Could Vineyard Haven’s waterfront become a center for maritime industries, or an arts and crafts district with studios, galleries and perhaps a sculpture park?

Should Tisbury build a new town hall on High Point Lane, and turn the State Road business district into a walkable village center?

How about more housing on the outskirts of the State Road business area, and a new east-west connector road on either side of State?

These were among the questions raised at a workshop Monday night that gave the public a chance to weigh in on different visions for Tisbury’s development over the next 10 to 15 years. The online workshop, which repeats Thursday, is part of the town’s master planning process that began last year.

“This is kind of meant as…a thought experiment of what would happen if you focused on one role for these areas,” said Peter Flinker of planning firm Dodson and Flinker during Monday’s presentation and discussion, which drew more than 60 people.

Some half-dozen consulting firms collaborated to produce varying scenarios for a future Tisbury, including specialists in transportation, economic development and natural resources.

Their research included studies of current land use and traffic circulation, sea level projections and comments from Tisbury residents and businesspeople who took part in walking tours of the commercial districts in October.

With the downtown waterfront area destined to be submerged by rising seas in the coming decades, Mr. Flinker said the advantage of creating an arts district on the harbor is that studios and galleries are easily relocated.

“You don’t have to build something really expensive to have an arts and culture focus,” he said.

The other waterfront concept leaned into the town’s port history with what Mr. Flinker called “heritage maritime industries” that would complement existing businesses such as Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway.

Some Tisbury residents at Monday’s meeting didn’t think the downtown scenarios clicked.

“I don’t think either ‘waterfront heritage’ or ‘artistic center’ scenarios are viable for a bunch of reasons,” resident Ruth Davis Konigberg told the group.

Ms. Konigberg suggested a third option with public harbor access, similar to the fishing pier and boardwalk at North Bluff in Oak Bluffs.

The State Road options drew mixed responses as well.

“It seems to me that you’re just trying to do everything and then there’s not a lot of prioritization, which would make it a little easier to implement,” said Jim Hoffman. “I thought you had some good ideas there, [but] whether you can fit everything in is hard to know.”

For many participants, traffic was a big concern.

“I think the enemy of Vineyard Haven is our cars,” said Stephen Bohan. He called for parking areas to be located behind businesses and not in front.

A second online workshop is scheduled Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The meeting link is posted on the Tisbury Master Plan website at

The town’s master planning process, which dates back to a 2015 vision plan, is finally gaining steam after the hiring last year of Barrett Planning Group to develop a blueprint for the next 10 to 15 years.

A draft update of the vision plan is expected in April, followed by more public presentations, according to the project schedule shared at this week’s workshop.

The draft master plan is scheduled for public discussion beginning in July, with the goal of submitting the final plan to town officials in September.