MVC signs off on Hob Knob denial


The Martha’s Vineyard Commission gave a final written decision denying the Hob Knob project.

The project was denied in a close, 7-5 vote in February, after several public hearings and multiple redesigns. Several commissioners cited commercial expansion in a residential zone as the key reason for opposing it.

Outright denials of projects are rare for the commission, which usually approves projects with strict conditions.

The last DRI the commission denied was the Meeting House place subdivision, which proposed developing a 54-acre parcel with 28 single-family homes and 14 below-market-rate houses.

Hob Knob has the option to appeal the decision to the Dukes County Superior Court. There is a 20-business-day appeal period on all MVC decisions, for approval or denial. The appeal period opens once the applicant has received the recorded decision.

Meanwhile, the commission is making amendments to its development of regional impact checklist, after “ambiguities” were found in the language presented in the sweeping set of changes made to the checklist last year.

Thursday night, commission chair Joan Malkin said after version 14 of the DRI checklist was passed last year and approved by the state, inconsistencies were found in the commission’s definition of demolitions and commercial buildings that would require review.

DRI subcommittee member Fred Hancock said the changes include defining demolition as “any act of pulling down, destroying, removing, or razing more than 50 percent of the floor area of a historic portion or more than 25 percent of any façade of the historic portion of the building. With or without the intent to replace the structure so affected.” Previously, the checklist had demolition as “any building or a substantial portion.”

Another change was making MVC concurrence mandatory if a restaurant with 80 to 99 seats in a commercial zoned district were connected to a municipal sewer system.

After discussion with other commissioners, the public, Tisbury building commissioner Ross Seavey, and others, the commission felt it should continue the public hearing to a later date. “I would like to suggest that we go back a little bit to the drawing board, and we make sure we involve the historic commissions and the building inspectors to iron out their concerns and make this workable for them,” Malkin said.

A public hearing was continued to May 13 to give the DRI subcommittee a chance to review the proposed changes.



  1. The Meetinghouse subdivision is being appealed and waiting for a court date. We really could use those 14 below market rate housing now as well as the million dollars they were going to contribute to affordable housing. No one wins with that decision but there’s no question affordable housing was the biggest loser.

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