O.B. town hall gets MVC approval

A rendering of the $13.4 million proposed town hall project in Oak Bluffs. — Courtesy Icon Architects

The Oak Bluffs town hall renovation project approved by voters at the June town meeting got the greenlight from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission Thursday night.

The town hall project finally received approval from voters in June at both town meeting and the election, after two previous iterations of the project were denied.

The town was previously approved by the commission in 2017 for its initial town hall project, but with the new design, a new approval was needed.

“I’m really impressed by what you’ve done here,” commissioner Linda Sibley said. Commissioners then approved the redesign.

In other business, the commission voted to not have public hearings on a cell tower project and a historic home demolition. The first was for a minor modification to a cell tower in West Tisbury on Old Courthouse Road. The second was for the demolition of a historic home at 306 Main Street in Tisbury. 

The original portion of the home was built in 1900, but possibly in the 1870s, and was added onto. According to the MVC staff report, exhaustive research determined the home had no record of being significant — the house received a four out of 13 score for historical significance.

MVC planner Alex Elvin was promoted to DRI coordinator after working for the commission as a planner for the past year. Elvin is a graduate of Williams College. He previously worked at the Vineyard Gazette and as a consultant in Boston.

“There’s four or five incredibly complex, difficult DRIs for the commission to consider, and I think now is the time,” MVC executive director Adam Turner said. “I think Alex is the right person.”

The DRI coordinator position was vacated after Paul Foley left in 2019.