Martha's Vineyard Commission

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Map of the Month: Island Plan Vision Map

The Martha's Vineyard Island Plan's main recommendations are summarized in the Land Use Guidance Map. This vision map divides the Island into two main areas - Town Areas and Rural Areas - and nine subcategories that can accomodate various amounts of growth and that seek varying levels of resource protection and protection of existing character. We'll be displaying a new map every month or so to highlight the work of the Commission.


Jim Vercruysse is New MVC Chairman

Jim VercruysseOn January 1, 2016, Jim Vercruysse will take over as Chairman of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, replacing outgoing Chairman Fred Hancock. Jim is an elected member-at-large from Aquinnah. He is a former Chairman of the MVC who returned in 2014 after a hiatus of several years. Jim works at South Mountain Company.

Jim said "I am honored and excited to help lead the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in 2016 as it’s chairman. I plan to work closely with Adam, the new Executive Director, and all our professional staff to meet all the various and interesting challenges we face as the Island’s regional planning and regulatory agency."  

Rob Doyle, an elected Commissioner from Chilmark is taking over as Vice-Chairman. John Breckenridge will continue to serve as Clerk-Treasurer.


Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Opens to Traffic

Drawbridge AerialWhen the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge opened to traffic on November 24, it was the culmination of a ten-year collaboration between the towns of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury, the Martha's Vineyard Commission, and MassDOT, largely facilitated by the MVC. 

Though there was some controversy in the earliest days about the necessity of building a temporary bridge, the rest of the process was a model of open cooperation. This is mainly as a result of having a standing Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee representing Island interests to speak for the Island in dealings with MassDOT throughout the complex planning, design, and construction process. The Committee succeeded in ensuring that the design harmonized with its surrounding, that landscaping improved open space and waterfront access under and around the bridge, and that environmental impacts were minimized.

Drawbridge Tender HouseTisbury Selectman Melinda Loberg, Chair of the Lagoon Pond Committee, Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel, Oak Bluffs selectman Gail Barmakian, and former MVC Executive Director Mark London, were in were in the first cars to cross the $40-million bridge. 

MassDOT’s contractor Middlesex Corp. is now demolishing the temporary bridge and will complete the landscaping in the spring. 

For further information, go to this web page and/or contact Priscilla Leclerc, MVC Senior Transportation Planner leclerc [at] mvcommission.org.


Review of DRI Checklist is Underway

The MVC's DRI Checklist consists of Standards and Criteria used to determine when a development is a DRI and must or may be referred to the Martha's Vineyard Commission for review. The standards and criteria relate to a project's likely impact on the environment, traffic, and municipal services, among other factors. 

Every two years or so, the Martha's Vineyard Commission reviews the DRI Checklist to identify whether any of the triggers for referral should be revised. Here is a link to the current DRI Checklist, which went into effect in 2013.

In the fall, the MVC’s Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) held a series of public meetings attended by town officials and members of the public and the Executive Director met town planning boards, building inspectors, and other professionals to get input for the biennial evaluation of the standards and criteria for what should be reviewed by the MVC as Developments of Regional Impact.

At year’s end, the Executive Director was compiling comments, a review of the past decade’s referrals, and recommendations into a report for Commissioners. 

For further information or to give comments, please contact Adam Turner, MVC Executive Director, at turner [at] mvcommission.org.


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Office location:

Office location:

The Stone Building
33 New York Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Telephone: 508-693-3453
Fax: 508-693-7894

Mailing Address

Mailing address:

Martha's Vineyard Commission
P.O. Box 1447
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

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