Oak Bluffs condo gets Martha's Vineyard Commission nod
The Martha's Vineyard Commission has approved a redesigned plan for a 12-unit condominium building at 114 and 116 Dukes County Avenue. The redesigned building, now sporting a mansard roof, won the support of eight commissioners at their April 9 meeting. Only one commission member was opposed. Voting in favor were Jim Athearn of Edgartown, John Breckenridge of Oak Bluffs, chairman Christina Brown of Edgartown, Peter Cabana of Tisbury, Jim Powell of West Tisbury, Doug Sederholm of Chilmark, and vice-chairman Linda Sibley of West Tisbury. Voting against the project was Andrew Woodruff of West Tisbury.
The development, submitted by Donald Muckerheide, involves demolishing the current structure on the property and constructing a 12,276-square-foot, three-story building on the quarter-acre lot. The building would house 12 two-bedroom condominiums, measuring 784 square feet each. The commission agreed to Mr. Muckerheide's offer to sell the units for no more than $350,000 each, with severe restrictions on short-term rentals.
The Martha's Vineyard Commission's review process lasted nearly a year, with four distinct redesigns submitted by Mr. Muckerheide. Public hearings stretched over eight separate evenings, from July 17 to the final hearing last Thursday. The staff report on the project was revised a dozen times.
"The commission finds that this is a good location for multi-family dwelling because of its proximity to downtown, access to services, and historic parks," the commissioners said in their written decision. They wrote that the project would have a moderate impact on traffic and scenic values, an uncertain impact on the supply of low or moderate income housing, and a minor impact on municipal services. The commission also found that the development would have a minimal impact on the environment. Conditions of approval include installation of a system to collect storm water runoff, and connection to the town sewer system.
The sewer issue caused a tempest among Oak Bluffs wastewater commissioners. According to wastewater commissioner Joe Alosso, Mr. Muckerheide was granted a sewer permit for 19 bedrooms on May 17, 2007. Usually, that permit would expire in one year, but the clock stopped on April 24, 2008, once the Martha's Vineyard Commission began its review. Once the Martha's Vineyard Commission's decision is recorded, he has 23 days left before the wastewater permit expires, and would likely need an extension or a new permit.
The 19-bedroom limit is noted in a series of staff reports on the project, and Mr. Alosso said he informed the staff of the impending conflict before last Thursday's meeting.