West Tisbury Assessors Lose Tax Challenge
Alexis Tonti

West Tisbury Assessors Lose Tax Challenge

By ALEXIS TONTI

The Massachusetts Court of Appeals this week overturned a decision by the state Appellate Tax Board and ruled that the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank is exempt from all taxation, upholding the power vested in the conservation agency by its enabling legislation.

The case is an appeal of a decision first made by the West Tisbury board of assessors that ordered the land bank to pay about $700 in taxes on property bought in fiscal year 2002.

The ruling was issued Wednesday.

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Land Bank Concludes Historic Purchase of 190 Acres of Southern Woodlands
Chris Burrell
The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank will seal its largest-ever deal today, handing over $18.6 million to Connecticut developer Corey Kupersmith and officially taking ownership of 190 acres of the southern woodlands in Oak Bluffs.
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Pond Stays Closed for Further Study
Ian Fein

Pond Stays Closed for Further Study

State Environmental Affairs Secretary Rejects Land Bank Management Plan at Lambert's Cove Road Kettle Pond

BOSTON - Citing concerns about potential impacts to water quality and protected species, the Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs last month denied the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank management plan for its proposed Ice House Pond Preserve.

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land Bank Acquires Aquinnah Oceanfront, Scenic Chilmark Field
Ian Fein

Land Bank Acquires Aquinnah Oceanfront, Scenic Chilmark Field

By IAN FEIN

The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank this week added another 400 feet of Aquinnah white sand beach to its oceanfront holdings, and also acquired a scenic field on South Road in Chilmark. Both up-Island properties are roughly eight acres. The purchase prices were $2.25 million and $875,000, respectively.

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Land Bank Acquisition Expands Moshup Beach

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank has added another 400 feet to its growing stretch of Atlantic Ocean beach off Moshup Trail in Aquinnah.

The land bank announced this week that it has bought a 4.1-acre lot on the ocean side of Moshup Trail from Sandra and Tatnall Hillman. The purchase price was $400,000. The property abuts the land bank’s Moshup Beach, which now will include some 2,000 feet of shorefront. With the acquisition, the land bank beach will now end a few feet from Philbin Beach, a town resident beach.

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Land Bank Comment Session Draws One

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission held an open session on Monday seeking public comment on its properties and management plans. The meeting was held at the Vineyard Transit Authority second floor office at the airport business park.

One person attended: Bill Straw of Vineyard Haven, who suggested the land bank move up on its priority list the acquisition of properties that help in the movement of people along the side of roads, for example bicycle paths.

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Land Bank Monies Fall Slightly as Market Slows
Julia Wells

In a clear sign of a cooling real estate market here, revenues at the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank fell in 2007 for the second straight calendar year. The total number of real estate transactions also was down last year, for the third year in a row.

The land bank collected $10.9 million in revenues in 2007, compared with $11.6 million in 2006, a drop of seven per cent.

And the land bank recorded 1,403 real estate transactions in 2007, a drop of five per cent from the previous year, when 1,474 transactions were recorded.

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Land Bank to Preserve State Road Meadow

A rolling meadow that has been used for sheep grazing off State Road in Tisbury will be protected thanks to the purchase of a conservation restriction by the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank.

The land bank commission announced on Tuesday that it has signed a contract to buy a restriction on seven acres owned by Kristen Kingsbury Henshaw. The purchase price is $301,000. The field is located about .2 miles from the land bank’s Tisbury Meadow Preserve.

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Land Bank Adds to Aquinnah Headlands
Julia Wells

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank added a small but significant piece of land to its holdings at the scenic Gay Head Cliffs this week with the purchase of a single acre near the historic clay cliffs in the westernmost reaches of the Vineyard. The seller was the Vineyard Open Land Foundation. The purchase price was $225,000.

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Southern Woodlands Plan Easily Approved
Mike Seccombe

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank envisions a new campground as part of its management plan for its 234-acre Southern Woodlands Preserve. Dan Feeney, the owner of the Vineyard’s only currently operating campground, envisages problems with that.

At Tuesday night’s public hearing to consider the draft management plan, Mr. Feeney emerged as the only person with significant objections to it.

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