MVC concludes Stop & Shop public hearing process

MVC concludes Stop & Shop public hearing process

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The Martha’s Vineyard Commission held its eighth and final public hearing Thursday night before a packed audience. A decision is expected in June.

Marie Laursen, a vocal opponent of the Stop & Shop proposal, expressed her views on the subject to the Martha's Vineyard Commission Thursday night. — Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) concluded the public portion of its review of the Stop & Shop expansion project Thursday night before a roomful of opponents and supporters in the Tisbury senior center.

The MVC agreed to keep the public record open until May 8 for written comment. A decision is expected when the commission meets on June 5.

There was little new in the arguments for and against the project, which has ground through the MVC regulatory process as a development of regional impact (DRI) since July. But there was a new twist — opposition to the plan by two of the three Tisbury selectmen, Tristan Israel and Jon Snyder.

Stop & Shop proposes to consolidate three abutting properties and remove the existing buildings, including its existing store, in order to construct a new two-story, 30,500-square-foot market. The plans also include a parking lot for 41 vehicles in an enclosed area on the ground level beneath the market where trucks would unload.

Tisbury planning board member Tony Peak told commissioners his board had unanimously concluded that it could not support the size of the proposed market.

“At this time, the board has come to the conclusion that the project is too big and relied too much on public space and town resources to satisfy the basic elements of DRI requirements,” Mr. Peak said.

He urged the MVC to deny the Stop & Shop proposal. “The inability of the applicant to modify this plan requires us to look at this proposal, not as a template which may be adjusted to fit within the unique circumstances of this location, but as an absolute, which is incompatible with and inappropriate for the heart of a small New England village.”

Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel said he would like to see a smaller store.

“I would like them to come back with a smaller, more tasteful plan and spend some time in the community and listen to all the sensibilities on all sides of the issue and then come back,” he said. “So I guess I’m urging you to deny this project.”

Tisbury selectman John Snyder said he spoke not as a representative of the town, but from his own personal perspective. “I find this design simply too large,” he said. “It bothers me that there is so much assumed to come from the town and I would also urge that we would go for a redesign, a smaller store, and not approve it as it is.”

West Tisbury resident Carol Gannon Salguero, one of the few voices of support Thursday, said she is a proponent of the new store, size and all.

“I want to speak very strongly in favor of the new Stop & Shop and I don’t object at all to the new design,” she said. “I hope that the commission approves the project and I hope that we can get on with getting a new Stop & Shop.”

Geoghan Coogan of the Edmond G. Coogan Law Office in Vineyard Haven, who represents Stop & Shop, for the final time described the benefits of the project, which he said includes the revitalization of Vineyard Haven.


      1. no, you just need a seat. stay right where you are, let everyone else figure stuff out for you.

        1. I sure hope those people sitting in the seats are not figuring things out for us.

    1. The MVC hears the case for a new store. Not the selectman, right? Or does the planning board hear it too?

      1. I think several boards hear it. the selectmen just get to ask for $1 mil + “mitigation money.” behind closed doors.

        1. The Planning Board vote was 4-0. One member was away, he had some reservations about the project, not sure if he would’ve voted for the letter they gave to the MVC. Also publicly opposed to THIS plan, not to Stop and Shop doing something, are the SSA, two Tisbury Selectmen, the Historic Commission, Tisbury Waterways, at least several members of the Parking Lot Committee, abutters, some Main Street shop owners, some local architects, etc. I suspect the Tisbury representatives to the MV Commission are not happy about this either.

    2. Part of me hopes S&S pulls out and leaves. Let the town deal with another falling down building.

        1. three. the current store with Midnight Farm, the Golden Dragon building, and the old house behind it. they have not yet merged the lots. cunning.

          1. We’re both wrong. Five. I’m counting both current supermarkets if Stop & Shop leaves.

      1. They make too much money there. Leaving isn’t what they’re trying to do by any means.

        1. They are making buckets of money. No lease, low maintenence, why go into debt?

      2. excuse me, Stop and Shop owns that building, not the town. It is they, not the town, that has let it get rundown.

