The Edgartown selectmen two weeks ago quietly gave a nod of approval to a plan which would convert an area of the inner harbor between the Reading Room and the Edgartown Yacht Club into a marina with up to 100 slips.
A provisional plan for the marina was presented to the selectmen by Edgartown resident Michael Berwind at a Friday morning meeting on Oct. 19, three days before the regular selectmen’s meeting. The Friday meeting was legally posted.
Mr. Berwind presented the selectmen with a draft plan for a boating facility that would dramatically alter the Edgartown harborfront. Also attending the meeting were town conservation agent Jane Varkonda, building inspector Leonard Jason Jr. and harbor master Charles Blair.
Mr. Berwind provided a sketch of the plan titled A Possible Dock System.
He reportedly told the selectmen that he intended to make an offer to purchase the Vietor property, a residential property on South Water street, to use as the land side of the planned marina. The Vietor property is on the market for sale. The property is in three pieces, including 41 South Water street which is listed at an asking price of $8.25 million. The property runs down to the water and includes a dock. The broker for the property is Conover and Company.
Selectman Arthur Smadbeck said last week that he thinks the marina could be a good solution for Edgartown, which has a long waiting list for dock space.
“There is a lot of pressure to increase the availability of the harbor,” Mr. Smadbeck said via telephone. “There is a demand but no supply, so any plan is worth listening to and, going forward, we’re prepared to do anything we can to help,” he said.
The selectmen have no permitting authority for docks, and any marina plan would need to clear a gauntlet of town, state and federal regulations, including possible review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
Mr. Berwind reportedly also took his plan to the town marine advisory committee before he met with selectmen. He could not be reached for comment this week.
At the meeting Mr. Berwind also reportedly discussed the possible interest of MacDougalls’, a Falmouth marina, in the scheme. A spokesman for MacDougalls’ had no comment on the plan when contacted by telephone this week.