Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Chairman Les Leland called the County Commissioner’s meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Commissioners Roger Wey, Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, John Alley and Carlene Gatting were present.
Also in attendance were County Manager Russell Smith, Executive Assistant Jennifer Randolph, and MVTV.
Chairman’s Report and Communication – Les Leland
Les Leland announced that the Courthouse has new carpeting thanks to a generous donation from the owner of the Harborview Hotel.
County Manager’s Report – Russell Smith
Russell explained that the Army Corp of Engineers would like to do a survey for ordinances. Currently the island washes over at high tide. Currently no one has claimed ownership of it. He feels the County should give permission to allow them to conduct their survey.
Roger Wey / Carlene Gatting Moved to give the government permission to conduct a survey for ordinances on Gull Island, So Voted, unanimous (6-0-0).
Big & Little Bridge Easements
Russell explained that the easements are large enough to make the bridges wider. He had gotten involved in the middle and wanted to make sure that the public had plenty of opportunity to be involved in the process. He got in contact with the two towns and found out that there was a lengthy public process and signed off on the easements.
There was a brief discussion on what the bridge will look like.
Carlene Gatting / John Alley Moved to grant a County easement to the State, So Voted, unanimous, (6-0-0).
Committee / Dept Reports
State Beach Rules & Event Regulations
Carlene Gatting reviewed the proposed draft beach rules and private party regulations.
In regards to kite surfing, Lenny Jason suggested limiting the activity to one area of the pond. He said it should be discussed with who ever is in charge of that area of Sengekontacket. He said that there should be concern for other people on the pond, such as kids fishing in a boat. John Alley agreed and said that limiting it to one area is a good idea. Carlene said that MA Audubon has requested it to be limited to the north of Felix Neck. Les said that area is a large area and should be enough. Carlene said that Russell has discussed putting up signs with maps in the areas where the kite surfers launch their equipment showing where the designated area is. Roger pointed out that Oak Bluffs might own the parking lots on the Oak Bluffs side by the bridges. Russell should check with the Town of
Oak Bluffs before the signs go up.
There was a discussion regarding allowing dogs on the beach during the summer season. Currently the State regulations state they are not allowed April 1st – August 31st. Carlene explained that MA Audubon prefers this rule be followed because dogs are really disruptive to the birds during the nesting season. Roger asked if dogs were kept on leashes if that would be ok. Carlene said no. Roger said he would like to see what the public thinks about it.
There was a discussion whether the County has to follow the State regulations on State Beach because the State has given management over to County.
Carlene said that she would like to hear from the public on it. She asked that the next meeting be a public hearing on the beach rules and regulations.
John Alley said that the Carry In Carry Out policy should be stated in the rules. Tristan added that there should be something added under Pets stating pet waste needs to be removed.
Special Events were discussed. John Alley said he felt 15 people are a low number. It was agreed that 20 people would start the permit process.
Lenny Jason said that commercial activity was not allowed on the beach. Carlene said there could not be any commercial activity with out a special permit from the Beach Committee. She asked if there could there be a special circumstance where the town of Edgartown would allow it. Lenny said that permission could be asked for permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals. It was agreed that there would be a section on the permit for commercial activity that would require a signature from the Board of Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals in addition to getting approval from the Beach Committee.
Roger said he would like No Charcoal Grills added to the regulations.
Tristan said that he felt if alcohol was prohibited by the State then it should not be allowed by special permit for private events. Lenny said it should not be allowed at all. It was agreed that says State regulations prohibit alcohol on beach. Russell pointed out that Oak Bluffs also has an open container law.
Carlene Gatting / Tristan Israel Moved to have the next meeting a public hearing on the rules and regulations, So Moved, unanimous, (6-0-0).
It was agreed that the Beach Committee would be appointed when the other appointments are made.
Carlene informed the Commissioners that there is a permit request for Eastville Beach. She asked who was responsible for that. The Commissioners had a brief discussion. Lenny pointed out that the towns and County had agreed to have a joint management plan. Roger stated that Oak Bluffs should be aware of any events on Oak Bluffs property. Lenny said he felt that there should be at least a recommendation made to the Board of Selectmen. Tristan said there is an attempt to put together a long-term management plan for the future. For now any requests should be handled they same way they have been handled in the past. Jennifer asked if the County and the two towns could have a discussion on how to handle permits for events for the future because it is not addressed in the proposed management plan.
Carlene Gatting / Tristan Israel Moved that the Beach Committee would review the application. After the approval from the committee the County Manager and the Sail M.V. representative go before the Oak Bluffs Board of Selectmen explaining the event and the County offer to handle the permit process, So Voted, unanimous (6-0-0).
Carlene also said she would like to see some regulations for events incorporated into the management plan for Eastville.
Tristan explained that the Eastville Beach Committee had a meeting with Doug Cameron from the State Dept of Fish and Game. He said that his department had money to make improvements to Eastville Beach as long as the area was for fishing and access. The Eastville Beach was enthusiastic about it due to a lack of funds. He sent a copy of the regulations that would need to be followed and a sample contract. The state would like a maintenance agreement from the various entities. Tristan explained that if all agreed to the regulations, contract, and maintenance then in effect that area would be turned over to the State. Carlene asked what “that area” meant. Tristan said Eastville Beach. Tristan said the amount of money that they had for maintenance was around $50 to $60 thousand.
Roger said there should be a public hearing on the County’s portion. Carlene said there should be someone authorized to speak with Mr. Cameron. She would like to take the money to use it for improvements, however according to their regulations there would be no swimming and there would be no parking of vehicles other then those used to launch and retrieve water craft. She said those regulations do not fit Eastville Beach. She feels if it was discussed the regulations could be tailored to better fit the property. John Alley would like to see Carlene Gatting work on the regulations with the State. It was agreed that Carlene Gatting and Russell Smith would discuss the regulations and management with Doug Cameron. After that the towns of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury would get together with the County to have a joint meeting with Doug Cameron. Tristan said that the Eastville Beach Committee has already discussed it with Doug Cameron. There was discussion whether the discussion for
tailoring the agreement should be done in a larger or smaller group. Russell said he would like to meet with the Eastville Beach Committee to hear their concerns first before going to far.
John Alley / Roger Wey Moved that Carlene Gatting and Russell Smith would contact Doug Cameron to discuss the regulations and management agreement of Eastville Beach. After to have a joint meeting with the Towns of Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, County, and State to discuss the agreements and areas of concerns, So Voted, unanimous, (6-0-0).
Russell said he would like to have a discussion with the Eastville Beach Committee before Doug Cameron is contacted.
Roger suggested contacting the town administrators to get their concerns.
· The Dukes County Advisory Board will meet Thursday May 22, 2008 at noon at the Dukes County Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Airport Commission will meet Wednesday June 4, 2008 at 5:30pm at the Airport Conference Room.
· The Dukes County Retirement Board will meet Tuesday June 10, 2008 at 10am at the Dukes County Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Commissioners will meet Wednesday June 11, 2008 at 5pm at the Dukes County Administration Building.
The Commissioners adjourned the meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts