Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Island Elderly Housing board of directors would like to clarify some issues that were raised at a May 5 Zoom meeting of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission on the proposed five-unit elderly housing building to be located at 38 Wing Road in Oak Bluffs.

At the request of the commission, several major revisions have been made to the proposal. These include the drainage, parking and lighting plan, and relocation of the planned septic.

Issues of concern are:

1. The L-shaped layout of the building was subjectively described as “looking like a shopping mall” in design. Members of the MVC wanted to have the building redesigned.

• The shape of the building lot and zoning requirements did not permit a long straight building like others IEH buildings in the community.

• The design of the building, with its drive-up vehicle accommodation was made for elderly, mobility challenged residents who may require wheelchairs or walkers.

• The design of the building is in accordance with the standards of Massachusetts state building code and architectural access board.

• It was mentioned that the cost of a new design would be a limited expense, amounting to seven to 12 per cent of the construction cost. Calculating this cost at a low $400-per-square-foot construction cost would be over $190,000. IEH believes such an added expense would be imprudent based upon the design expenses incurred to date.

2. The building roof line was too tall.

• The building attics contain the mechanical systems for the living units and light shafts to provide daylight to the hallways in the building.

• The building heights were within the range of other buildings on Wing Road.

3 There was a question regarding the accuracy of the land survey for the lot.

• The survey was conducted by a fully accredited survey firm. The survey is on record and can be reviewed by interested parties.

4. IEH did not obtain the approval of the MVC prior to demolishing the house on 38 Wing Road, the proposed building site.

• IEH applied for and obtained a permit from the town of Oak Bluffs to demolish the existing house that was gifted to them by the late Marguerite Bergstrom at 38 Wing Road.

• IEH proceeded with the Oak Bluffs Demolition Permit and razed the house that was on the lot.

5. The plans were provided for review by the towns of Martha’s Vineyard.

• The conceptual plans were brought to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Island affordable housing committees and Community Preservation Committees in 2018 and again in 2021 at duly noticed meetings under state law. The CPCs voted to bring the Aidylberg III request for funding to the voters at town meetings. These requests were approved by voters.

Island Elderly Housing has capably managed and maintained 165 units of elderly housing for 40 years. We hope this provides clarity to those reviewing our proposal.

Simone DeSorcy

Vineyard Haven

The writer is president of of Island Elderly Housing.