No additional beach raking in Oak Bluffs

Town fields questions, offers answers on Island Theater.

Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs . — Gabrielle Mannino

The Oak Bluffs Citizens Beach Committee requested another August beach raking. The committee wants to include Inkwell Beach in addition to Pay Beach in the raking, but the permit allows for only one raking per month.

To add additional raking, the permit needs to be amended, which requires a newspaper advertisement, a public hearing, and abutter notification — all of which takes two to three weeks, according to Oak Bluffs conservation agent Elizabeth Durkee. While there is not enough time to complete another raking this month, the permit expires this winter, Durkee said, requiring a hearing where the town highway department can create a new permit.

Concerns were raised during a general comment portion of the meeting on the Island Theater, its upkeep, and its structural integrity. The theater has been a point of contention between the town, the public, and co-owner Ben Hall Jr. Issues with wastewater limitations have kept the building in limbo, but the building is stable, which selectman Brian Packish reiterated Tuesday. “The building has since been stabilized. It is now been deemed by an engineer to be stable and to no longer be a ‘dangerous building.’ With that said, your statements around being an eyesore and something that we shouldn’t have as the entrance of our downtown are beyond correct,” Packish said. He went on to add that the town has exercised every right it has in managing the property, short of taking it by eminent domain.

In other business, MV Salads, a forthcoming restaurant on Circuit Avenue, received approval to park a truck outside its doors. MV Salads is demolishing some of the interior of its building. The truck will be parked outside in the early morning, from 7 to 9 am, during the third week of August for two to three days.

Best Fest manager Rob Myers got selectmen approval to hold the ninth annual Best Fest on Saturday, Sept. 8. Best Fest will hold festivities in Ocean Park during the day starting at 3 pm. The marching band parade will move from Circuit Avenue to Post Office Square and down Kennebec Avenue from 8 to 9 pm. More music will take place at the Loft from 9 pm to 1 am. Proceeds from the event will benefit WVVY, 96.7 LPFM, Martha’s Vineyard Community Radio.

Dolores Borza, owner of Homegrown Tours, received permit approval to operate her tour business by selling tickets on Kennebec Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Borza had difficulty two weeks ago getting the correct permits for her business. Selectmen praised Borza’s efforts for getting the correct permitting, but said they were concerned about setting a precedent on solicitation of tours.

The fourth annual Vineyard Triathlon was approved by selectmen to be held on Sept. 8.

The meeting broke for a public forum for summer taxpayers to meet one-on-one with town officials and ask questions related to the town.


  1. I’m pleased to read that a public forum was held for summer tax payers. I would be very interested in the types of questions that were asked of the town officials. How many tax payers attended? Were there any concerns raised? What percentage of property taxes and personal property do summer residents contribute to the overall tax base?

    Thanks for the great variety of coverage the MV Minute provides. It’s a great service to all of us, Year Rounders, Summer Residents, and yearly returning Vistors.

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