The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) has unanimously approved the Martha’s Vineyard Community Television’s (MVTV) new building.
MVTV, the Island’s cable public access TV station, plans to build a new 6,600-square-foot community media center with studios, classroom space, editing and equipment rooms, and offices at 58 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. The property is between the World Revival Church and the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home.
The MVC designated the building as a development of regional impact. MVTV applied to the MVC for a permit, and it was approved on January 26.
With completion of the DRI process, MVTV closed January 31 on the purchase of the 1.5-acre parcel, which was contingent on the MVC’s approval.
The MVC completed a public hearing on January 19 and fast-tracked it to a post-hearing review by the Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) on January 23. The LUPC voted unanimously to recommend the project’s approval with amended offers from MVTV.
MVTV operates three cable channels and is funded by Comcast, Martha’s Vineyard’s current cable service provider, with five percent of its revenue from Island cable subscribers.
Comcast is currently in negotiations for a new contract with the six Island towns. Edgartown and Tisbury have withdrawn from the talks until the issue of cable service on Chappaquiddick is resolved.
“It’s exciting for MVTV,” board president Anne Lemenager said Wednesday of the MVC’s approval. “We just need Comcast negotiations to finish up so we can get our budget squared away and move onward. We don’t have a timeline yet; we’d like to be in by next winter, but it’s all pending financing.”