Yellow House taking moves slowly

There was only one bidder to renovate and lease the Yellow House in Edgartown. — Stacey Rupolo

Edgartown selectmen will have to wait a little longer to begin the process of taking the Yellow House property by eminent domain.

The back-and-forth between lawyers after voters approved $3 million to either buy or take the lot that abuts Edgartown Town Hall has led the town to seek the blessing of bankruptcy court before moving ahead.

The town had a letter from an attorney for Ben Hall Jr., whose family owns the house, on April 13, the same day voters gave their approval of the acquisition. In that letter, the attorney warned the town that the house, which is in disrepair, is part of the bankruptcy proceeding.

An attorney with the Boston firm of Ropes & Gray, which is advising the selectmen, disagreed, so the two sides hashed it out and agreed to get a bankruptcy court’s endorsement, town counsel Ron Rappaport said. “I’ll report back when we’re ready to go,” he said.

Meanwhile, selectmen rejected a proposal to use the lawn at the Anchors, which houses the Edgartown Council on Aging, for the MV Wine Fest.

“It would have to be nonalcoholic wine,” chairman Arthur Smadbeck said. Alcohol is not permitted on the property, and only nonprofits can use Anchors.

Marnely Murray, an organizer of the event, said she was told the rules by the council but was urged to bring it to the selectmen anyway. The lawn was going to be used as a VIP area, where champagne and caviar would have been served, she said.

The event, which is scheduled for May 11 to 14, did receive approval for nine one-day liquor licenses.

In other business:

Selectmen approved a permit for Island Classics Car Rental at 140 Cooke Street. Connor Ahearn has purchased four classic cars, including a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible, all of which will be rented.

The board also approved taking down two shade trees at 85-89 South Summer Street. The trees, a Norway spruce and a sycamore maple, “have seen better days,” and will be replaced by a red maple and a linden tree, Robbie Hutchinson, a landscape designer, told the board.