Select board to consult counsel about parsonage easement 

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Cell service issues have been reported in Edgartown. -MV Times

In a discussion regarding the town’s view easement at 75 South Water St., the Edgartown select board decided to consult town counsel on how to proceed with the adjacent Mayhew parsonage, which is currently on the market. 

The “easement for view” was agreed upon and signed by representatives of the Federated Church, Society for the Preservation of N.E. Antiques, and the town of Edgartown in 2003, and set to be renewed 30 years following.

The agreement is “for the purpose of preserving the view from [town-owned property] to existing water bodies, including the Edgartown Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean, by prohibiting [Parsonage trustees] from the construction of buildings, structures, or other improvements.” Additionally, the view easement prohibits vegetation or plantings that could impede the present view. 

The Mayhew parsonage had been home to ministers of the Federated Church of Martha’s Vineyard from 1957 until being put up for sale in August.

“I think there are some legal questions,” town administrator James Hagerty told the board, regarding “the legality of the view easement, the perpetual nature of the view easement, and some other factors that I unfortunately can’t answer.” Hagerty suggested the board seek legal advice. 

Select board member Arthur Smadbeck noted the view easement has been enforced by the town since 2003, and will have to be re-upped every 20 years following the first 30. 

The select board approved a request by Edgartown parks administrator Jessica McGroarty to block a portion of a public way in order for a local arborist to thin out a Cooke Street elm tree near Cannonball Park. 

Because of the uncertainty of prevailing winds, McGroarty said exactly what day the work can be completed is up in the air, but will be done by the end of the week. The public way blockage will take place after school buses drop off students. The trimming is needed to “reduce the weight of the crown,” said McGroarty.

“It certainly is necessary,” said select board member Michael Donaroma,”with all this wind.”

Meanwhile, the select board approved a request by the dredge committee to pursue a Comprehensive Dredge Permit via submission of a Seaport Economic Council Grant application. Hagerty noted that the $1 million Memorial Wharf renovation was also funded by the Seaport Economic Council Grant.