  1. “… listen to all the sensibilities on all sides of the issue and then come back. So I guess I’m urging you to deny this project.”

    Meaning Mr Israel does NOT want people to listen to both sides of the issue.

  2. A nice looking store won’t look good in Tisbury ,the old run down store fits the town
    just fine !

    1. Jeff Baker, you’re just a bitter ole man. Glad you moved your sorry self to Maine where the number of teeth you have are exceptional there. Just go away for once and for all.

    2. Maybe we can get a store that looks all shiny and modern like those disgusting pieces of “architecture” over at Mashpee Commons.

    3. JBaker. You’re up in Maine now as you’ve so eloquently put on past posts.
      Why do you have a say in this? You’re selfish attitude speaks volumes. The island is a better place when one invests in their home.

      1. At least I’M man enough to put my name in my post of MY OPINION,
        I think over 40 years of living on the rock some things do upset me.
        yes I’m not one to sit back when I see self serving people use the law to get what they want . When is voicing your opinion selfish ? Look up
        how V.H. tried to stop bulk gas to the Vineyard,(had a special town meeting to stop it) yes I fought the town on this and the SSA (it was ok to bring propane and LOX for the hospital on the same boat( the Islander) but we could not bring bulk gas the way it comes today at your house .) and
        your wrong I invested a lot of my time and money to be green,(I was off the grid for five years why don’t you try it !) I want to thank the M.V. Times for deleting the personal attack by friendofthewife, this will be my last post i will not waste my time any more on this . Last straw
        was when I was denied a TRIAL BY JURY , for a permitted use,my friends know what happend,maybe i”ll write a book and show the ugly side of M.V. some day !

        1. You proved to me why you are selfish. You want to see the destruction of a town, not only by your posts on this topic but others as well, because you claim you were not afforded the same as others.

          So if they can’t have something then I will bash thy neighbor by seeing the destruction of the town that “wronged” me. If you were denied a trial by jury for a permitted use of which I have no knowledge about your issue, then you should have corrected the error and hired a good lawyer to fight your injustice.

  3. Could you possibly find ANY location on the island worse for a large store and a lot of traffic? I don’t think you can.

      1. yes, and I understand that if you want the big store experience you can go to Edgartown.

      2. 10 acres? Thats 432,000 sqft. Way more than needed, but no one is proposing another site. And an in town grocery store of an appropriate size is just fine.
        So instead of tilting at imaginary windmills why not focus on the proposal at hand and control the ovredevelopment of the downtown village of vineyard haven.

      3. While ten acres is way way more than needed in a way it would be a lot better if it wasn’t at the single busiest and most important intersection on MV. It was also be safer.

  4. This is absurd. Imagine if your neighbor let his house become a piece of crud then went over to you and said “Well. My house is a piece of crud now so now I get to build a palace right next to you about 7 times bigger than it was on the same lot”. It doesn’t work that way folks. It’s a non-sequitor. You don’t get rewarded for letting your home fall into ruin.

    1. Except it’s not the same lot. Additional property was purchased by Stop & Shop. Besides, “your house” is a piece of crud.

          1. With this thing? Um no. I don’t see how sitting in your car for 45 minutes going from the hospital to Cronigs (because let’s face it you’re never getting in that parking garage with 45 spots or a million spots or whatever it is) is a great way to save the neighborhood.

          2. Then Tisbury and the rest of the Vineyard should stop their whining and make the honest effort to fix five corners, the intersection of State and Edgartown roads, and the Edgartown triangle. Until then, there isn’t the justified right to claim this would destroy the so-called character of the Vineyard.

