The West Tisbury select board decided by consensus it will not be entertaining food trucks at events that have not historically had them until regulations for these vendors have been established.
This consensus was reached based on the request of World Market Monday to have a food truck at its weekly event during the summer. According to board chair Cynthia Mitchell, the market has had “weekly sales for years at the Grange.” Under normal circumstances, West Tisbury town administrator Jennifer Rand would sign off on this event “as a matter of routine” but the request to have a food truck changes the decision.
“What I told them was, I thought, because they have never had food trucks at their events, that they were unlikely to get a food truck this year, because we’re in a bit of a holding pattern,” Rand said. The market itself has been approved to operate during the summer, but the question comes down to whether a food truck would be allowed.
Food trucks have become a hot issue for West Tisbury, with multiple instances of event promoters and food truck operators appealing application denials from zoning inspector Joseph Tierney to the zoning board of appeals. The select board met twice with the planning board and zoning board of appeals, and once with town counsel, to figure out the best way to approach West Tisbury’s food truck regulations.
Mitchell said new regulations would not be adopted without public input.
“We should hit the hold button until we have our regulations in place,” select board member Skipper Manter said. Fellow board member Jessica Miller agreed.
Mitchell also agreed, saying, “We will not entertain a request for a food truck.”
When asked by Manter whether this should be a general statement until the regulations are in place, Mitchell replied, “I would say yes, that’s true. Although we have named exceptions already, and if another, similar situation arises, we may make an exception for past practice,” Mitchell said.
Rand said there should be a distinction between events that would regularly have a food truck, like the market, and onetime events.
The select board also took some time to review the touched-up food truck regulations. Tisbury’s food truck regulations were used as the base format, with additions from Wellfleet’s regulations, alongside suggestions from the board members. The board will review its version of food truck regulations for West Tisbury one more time before a public hearing, which they plan to have on July 13.
In other business, the select board voted 2-1 to award the World Market Monday an event permit and a beer and wine permit for a fundraiser on Monday, August 8, from 5 to 8 pm at the Grange Hall. Manter was the sole dissenting vote on the beer and wine permit, citing that zoning regulations did not allow for retail sales in the village district.
“The state has given us the clear understanding a one-day beer and wine license is an acceptable departure for a day for sales of beer and wine,” Rand said.
“The people adopted zoning, and I think we should follow their wishes,” Manter replied.
“Just throwing it out there,” Rand responded.
The select board unanimously approved accepting a $65,000 donation from the West Tisbury Library Foundation. The donation can only be used for expenditures relating to West Tisbury Free Public Library, such as book purchases or staff training.
The select board unanimously approved Rand’s request to purchase a Facebook portal that originally belonged to the Up-Island Council on Aging for $150.
The select board plans to conduct interviews for the West Tisbury animal control officer position on June 29.
Hermine Hull, a columnist for The Times, was unanimously appointed by the select board to the West Tisbury board of registrars. She will be replacing the former board of registrars member Rufus Peebles, who has served since 1984, and whose term is finished. However, Hull is not the only one to have an appointment. A plethora of other individuals, from Leon Brathwaite to a one-year term on the cable TV advisory board to a five-year term on the zoning board of appeals for Julius Lowe, were unanimously appointed by the select board.
The next select board meeting will be held in person at Howes House in West Tisbury at 4 pm. This will be the first in-person select board meeting since transitioning to Zoom. This meeting will be a joint meeting with the select boards of Chilmark and Aquinnah about work that needs to be done on Howes House.