Martha's Vineyard Commission Power to Review Affordable
Housing Projects Will Be Determined by the Ruling
By JULIA WELLS
The chief justice of the Massachusetts Land Court heard arguments
this week in a groundbreaking case that will ultimately decide whether
the Martha's Vineyard Commission has the power to review low and
moderate-income housing projects under Chapter 40B, a section of state
law commonly known as the anti-snob zoning statute.
MVC Power of Review on Housing Projects Upheld in Key Ruling by
State Land Court
By JULIA WELLS Gazette Senior Writer
In a groundbreaking decision that affects every town on the
Vineyard, the chief justice of the Massachusetts Land Court ruled last
week that the Martha's Vineyard Commission has full power of
review over low and moderate income housing projects under Chapter 40B,
a section of state law commonly known as the anti-snob zoning statute.
Ruling that the dire need for low-cost rental housing trumps traffic
concerns, the Martha's Vineyard Commission voted unanimously last
night to approve the Pennywise Path affordable housing project in
Debate over the Supreme Court justice nominee John G. Roberts raged
in Chilmark. Dinner guests sat in awe as Patricia Neal recited her
Hollywood Walk of Fame address on Edgartown harbor. And couples danced
the night away to the cabaret music of Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano
in Lambert's Cove.
A tight-knit community of family farmhouses in the wooded hills off
Tabor House Road. Homes that optimize their surrounding landscape and
maximize exposure to the sun. A rambling stone wall surrounded by
These are the images the Chilmark housing committee will introduce
to town residents next week as part of a new conceptual design and
feasibility report on the Middle Line Road project, the town-proposed
affordable housing development.
Morgan Woods affordable housing development in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard has won the 2008 Urban Land Institute’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Award.
The award recognizes exemplary developments that meet workforce housing needs in high cost communities. Entries are judged on specific criteria including: extent of affordability, involvement of public/private partnership, energy cost savings, green construction and innovative building technologies that reduce cost and improve efficiency.
Calling it a test of town priorities, the executive director of the Island Affordable Housing Fund this week asked the Oak Bluffs Community Preservation Committee to commit another $400,000 to the financially troubled Bradley Square project, in the name of historic preservation.
He is a family man, father of three, physically fit with a passion for cycling, and a bit of history buff. And now T. Ewell Hopkins, who has been commuting from his year-round home in Oak Bluffs to work in mainland metropolises for the past 10 years, is happy to have more time at home on the Vineyard to be near his family, read and ride his bike on weekends.
But during the workweek he is occupied with a new job and a cause: raising money and promoting development of affordable housing on the Vineyard.