Oak Bluffs selectmen confront harbor noise


Oak Bluffs selectmen considered a new outdoor music policy at their Tuesday meeting, but finally settled on a stopgap measure that effectively rules out amplified bands at harbor restaurants until selectmen revisit the issue at their next meeting, on June 14.

Selectman Gail Barmakian proposed a new policy banning all amplified outdoor entertainment, except by special permit. Her proposal would allow for televisions and background music, with the board of selectmen to determine “at its sole discretion unreasonable noise.”

Harbor bar owners and musicians objected to the proposal and offered to compromise by featuring acoustic music until 11 pm, and only background music after that.

Unable to agree on a policy, selectmen voted 4-0, with one abstention, Michael Santoro, to ban any amplified music for the next three weeks.

Also Tuesday, selectmen approved warrant articles for a June 21 special town meeting. Among them are $216,000 in year-end transfers between town accounts. Of that amount, voters are asked to transfer $106,000 from the town’s stabilization or “rainy day” fund. The transfers will cover a variety of unexpected or unbudgeted costs for the current fiscal year, including $142,000 in extra health insurance costs for employees.

Selectmen approved a plan to expand Sharky’s Cantina on Circuit Avenue to include an outdoor patio across the “arcade” entrance from Circuit Avenue to the Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association campground, in the building where the restaurant’s bathrooms are now located. The new facility will include four outdoor tables and an indoor private dining room.

Also Tuesday, selectmen rejected an application to allow Segway Tours to operate in Oak Bluffs. They also licensed a tattoo business at 55 Circuit Avenue, contingent on health inspections.