After weeks of attending public hearings, writing carefully considered letters and making personal pleas to the MV Commission, our family did not receive any mitigation or consideration with regards to the proposed bowling alley and bar on Uncas avenue. Abutters to the south were taken care of but we to the north were left out in the cold. As a result, the only thing that separates a proposed commercial parking lot five feet away from our back porch is a 30 year old fence.

How did this happen?

While we recognize that the MVC attempts to make decisions with the good of the entire Island as its focus, we are dismayed at the inequity displayed by the commission in respect to abutter concerns. Abutters to the south were able to have the entire project flipped, no windows on their side and noise abatement to be constructed into the building. The commission went as far as to discuss decibel levels at length. Yet as abutters to the north, with a property that has been in our family for over 50 years, somehow at the end of the whole process we wound up with the parking lot, the traffic, the HVAC and venting from the kitchen. In terms of compromise, protection and/or consideration, we got nothing. It was not for lack of effort and expense to present our concerns to the MVC as we traveled from out of state to be present at every public meeting.

Why the developers of the Oak Bluffs bowling alley were not at the very least asked to install their own new solid fence to provide a minimal separation of this commercial project from the residential home is confounding. Our requests were simple: A new fence, noise-absorbing plantings and some sort of way to secure the parking lot after hours so it would be a safe place. We asked for help in maintaining some level of basic privacy and safety. We are at a loss as to why our concerns went unmet and unaddressed.

We believed in the process that the MVC would try to consider the impact on our neighborhood and we were prepared to accept an approval of the project. We certainly did not expect our concerns to be completely ignored.

Hopefully we will find some assistance from the selectmen or the Historic Commission.

Lisa Stewart Crisp
Oak Bluffs