm 5/23/2017 

Housing Production Plans - Draft Reports Released

A Housing Production Plan (HPP) is a proactive strategy for planning and developing moderate and community housing that meets the 10% Chapter 40B State Housing Inventory (SHI) target per Massachusetts Housing and Community Development (DHCD) guidelines. HPPs that are certified by the DHCD help towns meet their moderate housing goals.

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.

Aquinnah   Chilmark   Edgartown   Oak Bluffs   Tisbury   West Tisbury   Island-Wide Executive Summary

To view all meeting materials click here.  Click here to visit the Housing Production Plan webpage.

cls 2/1/2017

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.



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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