The Martha’s Vineyard Commission approved the conditions and plans for employee housing and parking spaces at the Dockside Inn in Oak Bluffs, a key step in the process for the company, known as Land and Wharf Co., to get a necessary business license.
At a meeting last month, selectmen said they wanted the commission process to be completed before they approved the license.
The Dockside plans would provide employee housing to four employees and provide six parking spots. The commission considered the benefits and detriments of how the housing would affect the town, all agreeing it would be beneficial.
The commission made short work of a temporary tower extension request for the AT&T cell tower on Sampson Avenue on Chappaquiddick. The decision comes after AT&T withdrew its application after Edgartown planning board approved it. The problem with the Edgartown vote was that an alternate member of the board, who did not attend all of the hearings on the project, cast a vote.
Robert Strayton, an opponent of the planned tower, has criticized that vote, saying that the board should have known ahead of time that the board member was ineligible to vote.
Jon Elder, a lawyer with AT&T, was at Thursday’s meeting to field any questions the commission had, but commissioners had little discussion before approving the request.
The commission also talked about a plan by UPS and Carroll’s Trucking, but a decision will have to wait at least another week. The proposal is to add an additional 58-foot, 6-inch modular sorting car to the property on 475 Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Rd. and Carroll’s Way in Vineyard Haven.
The modular sorting car would add 12 truck bays to the existing 14, providing increased space to process packages.
Mark Nicotera, a representative for UPS and Carroll’s, told the commission all he was asking for was approval to put in a structure to help handle the estimated 18 percent increase in home delivery over the next three years. He also told the committee the sorting cart would only be temporary, to get them through the busy summer season. Next year Nicotera plans to return to the commission with a large master plan to redesign the entire property to be more efficient.
Some commission members were hesitant to approve the project because there wasn’t an actual drawn-up plan for the sorting cart. Nicotera told the commission he had just found out a few hours before the meeting that the sorting cart was all UPS wanted until the master plan could be designed next year.
Commissioners Josh Goldstein and Clarence “Trip” Barnes, both Tisbury members of the commission, advocated for the approval of the project once Nicotera explained he could draw up the plans for the sorting cart in less than two minutes. “Commerce doesn’t stop,” Goldstein said, explaining how UPS was vital to all Island businesses; “throw these guys a bone.”
Other committee members scoffed at the idea, and said a formal plan needed to be submitted several days before a commission meeting. “We want to help him out, but we need an approvable plan,” Jim Vercruysse, chairman of the commission, said.
The commission decided to hold a meeting next week, to discuss and decide on the proposal, on May 17.