I urge you to deny the Stop & Shop application DRI 89-M3 for the following reasons:
• By allowing the applicant to submit information after the fact, and not requiring that this data be provided up front so that you can review it, you are shirking your duty as specified in Chapter 831. In addition, it can be argued that you do not have a complete submission.
• According to Chapter 831, your own DRI guidelines, and your Island Plan, you are supposed to demand and review all pertinent information, in the context of the values you are supposed to protect, before you consider the application complete, and before you vote on the merits of the application. To consider an application complete before all relevant data is before you is irresponsible at best, and could be of questionable legality.
• All information relevant to the proposed development, and its effects on the whole Island, should be available in a timely manner, for public review, so that we, the residents of Martha’s Vineyard, can offer intelligent and objective input into the review process.
• Your policy of excluding public participation into almost every phase of the review process is a disgusting disgrace. We who have grown up on, or lived on Martha’s Vineyard for many years are made to feel like outcasts in our own community. There needs to be more transparency of, and public participation in, the entire DRI review process. The way you have been conducting the process makes many wonder whether or not you are operating in a legal manner.
• If, despite the observations detailed above, you should decide to go ahead and vote on this development proposal, without the benefit of substantial information many believe you should have asked for in advance, I feel that any decision you may make could be challenged in court, on the grounds that you did not act responsibly, and in accordance with the language and intent of Chapter 831.
• You have taken an oath to protect certain Island values, as stipulated in Chapter 831. If you fail to take your responsibilities seriously, you may not only expose yourselves to possible litigation, but you will also lose credibility with the public, whose interests you are charged to protect.
Peter A. Dunkl