MVC gets an earful from Edgartown selectmen

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Edgartown selectmen expanded upon their opposition to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) including big private homes in the checklist that could trigger MVC review.

Selectman Michael Donaroma, a former MVC chairman, asked current MVC chairman Chris Murphy Monday about the commission’s checklist review and the possibility that large houses might be included in the next revision.

Mr. Donaroma cited a draft of a set of conditions that would trigger a review of private homes, “all of which horrify me.”

“Several other town committees asked us to look into how to deal with large houses,” Mr. Murphy replied. “No one is suggesting yet that the commission will take on private homes. Yes, it’s on the table. Is it likely going anywhere, no.”

The selectmen also asked that the MVC let town boards and committees handle review of more local projects.

“I agree with you, we’ve all gotten more sophisticated,” Mr. Murphy said. “Edgartown is doing a good job of dealing with those now.” Mr. Murphy said he favored increasing thresholds, including square footage, to allow projects to proceed through town regulatory systems, rather than the commission.

Also Monday, selectmen endorsed the first step in a proposed expansion of the town’s historic district.

Historic district commission chairman James Cisek outlined an 18-month process that includes public hearings, approval by the planning board, selectmen, town meeting, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

“We’re endorsing the process, not the plan,” chairman Art Smadbeck said.

In other action Monday, selectmen accepted the resignation of water commissioner Bill Erickson. Water commissioners and selectmen will elect a new commissioner on December 11.

Selectmen also hosted a ceremony to honor John and Judith Tankard. The historic district commission recognized the couple for the historic renovation of their home at 16 School Street.