The expansive Meeting House Way project headed back to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s (MVC) Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) Monday night with an updated design, including additional affordable housing units.
The project, which has received significant pushback from Island residents, conservationists, and stakeholders, has gone through several significant redesigns since it was first presented to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission over a year ago.
The 54-acre property was purchased for $6.6 million in June 2017 by developers Douglas K. Anderson and Richard G. Matthews, operating as Meeting House Way LLC. Their listed address is in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Concerns over the project — one of the largest the commission has reviewed — include potential impact on traffic conditions, Island urbanization, nitrogen loading, and animal habitat loss.
In September, when the project was last in front of the LUPC, the MVC’s subcommittee voted to recommend the full commission deny the project.
In its current form, the project proposes to establish 30 acres as open space and develop the other 20-odd acres with 28 single-family homes and a cluster of affordable townhouses.
The latest change to the project was to add four additional affordable townhouses, for a total of 14. The cluster of below-market-rate townhouses would be dedicated to first-time homebuyers and empty nesters, elderly people who have lived on the Island for 15-plus years, but are looking to downsize. In addition to the townhouses, the project also calls for a 1 percent fee to the Edgartown affordable housing committee on any future sale of the development’s other homes, and a flat $1 million contribution.
On Monday, project attorney Sean Murphy told commissioners the price for the townhouses dropped to 10 units at $389,000 and four at $359,000. “They will be the lowest priced real estate on Martha’s Vineyard,” Murphy said.
Prices for the townhouses were based on construction costs, and Murphy said the developers would be breaking even on them.
The townhouses would have a separate homeowners association.
The 28 single-family houses would be spaced out on ½-acre to 1-acre lots, and would be allowed a maximum of five bedrooms. Houses would be limited to 3,800 square feet. Garages are optional, and would be permitted a 400-square-foot living space above, which would be added to the bedroom count. The project also calls for the single-family houses to incorporate SmartFlower solar arrays.
The LUPC took no vote on the project. The project heads to the full commission on June 4 at 5:30 pm.