The developers of a proposed exclusive recreational club at Katama have resubmitted their application, substantially unchanged, to the Edgartown zoning board of appeals only two weeks after withdrawing it in the face of opposition from some board members.
Sean Murphy, an attorney for Gerrett D. Conover and Thomas LeClair, principal investors and developers of the Field Club, asked to withdraw the application at the board meeting on Jan. 16, after it became clear the project would not receive the four votes needed for approval from the five-member panel.
This week as the proposal was resubmitted, Mr. Conover suggested the only problem with the project was that members of the board had not properly understood its benefits. He said approval was largely a matter of explaining the project better.
"It seemed the primary concern was a misunderstanding of the town sewering of this project," Mr. Conover said on Monday, after the application was refiled.
Board members expressed concern about potential impacts on the Edgartown Great Pond watershed from wastewater which, under the plan would be piped to the Edgartown treatment plant via Clevelandtown and Meschaket Roads, treated and then released into the watershed.
"We had assumed that because the sewer board had approved that - and it was looked at as one of the one of the good public benefit ends of the project - we perhaps didn't focus on it as much as we should have," Mr. Conover said.
"It's actually subtracting from the load, because it would abandon hundreds of present private systems that now go into the Edgartown Great Pond watershed," he added.
Under the proposal, existing subdivisions including Island Grove, Llewellyn Way and the Road to the Plains would have the option to tie into the sewer line from the Field Club development. The town wastewater department has endorsed the scheme.
"So there is not much difference to project details, just more a clarifying of the facts," Mr. Conover said.
The Field Club is planned as a members-only not-for-profit club, with facilities including eight tennis courts, a pool, pond and lawn games area, an 11,000-square-foot fitness center, a 7,200-square-foot learning center, tennis pavilion and parking for 71 cars.
Five hundred memberships would be sold for $80,000 each, plus annual fees. Members would also have access to a club on the second floor of the Navigator Restaurant in downtown Edgartown.
The club is planned for seven acres in the middle of a subdivision owned by a group of Edgartown businessmen, including selectman Michael Donaroma.
The project was approved with conditions by the Martha's Vineyard Commission last July, but a special permit is still required from the town zoning board. In an unprecedented move last month, the zoning board asked the field club developers to draft their own preliminary motion of approval.
But when board chairman Martin V. Tomassian Jr. subsequently called for a straw poll of members to see if the required majority supported the application, two members said they would probably vote against it.
The failure of some members of the board to support the development was a surprise and a disappointment, Mr. Conover said.
"It seemed like everything was fine. But the process took a lot of time. Information was lost along the way. We're looking forward to getting back in front of the board and hopefully to answer any and all questions," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Conover was recently appointed to the town zoning board of appeals as an alternate member. The appointment was made by the Edgartown selectmen on Jan. 16.