MVC will seek comment on draft of revised DRI checklist


The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) will convene a public hearing seeking comments from town boards and members of the public on draft revisions to the MVC’s standards and criteria for developments of regional impact (DRI), generally called the the DRI checklist, which sets out the thresholds that identify development applications that towns must refer to the MVC for possible review, before approving or denying theapplications.

The MVC reviews the DRI checklist every two years. The hearing on the proposed revisions – the 12 version of the draft checklist – will be held Thursday, November 8, at 7:15 p.m.

The MVC has conducted in-depth review of the Checklist, beginning last year, “to respond to public suggestions, to increase clarity, and to better align the checklist with recommendations of the MVC’s Island Plan by increasing protection of significant resources while easing procedures for development proposals without significant regional impacts,” according to a press statement released today by the regional land use planning and regulatory authority.

As an example of the sorts of issues considered be the MVC in its review, Chris Murphy of Chilmark, chairman of the commission, and Doug Sederholm, chairman of the land use planning subcommittee, in an OpED published at today, discuss the commission’s consideration of a suggestion for checklist changes that would add big houses to the list of review thresholds.

“One suggestion made by the West Tisbury Planning Board, the Vineyard Conservation Society, and a few individuals at last year’s public meetings was that the Commission review very large houses,” Mr. London wrote. “It was argued that such houses could have significant regional impacts with regard to issues such as community character and habitat disruption, and that these proposals are often beyond the purview of town board control. Others argued that these issues are best handled at the town level. The [MVC’s land use planning subcommittee] LUPC has recommended that the MVC not include a mandatory threshold for large residential buildings at this time. However, the LUPC recommends that the Commission indicate to town boards that it is receptive to reviewing discretionary referrals for large house proposals, if a town seeks MVC assistance, as the Commission has done on a few occasions in the past.”