Martha’s Vineyard Commission sets hearing on new policy

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) will hold a public hearing on a draft policy on site design and landscape at 7:15 pm on Thursday, October 18, at the Commission offices on 33 New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs.

“The proposed Site Design and Landscape Policy seeks to preserve and restore natural habitat and vegetative communities; to preserve and enhance views and vistas; to minimize the environmental and visual impacts of roads, driveways, parking lots, and structures; and to maintain existing topography,” MVC executive director Mark London said in a press release. “The policy has sections on: site layout; roads, driveways, and parking; grading, drainage, and storm water management; vegetation; fencing and stone walls; lighting; and construction and maintenance.”

The proposed policy is one of a series prepared by the MVC as a guide for applicants seeking approval of projects undergoing the commission’s review as developments of regional impact (DRI). The policy may also serve as a guide for town boards as they review projects.

At the MVC’s October 4 meeting, Mr. London told the commissioners that the MVC and Polly Hill Arboretum staffs collaborated in preparing lists of native, Island-appropriate, historic, not recommended, and invasive plant species.The draft policy recommends that plant choices should be selected from native and/or Island-appropriate plants on the list. The Arboretum staff will maintain and update the list, and the most up-to-date version will be available on their website next year.

Mr. London said the MVC also plans to create a public information document on “how to plant the Vineyard way,” as “green pages” for useful information about landscaping.

The draft policy is available online at mvcommission.org with a search for “site design.” Or, request a copy by calling 508-693-3453 or emailing info@mvcommission.org. Written comments about the policy may be submitted to the MVC until October 22.