Final permit secured for Kuehn’s Way

The proposed site for the Kuehn's way affordable housing units. — Phillipe Jordi

After a permitting process that took 11 months, Island Housing Trust secured the final permit for its biggest project to date. On Tuesday, the Tisbury board of health unanimously approved an enhanced denitrification septic system for Kuehn’s Way, a 20-unit, $6.3 million affordable housing project off State Road in Tisbury.

The project was unanimously approved by the Martha’s Vineyard Commision and the Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals in October; however, abutters appealed the project in November as a whole, mainly due to its density, the traffic it would create, and water-quality issues.

But after Tuesday’s meeting with the board of health, Philippe Jordi, executive director of Island Housing Trust, told The Times on Wednesday that he hopes the board of health’s decision will put the project back on course.

“We’re hopeful that the judge will dismiss the appeal,” he said.

An enhanced denitrification system reduces nitrogen loading at a higher rate than a standard Title V septic system, and the town of Tisbury requires these advanced systems in the Lake Tashmoo and Lagoon Pond watersheds — which Kuehn’s Way is a part of — in their new regulations.

“We’re shooting to actually reduce it to 25 percent, or just a quarter of the nitrogen from a typical septic system,” Mr. Jordi said. “So we’re doing better than the regulations require.”

The next step is to finish fundraising — they’re looking to raise another $1 million in private donations — and the organization hopes to receive another $1.7 million in state grants by winter this year, Mr. Jordi said.