A planning tool for Tisbury’s future


I’m curious, what was your experience with summer traffic this year? In particular, Tisbury traffic. Worse? Better? About the same? 

On one July day, as I drove to an appointment at the speed of a sloth, I realized how accustomed to creeping traffic I have become. Complacent. Accepting. Anticipating the worst. 

But imagine if there were ways to reduce this recurring traffic crawl? Or for that matter, tackle some of the other concerns facing Vineyard Haven? For the past 16 months, a hardworking group of 11 volunteer Tisbury residents on the master plan steering committee, municipal appointees and employees, along with many dozens of community members alongside professional consultants, have examined nine core components which serve as building blocks for community resilience. 

The goal is to create a master plan that can provide an outline for preservation, growth, and adaptation for Tisbury. 

The master plan will address key challenges currently facing the town of Tisbury, and provide a townwide plan for its vision, goals, and strategies for the next 10 to 20 years. Land use, a core component, is the centerpiece of every master plan. It describes the long-term plan for conservation and development, designating critical natural resources and open space as “protection areas,” and developable land as “growth areas” for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. The master plan’s land use element should form the basis for future zoning and other regulatory changes to implement the plan. Alongside the other eight core components — economic development, public facilities, governance, housing, transportation, open space, community health, and natural resources — this comprehensive master plan will give people in Tisbury a planning tool designed to streamline decisionmaking and promote action. 

So where do you come in? Hopefully you have already attended one of the more than 30 meetings, and shared your ideas for Tisbury’s future. Either way, there is more to come! On Sept. 22, a Tisbury master plan implementation program presentation to the public will take place at the Tisbury Senior Center from 5:30 to 7 pm. This will be followed by a master plan open house from 10 am – noon at the same venue on Saturday, Sept. 23. 

Whether you consider yourself an Islander, wash-ashore, or summer resident, please join us to find out what to expect following the adoption of this plan. We are eager to hear more from the public once the implementation program is presented. Come see all that it has to offer!

More information can be found at tisburymasterplan.com.


Connie Alexander is a member of the Tisbury planning board, and a Tisbury resident.