Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

The proposal to develop 81 South Water street, the site of Governor Mayhew’s 17th century homestead, is now reaching it final stage. The historic district commission (HDC) did what they could to encourage a more sensitive treatment of the modified 1912 house and retention of the view corridor towards the harbor.

The HDC finally passed the modified house but the pool and retaining wall were withdrawn. Now an application from David Malm and his agent Patrick Ahearn for a 24 x 12-foot “exercise spa” will be set before the conservation commission at their next hearing on Sept. 13. The “exercise spa” is very close to a crucially important coastal bank and wetland so its construction must be scrutinized on ecological grounds as well as aesthetic ones. Although the spa’s water may not be visible, anyone on Collins Beach or out on the harbor will immediately realize they are seeing a pool area.

Such obvious modernity is not appropriate for an historic district and it will impact this green, open, iconic shoreline loved by many for hundreds of years. This application also states the intention to create a four-foot hedge all around the property.

Once again, I urge everyone who cares about Edgartown to take time to view this proposal for an exercise spa on the town’s website (click on conservation department) and become informed about this critical application. Please write by sending an email to conservation@edgartown-ma.us by Sept. 8, the deadline for comments.

Please also join the conservation commission public meeting via Zoom on Sept. 13 at 4:10 pm.

Jane Bradbury