Tisbury to take on timeshares during town meeting

The annual town meeting and the special town meeting for Tisbury will be taking place at the Performing Arts Center. — MV Times

Updated April 24

Tisbury is looking to tackle some housing issues during this town meeting season. 

The annual town meeting and a special town meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 25, at 7 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center. Voters will be making decisions on a collective 50 articles on these warrants. 

Among the zoning bylaw amendments, one that has already received attention is an attempt to limit commercial timeshare ownership. This amendment is meant to protect the already limited housing stock in the town for year-round residencies. The bylaw would limit timeshares to only certain districts in town.

Another warrant article looks to amend the language of existing accessory apartment regulations. The proposed amendment would eliminate a current restriction that does not allow the construction of accessory units in pre-existing, nonconforming lots. Tisbury planning board chair Ben Robinson told The Times that many properties fall under this categorization, and the restriction was seen as a hindrance to increasing accessory dwelling units. 

The majority of warrant articles are expenditure requests, including $60,000 to recodify and develop “comprehensive amendments” to the town’s zoning bylaws. This would be done under the Tisbury planning board’s supervision.

A number of expenditures are tied together with different categorizations, such as using $265,244 from passenger ferry embarkation fee receipts for various expenses, like dredging projects and roadwork.

Other big-ticket items include $839,000 for various Tisbury water works capital projects, $122,325 for dredging in Vineyard Haven Harbor and Lake Tashmoo, and $80,000 to hire a professional to evaluate municipal operations and potentially consolidate town hall. 

A special warrant article also asks for an amendment to procurement and property disposal bylaw. The article’s passage would increase the value of supplies, equipment, and services that would need to be reviewed and approved by the chief procurement officer from $1,000 to $10,000. 

Meanwhile, Tisbury is proposing to have an operational budget of $39.27 million for fiscal year 2024. The town’s operational budget was $34.38 million during fiscal year 2023. 

A couple of articles Tisbury shares with the rest of the Island towns relate to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, namely whether to approve funding a feasibility study to renovate or repair the building, and another on the updated regional agreement. Voters will also need to decide on a ballot question during the town election whether to allow a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion for the feasibility study, which is expected to cost $2 million.

Updated with a clarification from Laura Silber.