Liman and Squibnocket Farm bury the hatchet

Squibby skiff launch coming soon.


Hollywood director Doug Liman and Squibnocket Farm, a well-to-do subdivision, have agreed to an armistice in the legal battle over the Squibnocket Bridge (or causeway). The deadline for Liman to advance the appeals of two Ldrvand Court decisions arrived this week. They have been dropped.

The Squibnocket Farm Homeowners Association, and Liman, in conjunction with fellow Chilmark seasonal resident David Stork, locked horns on several legal and environmental aspects of the the private bridge, which is the Vineyard’s longest. The details of the agreement the parties forged recently through their attorneys, Peter Alpert of Ropes and Gray for Squibnocket Farm and Dan Larkosh of Larkosh and Jackson for Liman and Stork, will be included in an upcoming joint press release, according to Larkosh.

The town of Chilmark continues to steam along on its portion of Squibnocket work. With the beach and retaining wall projects done, construction of a skiff launch is now imminent, according to Chilmark conservation agent Chuck Hodgkinson.

Chilmark selectmen and Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF) chairman Eric Peters entered into a property-licensing agreement Wednesday evening at a specially scheduled board meeting. The license is an interim step in conveying the land permanently, Peters told The Times. It encompasses 0.32 acres of land. “When the dust settles, we’ll pass papers,” he said.

The site of the skiff launch, which is across the bridge from the beach parking lot, on the shore of Squibnocket Pond, was moved 100 feet from its previous location, Peters said.

Reid Silva, owner of Vineyard Land Surveying and Engineering, the firm that surveyed the area for the bridge and beach projects, said the relocation was necessary to preserve archaeological features.

Hodgkinson said John Keene Excavation is expected to break ground on the ramp in about two weeks.

Who can use the bridge to access the ramp is not entirely clear. Chilmark town administrator Tim Carroll described the skiff launch as “a public boat ramp for unpowered vessels and commercial shellfishermen.”

Hodgkinson said “anybody” could use it in his opinion, but deferred to the selectmen for the exact terms of use.

“My understanding is that the owners will allow people to use that bridge to launch commercial shellfishing and unpowered vessels,” selectmen chairman Jim Malkin said.

“We have no problem with the citizens of the town of Chilmark driving over the causeway to drop off and launch their boats,” Warren Spector, president of the Squibnocket Farm Homeowners Association, said. He pointed out the causeway (or bridge), which leads to the homes on Squibnocket Point, is not to be walked across.