Vineyard Nursing Association move approved by MV Commission


After five years, the Vineyard Nursing Association (VNA) is one step closer to achieving a permanent home at 29 Breakdown Lane in Vineyard Haven.

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) voted unanimously on October 6 not to review the VNA’s proposal to relocate its operations to the property and renovate the building. The commissioners also voted to accept the VNA’s modifications as specified in a site plan and in offers.

“It certainly was a relief to get through that part of the process,” VNA chief executive officer Robert (Bob) Tonti said in a phone conversation with The Times yesterday. “We’re now scheduled to go in front of the various town boards, and we expect that to go reasonably smoothly.”

The VNA is a certified home health care organization on Martha’s Vineyard that provides skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and personal care.

The agency moved to 457 State Road in June 2006 from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, because of impending hospital construction, and then moved again in 2008 to its current offices at 15 Merchant’s Court.

The VNA announced an agreement on the Breakdown Lane property with interior design business owner Julie Robinson last May.

Because the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) had already permitted the property as a development of regional impact (DRI), the VNA’s proposed modifications triggered an automatic referral to the commission in September under the rule, “once a DRI, always a DRI.”

Since then, the VNA worked with the town of Tisbury and MVC staff to solve the two issues the MVC considered key, nitrogen loading from the property’s wastewater into the Lake Tashmoo watershed and parking.

Mr. Tonti said with completion of the MVC process, “We’re hoping to close on the new property as soon as possible.”

The VNA will schedule its move in 2012, once it takes ownership of the property, receives approvals from town boards, and completes renovations to the building, he said.