MVC considers Mansion House Inn plans
Plans by the owners of the Mansion House Inn to modify some existing rooms triggered a hearing in front of a subcommittee of the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) which had previously reviewed the inn as a development of regional impact (DRI).
Susan and Sherman Goldstein, co-owners of the Vineyard Haven inn located on Main Street appeared before the MVC's land use planning committee (LUPC) Monday night to describe their plan to convert 8 two-bedroom suites into 16 guest rooms. Under the policy of once a DRI, always a DRI, the LUPC makes an initial recommendation about whether any change requires full MVC review.
Since the inn's expansion underwent review in 2002, the LUPC members debated whether the proposal falls within the regulatory framework of the previous DRI decision or should be forwarded to the Vineyard's powerful land use regulatory body for new DRI review.
Ms. Goldstein said in a phone call yesterday that after three years in operation, they found their patrons want more economy bedrooms with Queen-sized beds. She said that while the number of guest rooms to rent would increase, the number of bedrooms would not.
The rooms currently feature what Ms. Goldstein calls a "Pullman kitchen" with a sink. The Goldsteins propose to remove the kitchens and replace them with bathrooms.
Since the project already underwent DRI review, several commissioners Monday night said they did not think the proposal should be a new DRI.
The issue was timely because the MVC has recently been discussing revamping its DRI checklist to clarify when a change to an existing DRI should trigger a full review.
Under a new interpretation proposed by the LUPC and due to be discussed tonight, a property already approved as a DRI would not evolve into a new DRI but would instead return for review.
On a motion by Oak Bluffs commissioner Richard Toole, the LUPC recommended not to refer the room renovations as a DRI because it was an inconsequential change.