Chilmark reaches agreement on second Middle Line lot; total for two - $500K
The Chilmark board of selectmen last week capped their efforts to provide improved access to a municipal, affordable housing project on Middle Line Road with the announcement that they had concluded another land deal.
Earlier this month selectmen announced an agreement to buy a .80-acre lot owned by Beverly Gillis Jaksa at a cost of $275,000, and said they were near agreement to purchase another.
Friday, selectmen announced they had signed an agreement with Walter Jenkinson Jr. and Blair and Keith Emin to purchase a .70-acre lot for $225,000. Both purchases will need town meeting approval.
The town-funded Middle Line Road project is located in a heavily wooded upland section of Chilmark. Plans call for a mix of three duplex rental units and six one-acre housing lots on approximately 21 acres.
During the initial permitting phase of the project, the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) and the Chilmark planning board expressed concern regarding the entrance off Tabor House Road and asked the town to work to provide a safer access. The MVC approved the plan with a condition that the town provide improved access.
Selectmen said the new entrance would be safer because of the elimination of an embankment and blind spot present in the current entrance.
This week, the town filed a revised subdivision plan with the town planning board. A public hearing is scheduled for 4:30 pm on Feb. 11.
That plan is also back before the Martha's Vineyard Commission. The MVC's land use planning committee will review the revised plan at 5:30 pm Monday.
Assuming the project passes muster, the next phase will include permitting review by the town's board of health, conservation commission and zoning board of appeals. Selectmen expect to call a special town meeting to seek voter approval of the land purchases and the revised subdivision plan.
Selectmen expect to present plans for the entire project at the annual town meeting this spring.
The project dates back to a special town meeting in October 2003. Voters approved a proposal to re-designate the 20-acre town land originally acquired in 1951, once intended for use as a dump, for general municipal purposes including affordable housing. The article included language that required any plan be approved at town meeting.
At the first public presentation of the Middle Line project draft plan in Feb. 2005, John Abrams of South Mountain Company in West Tisbury and one of the project designers in a consortium led by the Island Housing Trust presented a recommended plan that called for three developer-built duplex apartments buildings and six developer-built houses divided in three clusters, each on a five-acre lot. The plan retained some property for future town use.
But after hearing concerns from abutters and others concerning density and privacy, the committee, working with consultants, developed a third plan that uses all of the land by creating three 7.1-acre parcels on which to site a mix of six rental apartments and six ownership houses.
However the Island Housing Trust proposal raised concerns about the potential costs to the town and legal issues surrounding the use of community preservation act funds. In May 2006 the Chilmark selectmen started fresh. They decided to use a two-step approach designed to provide town officials with detailed plans tied to cost estimates they could present to voters.
In October 2006 the town began moving ahead with the permitting process. At the same time David P. Handlin of Chilmark, principal in the architectural firm of Handlin, Garrahan, Zachos and Associates of Cambridge, agreed to provide surveying and architectural design services. Mr. Handlin is providing his services at no charge to the town.