Tisbury throws support behind designated port area

Engineer Susan Nelson, left, and Vineyard Power president Richard Andre, right, sought an endorsement from Tisbury selectmen for Packer land on the harbor to be folded into a designated port area. They succeeded. — Rich Saltzberg

Tisbury selectmen have sent a letter of endorsement to the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) in support of a Ralph Packer request that two harborside parcels occupied by Tisbury Towing and Transportation and R.M. Packer Co. be granted designated port area status. 

While a long application process still lies ahead, CMZ officials have previously said designated port areas are nearly impossible to create without the support of local government.

Richard Andre, president of Vineyard Power, and engineer Susan Nilson requested the board’s support on Jan. 29, and got it. Andre hopes to build a marine terminal on the Packer parcels, meant to berth service boats for the burgeoning offshore wind industry. In November, the board made a site visit to the parcels with harbormaster John Crocker, after listening to a presentation of the proposed facility at Vineyard Power headquarters. Among other benefits, becoming a designated port area would help the proposed offshore wind servicing hub sidestep red tape, including zoning restrictions.