A long-running effort by the town of Edgartown to place five ancient ways under the protection of an Islandwide district of critical planning concern has stalled again following a problem with a legal notice posted recently by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
As a result the entire process must go back to the town level to start over again. At their Jan. 3 meeting, selectmen requested that the planning board resubmit its application to renominate the five ancient ways for inclusion in the Islandwide roads DCPC. The five paths are Ben Tom’s Road, Middle Line Path, Pennywise Path, Tar Kiln Path and Watcha Path. In 2007 the commission approved placing the paths under the roads DCPC, but the decision was challenged in superior court by the Hall family, which owns property along two of the ancient ways.
In February 2011 a superior court judge found merit in protecting the ancient ways, but in a technical ruling involving legal language, the Hon. Cornelius Moriarty 3rd sent the project back to the commission for a second review.
The town and the commission drafted new language to satisfy the requirements of the court and started over on the process of nominating the ancient ways to be included in the DCPC. The process includes public hearings at the town and commission levels.
The MVC was set to hold its hearing last week when the problem with the legal notice came to light.