          3. VH voted down the connector road and I don’t recall other towns pledging a dime to help in that endeavor even though it was clear it would benefit other towns, so the other towns probably shouldn’t be claiming VH needs to build that. They had their chance and blew it. Maybe if other towns feel it’s important enough to contribute to that project we can take it up again….after a new school is built, because that is where the priority is right now in VH. The Edgartown triangle is Edg’s issue. Nobody is stopping them. I would be more than happy to support a study for fixing five corners. Not sure how well it would work to close that thing for construction. The character of the island took a very big hit years ago when certain presidents decided to come here every summer to raise money. Once that happened there were way too many cars in way to small an area….then the SSA retired the Islander and got an even bigger boat. Then people started saying there wasn’t enough housing. Nobody is saying the S+S destroyed the island character, just that it isn’t entitled to do so even more, simply because other factors ruined it first. I get that it’s 35 minutes right now in the summer between the hospital and Tisbury, and that this isn’t S+S’s fault. But that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to bump it up to 45 minutes, because they need to make more money.

          4. Whatever character the island had, it was lost by the proliferation of summer rentals. Meaning it’s was the property owners.

          5. Right. Some celebs came here and demand went through the roof. The cost of living went up, so people started renting to be able to send their kids to college and make a buck. Then people didn’t want to leave. Now supposedly we need a lot of affordable housing. The demand for more and bigger won’t go away, but if we try to meet it we will lose what we have, and we’ll just be a crowded island…like Manhattan or something.

    2. Talk about a piece of crud, look at Ted Box’s night mare that we have to look at every single day and which was suppose to be outta there long ago! What were the selectmen thinking? That guy abused the privilege of allowing him to use that prime piece of property! Tell me is is not disgusting regardless what they did there 200 years ago! Now that is a piece of crud! I will vote for any selectman / select-person who will vow to clean up that whole beach road and not vote for anybody who wont! I would love see the Bochs’ be allowed to do something nice with it FINALLY!

  5. This whole thing where Tisbury is a run down looking town is getting old. As opposed to what? Oak Bluffs? It looks like it has looked for a while. What do people want it to look like? Paris? Brooklyn? Some cruddy strip mall in Connecticut? I’d rather it look more like Menemsha or Aquinnah than New Bedford or Fall River. I guess everything has to look like Wareham or something now. Quick. Let’s get the aluminum siding now because some yuppies got too cool for shingles.

    1. I agree with all you said except it’s not just yuppies. Read the bylaws. I don’t think the town has the right to dictate what building materials they use. It’s not pretty, but whose are they? It’s not the town’s fault that property along Beach Road looks “run down.”

  6. This forum really seems to bring out polarized views on just about every topic.
    Is it true that S&S is simply hoping to clean up add 6,000 sqft to a crowded and run down store and I assume update it’s infrastructure to more energy efficient systems and contribute 1.somerhing to help mitigate several major issues for the town? Will adding 6,000 more sqft most of which it seems will just “un cramp” the shopping experience really change much of what goes on in the area? It would be nice if they worked more with local growers and farmers – but there are lots of good options and cost effective grocery choices there and you can save a lot on gas with their points program. People should a choice on where to shop – competition is a good thing

    1. Not true. They are increasing the square footage by 180% by including Midnight Farm, the Golden Dragon, and the lot the old house sits on, to over 27,000 sq. ft. + because they bend the numbers every which way. It is not that crowded. But it is rundown, because they let it get that way.
      Yes, I agree we have good choices. So, if you want the big store shopping experience, go to Edgartown.

  7. I am tired of people complaining about Stop & Shop’s desire to enlarge their store. What is the big deal? No one is a neighbor to this store! The nearest home is west of Main Street! So Tiskid, your analogy is preposterous. If the MVC approves the expansion, this store will still be far smaller than the Edgartown store, which is also about half the size of the Falmouth store. I agree with the MV Times editorial last week, which argued that the SSA is the traffic problem at 5 Corners, not the S&S.

    1. James,

      Your lack of actual facts is astounding.

      1. Cromwell Lane has neighbors to the store, as well as the other businesses in that area.
      2. The store will be larger than Edgartown by 5,000 sqft., and this is not including the 19,000 sqft parking garage.
      3. The SSA contributes traffic only when boats arrive. It is also our lifeline to the mainland, and claiming it should move so Stop & Shop can have free reign to the area is foolish.
      4. The biased editorial last week was pure drivel.

  8. Well, just another reason to stay out of Vineyard Haven — its depressing to see how ugly that section of town has become.