Emotions ran high at a public hearing of the West Tisbury planning board on Sept. 12, when a request for a new farmstand entrance onto State Road prompted safety concerns and impassioned speeches.

The virtual hearing was part of an effort by Brad Tucker and Liz Rangone to establish an easier and more obvious entryway into their newly founded Radio Farm Gallery across the street from the Ag Hall.

Over 134 participants attended the hearing, with the planning board eventually approving a second curb cut. The project must now be submitted for approval by the state and pass a 20-day appeals process.

Board member Leah Smith began the hearing with a prepared statement relating to a recent hit-and-run accident that killed the couple’s dog.

“I’m sure I speak for all of us on the planning board when I say how sorry we are for the loss of your dog, Ralf,” she said.

Mr. Tucker and Mrs. Rangone were moved to tears by the statement.

During the hearing, numerous members of the community spoke up on behalf of Mr. Tucker and Ms. Rangone’s efforts to establish the farm. The board, however, pushed back on recent methods to rally community support.

“I think we’ve been strong-armed as the planning board into this through a campaign on Islanders Talk and getting everybody and their pitchforks to show up during this meeting,” said board member Amy Upton, the lone abstention at the end of the evening.

Ms. Smith opened the discussion by explaining the board’s role in reviewing curb cut requests before they are sent to the state, noting that the board is reluctant to make such approvals. She also described their efforts to work with Mr. Tucker and Ms. Rangone, including a recent “productive site visit” where the couple and board had agreed on a compromise to cut through a nearby Land Bank property for an entrance.

The Land Bank denied this plan.

When it was Mr. Tucker’s turn to speak, he began by thanking everyone who had come out to support him. He said the farm had lost a significant portion of its summer revenue by not having an entrance that went directly to their stand.

“It’s very discouraging that something as simple as an entrance can become such an issue,” he said. “Having this curb cut is paramount to this place operating.”

The property, Mr. Tucker said, was established in 1890, and is protected as agricultural land. It is under a lease from owner Tom Hickie, who was also in attendance and explained some of its history.

“I remember in the 50’s my grandfather, Farmer Greene, had a farm stand in that exact spot,” Mr. Hickie said. “He sold goldfish, Coca Cola and drinks…and there’s been a driveway there since then at least.”

He continued: “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill here.”

Board chairman Virginia Jones countered by citing saftey concerns for that stretch of road.

“I almost lost my life over there myself,” she said. “I don’t want to have two curb cuts.”

Pond View Farm owner Sarah Doyle was the last to speak. Ms. Doyle said that she travels to Radio Farm five times a week to deliver compost and has never felt that the second curb cut would be a unsafe.

“Brad and Liz, and people like Brad and Liz, are the fabric of the future of Martha’s Vineyard,” she said. “I feel like the planning board members are the same way, they are passionate about Martha’s Vineyard… we all might be saying it differently, but I appreciate everyone here.”

The resolution to allow a second curb cut passed with ayes from Virginia Jones, Leah Smith, Matt Merry and Heikki Soikkeli, with Ms. Upton abstaining. The project now heads to the state.