Airport commissioners approve new gas station plans

The vacant lot in the Airport Business Park where a gas station, convenience store and car wash are proposed. - Rich Saltzberg

On the recommendation of their Land Use Subcommittee, the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission voted 3-1 in favor of approving construction plans for North Line Shell, a gas station-convenience store-car wash plaza at Airport Business Park Lot 33, site of the recently razed Airport Mobil.

The Thursday-afternoon decision cued up Depot Corner Inc., the lessee of the lot, for further review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. The proposed Shell station will include a 2,925-square-foot convenience store, a 792-square-foot car wash, and three subterranean fuel storage tanks with an aggregate capacity of 37,000 gallons.

Clarence “Trip” Barnes was the lone dissenter. Mr. Barnes argued vehemently for the inclusion of oil-change facilities at the station.

“I can’t vote for this unless it’s in there,” Mr. Barnes said. “That’s what was there before, and that’s what should be on there now.”

Lou Paciello, Depot Corner president, said there is insufficient volume. “In my business plan, it does not make money,” he said.

Tetra Tech engineer Ron Myrick later summarized a pre-decommissioning inspection report of the former Airport Mobil that had been asked for by airport manager Ann Richart.

“No evidence of groundwater impacts associated with the operations,” Mr. Myrick said. “There were some low-level impacts around the old tanks — not problematic levels, some low-level impacts on the surface in the area of the old diesel dispenser, and that’s it.”


  1. This was so predictable …and Trip Barnes is so correct. The previous lease holder provided a portfolio of services,needed by the community, which produced a sustaining total operating profit. To cherry pick the services offered to maximize that profit should should raise the ire of all the Commission members. This whole process was just above the skill level of the Commission.

    • There are a bunch of places to get oil changes on the Vineyard including many shops that don’t benefit from the huge profits the gas places make. If their bid didn’t include oil changes and it was accepted then they have no obligation to provide them.

      • Are there any places where you can get an oil change while you wait? All the places I know of, you have to drop the car off in the morning and come back at the end of the day

        • Yes, several will allow you to wait and there’s even a service that will come to your home/work and do the oil change right there for you.

    • Since when is any business obligated to build what a commissioner wants? Is this not the same person that did the video presentation showing how the roundabout would not work for trucks?

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