MVC approves Alliance Community Church expansion


The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) voted 10-3 on Sept. 18 to approve an expansion proposed by the Alliance Community Church.

The size and use of the church, located in a residential Oak Bluffs neighborhood on Ryan’s Way off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, have been the subject of an ongoing debate between neighbors and church representatives ever since the MVC first approved plans for a 150-seat chapel on the second floor of the existing building and a 28-child daycare center on the bottom floor in 2008.

Last year the church requested a modification to that plan, which the MVC denied in December based largely on concerns about the impact the expansion would have on the residential neighborhood on Ryan’s Way. Church representatives submitted a new DRI application with a reduction in the addition’s square footage and roof height in April this year.

Plans call for a 3,920-sq.-ft. addition and a 22-foot-high gable roof. The first floor would house the church sanctuary, and the second floor an apartment for a caretaker and family. The site plan was also changed, so that the building and parking are set further back from Ryan’s Way.

The MVC approved the DRI with many conditions offered by the church, including no outside amplification of music, composting toilets, and limits on hours of activities and service days and times.