Developer Reid (Sam) Dunn added fireplaces to three condominium units at his Stone Bank mixed-use property in Vineyard Haven without approval by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, which voted Thursday to deny his after-the-fact request to keep the amenities in place.

The decision means that Mr. Dunn must either remove the fireplaces and their chimneys outright or submit an alternative proposal that the commission can support.

“Those three fireplaces and chimneys are not approved and having them there represents a compliance issue, so I encourage you, if you don’t want to get rid of them, to come back pretty quickly,” chair Joan Malkin told him after Thursday’s vote.

Commissioners initially favored a compromise, suggested by commission member Ben Robinson, that would approve three wood-burning fixtures, instead of the one wood-burning and two gas-fueled fixtures that were installed.

However, Mr. Dunn was not immediately willing to agree to that proposal, leading commissioners to vote on the denial.

Ms. Malkin, Fred Hancock, Greg Martino, Ernest Thomas and Christina Brown abstained from voting.
The other commissioners unanimously agreed to deny Mr. Dunn’s modifications.

During discussions preceding the vote, Mr. Dunn told commissioners the three fireplaces were accidentally left out of the project plans, which show only four units with hearths.

“It was sloppy drafting, because I intended that all of these units would have fireplaces,” he said. “Everybody wants a fireplace, right?”

The commission caught on to the additions earlier this summer, when staff members observed newly-installed chimneys that were not only different in design from the approved plans, but more numerous as well.

Mr. Dunn has since added square housings for the metal-pipe chimneys to align them better with his original design, but commissioners Thursday drew the line at approving the three unplanned chimneys and fireplaces.

Along with the squared-off chimneys for the four approved fireplaces, the commission approved another Stone Bank modification Thursday, ruling that a public hearing is not needed to review changes in a wall Mr. Dunn has built along the property line where it meets the municipal parking lot and bus shelters at the foot of Union street.

The wall will be no more than four feet high along most of its length, Mr. Dunn said.

Among other business Thursday, the commission denied a request from the developers of the Meshacket Commons neighborhood in Edgartown to pave over some of its parking area to reduce the risk of clogging the underground drainage system.

Climate change is causing heavier, more concentrated rainstorms that could overwhelm the system, Craig Nicholson of Affirmative Investments said.

The modification request failed 8-7, with one abstention.

“Get rid of some [parking] spaces and that’ll solve your maintenance issues,” said Michael Kim, the state’s representative to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

A change of building trim for Meshacket Commons, from red cedar wood to a manufactured product called Boral, won overwhelming approval from the commission Thursday.

Made from fly ash, fiberglass and urethane and painted like wood, Boral is a long-lasting alternative with a 20-year guarantee, Mr. Nicholson said.

Also Thursday, the commission declined to review a modification to the 197-foot communications tower on Carroll’s Way in Vineyard Haven.

Owner American Tower Corporation has applied to the town for permission to add two microwave dishes and a radio cabinet for communications with offshore workers on the Vineyard Wind project.

Commissioners agreed the application is not a development of regional impact, as the tower is not prominently visible from public ways.