Chappaquiddick's Space Fund, Land Bank Buy Island Trail Link

Chappaquiddick's Space Fund, Land Bank Buy Island Trail Link

By JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

With the national economy stuck in neutral and nonprofit groups scrambling to compete for a shrinking pool of donor dollars, a quiet movement on the tiny island of Chappaquiddick is gaining momentum among landowners to buy open space in their own backyards.

Project Aims to Open Moshup Trail Vista

Project Aims to Open Moshup Trail Vista

By IAN FEIN

The first time Carlos Montoya came to the Vineyard, he took a ride up-Island and turned onto Moshup Trail - the unmistakable three-mile length of road that hugs the western edge of the Island.

"Oh my god," Mr. Montoya said this month, recalling his impression from that 1970 visit. "It was unbelievable."

Now a 10-year resident of Moshup Trail, he characterizes it as the single most important stretch of land in Aquinnah. "It is simply one of the most magical places," Mr. Montoya said.

Tree Cutting on Byways Angers Town, Neighbors

The latest round in a dispute pitting a landowner’s right of access against conservation values played out like a game of cat and mouse in town hall, the courts and the woods of Edgartown last week.

It began a little before 10 a.m. on Friday morning, when Paul Elliott, the president of the Edgartown Meadows Road Association, found workmen cutting down trees along Middle Line Road.

Land Owner Faults Commission For Ancient Way Guidelines

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission last Thursday heard emotional testimony from an Edgartown property owner opposed to new guidelines for the protection and maintenance of five ancient pathways in Edgartown, each of which dates back to colonial times.

Benjamin Hall Jr., an Island attorney whose family owns land off Ben Tom’s Road, one of the ways that would fall under the proposed guidelines, said they had been hastily drafted and would deny his family the right to develop their property.

Tribe Opens Lobsterville Path But Stresses Access is Temporary

A sandy path to Lobsterville Beach in Aquinnah has been reopened to the public, halting, at least for now, a contentious land-use battle between the town and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

In a letter to the Aquinnah selectmen dated Aug. 12, tribal council chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais confirmed that the path would be reopened.

Moshup Trail Lot Denied Permit Due to Lack of Road Frontage

A long-running effort by an Aquinnah property owner to build a house on a lot off Moshup Trail was blocked by the town planning board plan review committee this week, which found the lot lacks adequate road frontage under new zoning rules adopted by the town eight months ago.

After a series of public hearings that began in October, the committee voted 7-0 on Tuesday night to deny a special permit for James Decoulos to build on the two-plus-acre property.

Rogers Path To Stay Open

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has solidly backed the town of West Tisbury in its ongoing effort to keep Rogers Path, an ancient way that leads to a Civil War-era cemetery in the North Tisbury section of town, open for public use.

Aquinnah Aghast at Moshup Trail Poles

Aquinnah selectmen were unhappy to hear this week about an NStar project that began with no apparent notification to the town to replace the utility poles on scenic Moshup Trail with much taller poles.

Walking Land Bank Trails — All of Them

The five women range in age from 66 to 84, and their goal is to hike every single one of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank walking trails. Thus far they have checked off twenty of them, even repeating a few favorites.

Last Sunday the women allowed this reporter to join their hike. We met at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Up-Island Cronig’s. The temperature that morning was 29 degrees.

Effort to Protect Ancient Ways Starts Over

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.