MVC demo lawsuit put on hold

Homeowners of the historic East Chop house hope their application to demolish the property's existing building will be reviewed again by the Martha's Vineyard Commission. — Martha's Vineyard Commission

Homeowners who were denied their request to demolish a historic East Chop house by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and later filed a lawsuit against the planning agency, filed a motion to put the lawsuit in Dukes County Superior Court on hold while they seek a joint resolution. 

After the commission voted to deny owners of 7 Arlington Ave. in Oak Bluffs the right to demolish their three-story, four-bedroom, 2,233-square-foot East Chop house, and replace it with a dwelling nearly twice the size, Lisa Kim and Eunu Chun filed a complaint on Nov. 9 requesting that the decision be appealed. 

In the joint motion filed on Dec. 16, the homeowners and the commission requested a suspension of the lawsuit until May 15 to allow the opportunity for the MVC to potentially “consider and act upon revised plans and other materials which the plaintiffs will present to the MVC.”

In their initial suit, Kim and Chun argued that the commission’s Sept. 15 denial proved “disparate treatment” of the homeowners, by depriving them of their rights and violating the law by an unconstitutional tax imposition. 

Per the filed document, the motion to stay will “allow the parties to explore this path to a resolution while preserving their rights.”

The commission’s decision to deny the homeowners’ request was made in an 8-2-1 vote, without prejudice, which allows the applicants to submit another request before the typical two-year waiting period.