No APR land in Ag Society acreage deal

West says few realize society owns additional land without the restriction.


The 9.75 acres of land the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society is poised to sell the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) isn’t subject to agricultural restrictions, according to Ag Society president Brian Athearn. Athearn said the agreed-upon purchase price of $1.8 million is for land MVAS bought from the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society (now the Martha’s Vineyard Museum), and does not encompass any land in the tract from Bob and Jeanne Woods, which has an agricultural preservation restriction (APR) placed on it.

Athearn said he’s been confronted by folks recently who mistakenly believed APR land was part of the deal, and he wants to set the record straight. “I think the problem is most people don’t know we own other property,” Kristina West, Ag Society executive director, said.

West explained the old M.V. Historical Society land, which abuts the society’s APR parcel, consists of 12.78 acres. The only real encumbrance on that acreage is that a portion of it was set aside to protect an endangered orchid, one that was discovered when the area was surveyed for a solar panel array. The orchid area is cordoned off, she said. Upon completion of the transaction, the Ag Society will still keep just over three acres, land where the campgrounds, the golf cart shed, and compost piles are presently located, she said.



  1. ” does not encompass any land in the tract from Bob and Jeanne Woods, which has an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) placed on it. ”

    So that being the case, it is even more stupid for the Ag Society to sell it. The Ag Society could *itself* use this land for some activities that would bring in revenue, such as additional weddings, festivals, etc. that would not be subject to the restrictions.
    Of course, the MVFF has very deep pockets. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Ag Society had thought of building, or raising, another barn and *renting* it to the MVFF (similar deal as in Chilmark) as well as other orgs wanting to put on an event. Such as maybe the crowd set to wreck VH for three days this summer with their music festival.

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