Editors, Vineyard Gazette:    

I read with great interest your editorial, “Living By The Rules,” [1/25/13, MV Gazette] regarding the propriety of obeying zoning laws on Martha’s Vineyard. As a visitor to the Island for nearly 20 years, I have been concerned by another case where a structure has been built with complete disregard to zoning by-laws.

In Oak Bluffs, the asphalt company, White-Lynch Bros, Inc., erected a 75-foot asphalt production silo without ever applying for a permit, and is now requesting a zoning variance. The town height limit is 32 feet. The company’s owner, Jerry Lynch, claims that he did not need a permit because he sees the tower as a piece of equipment, although it is clearly a permanent structure. After the fact, the zoning board denied White-Lynch a permit for this structure, a ruling which the company is now appealing.

That this silo, when operating, spews noxious fumes that threaten the health and quality of life of local residents, children, farms and livestock is almost beside the point. A tower this size should never have been built in the first place. The zoning board should not allow this requested variance, and instead suggest to Lynch that he replace the existing silo with a smaller silo that has the proper filtration and emission controls that the current silo apparently lacks. If allowed, this variance would set a dangerous precedent for others to skirt the zoning process.

David Hannon, Boston