The Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals settled a dispute over the use of land owned by Goodale Construction Company Thursday night
The definition of agriculture is under scrutiny by the Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals, as neighbors butt heads with a landscaper operating on a property owned by Goodale Construction Company.


Though there is only one gravel pit on the Vineyard, the issue is not so different from other neighborhood squabbles occurring more frequently all over the Island where action by one property owner impinges on the lifestyle of another.

Goodale Construction can continue to mine for sand and gravel without special permitting from the town, following a vote of the Oak Bluffs board of appeals. The vote overrules the building inspector who said the company had exceeded its nonconforming use which dates to 1948.

The town zoning board of appeals is considering whether or not to require the owners of Goodale’s sand and gravel pit to apply for a special permit to mine new areas of their property. A public hearing opened last week that saw strong expressions on both sides of the issue.

The Goodale Construction Company has long mined for sand and gravel without restrictions. But what was once an isolated, sparsely populated region today includes residential homes. The town is asking Goodale’s to obtain a special permit for its operation.