The Oak Bluffs planning board and the town of Oak Bluffs are being sued by the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association (MVCMA) for exceeding their scope of authority by the conditions imposed on the approval of Phase 5 of the restoration of the Tabernacle.
Originally approved by the planning board on June 8, in a 3-0 vote, the restoration project consists of a roof replacement and a 1,300-square-foot accessory structure for restrooms in addition to allowing alternative access to the Tabernacle’s stage.
The conditions placed on the approval of the project address wastewater concerns and require “a statement of feasibility, sign off, or letter of intent from the wastewater department with forecasted flow,” in addition to — at the expense of MVCMA — a third-party assessment to specify any alternative environmental techniques.
According to the written complaint filed with Massachusetts Land Court on July 11, the MVCMA is “aggrieved by the conditions in the approval,” and asserts that the conditions “are unreasonable … vague and indefinite.” The MVCMA cites that the requirements “could have the effect of rendering the approval a denial.” The wastewater condition, the MVCMA states, are “not permissible impositions” on the association’s “religious use” of the structure.
Under zoning regulations, the MVCMA asserts that “neither the roof replacement nor the addition are subject to the site plan review bylaw.”
Regarding engaging a third-party assessment, the MCVMA asserts the conservation commission, which reviewed and approved the project, “found that the proposed system was subject to and complied with the Massachusetts Stormwater Standards.”
Also conditioned in the approval by planning board is a stipulation that the MCVMA be given a “final sign off,” which the association argues is beyond the planning board’s authority to require.
The MVCMA’s complaint calls for nullifying the approval conditions, declaring the conditions as “not permissible impositions,” and granting the MVCMA attorney fees and costs.