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Article 5

on ARTICLE 5, submitted by Board of Selectmen:
“To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to petition the legislature to take the
necessary steps to withdraw from the provisions that created the Martha’s Vineyard Commission
(MVC)."

SOME FACTS:

All for one: All Vineyard towns and all year-round and seasonal residents benefit from the planning and regulatory services provided by our regional planning agency. The MVC is a conduit
for all kinds of federal and state grant dollars; some of their staffi ng needs are even paid for by
such grants.

Vulnerability:
Special zoning protections gained through the MVC District of Critical Planning Concern (DCPC) planning process could be made vulnerable to attack.

40B magnet: Plenty of development capacity remains in Edgartown, as documented in the Mass Estuaries Project fi ndings. Unlike town boards, the MVC has the power to review 40B developments, which can allow for more density than zoning permits. 40B (and other) developers will obviously want to develop in Edgartown if they can avoid MVC review.
Vulnerability: Special zoning protections gained through the MVC District of Critical Planning
Concern (DCPC) planning process could be made vulnerable to attack.

Hey, neighbor: Edgartown residents benefit from regional infrastructure improvement projects
brought to us thanks to the MVC, like bike paths, road repairs and the Lagoon Pond Bridge. It
is a matter of good neighborly relations for Edgartown to participate with neighbor towns in the
MVC.

Regulatory cost recovery: In the MVC’s development review role, costs are covered largely by
the fees paid by the development applicant.
What is fair? The “equalized valuation” formula currently being used to assess taxpayers in all
towns for regional MVC services is fair.

Towns don’t pay taxes, people do: A taxpayer with a house valued at $500,000 pays the same amount of money for MVC services, regardless of which town they’re in. Even if the formula was changed along the lines some have proposed, analysis indicates that it would save the average Edgartown taxpayer only $3.00 per year. It is simply not worth the hassle and expense.

Baby with the bathwater: If legitimate concerns exist about MVC development review criteria,
fi nancial operations or planning services provided, that should be the subject of discussion, negotiation, and mediation. Leaving the MVC is no answer. Island towns that have left the MVC in the past have returned because they regretted the decision.

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