Housing and Development

How Martha's Vineyard Grew from Shabby to Chic

While Chappaquiddick left an indelible mark on the Vineyard, the broadscale population change and development that occurred on the Island over the next 50 years had started long beforehand.

Survey Highlights Need for Year-Round Rental Housing

A Martha’s Vineyard Commission survey confirms a stark contrast between the needs of renters and homeowners on the Island.

Planning Vision: MVC Counts Three Decades of Unique Act

The early framers were the Thomas Jeffersons of the Vineyard - visionaries and idealists ahead of their time. They looked down the road, saw trouble and took action, with an eye toward a regional solution.

The result was the Martha's Vineyard Commission, a regulatory commission considered unique in American government, both then and now.

State Forecasts on Final Buildout Help Edgartown to Plan Future of the Town

Listening to the banter of benchwarmers in front of the Edgartown town hall, it's hard to tell if it's 1972, 1982, 1992 or 2002.

The characters have changed, but the themes stayed the same. The building trade is booming. There's a new home on every corner. The town can't house its young people.

"We've always been talking about growth. We've always thought we're growing too fast," said Larry Mercier, lifelong Edgartown resident and respected town official.

Affordable Housing: An Urgent Need

 
It is important that in the rush to designate the entire Island as a “district of critical planning concern” that we not forget two other issues that have long been neglected on the Vineyard. The first is the urgent need for affordable housing. The second is the need for much more active comprehensive planning so that we will not lurch from crisis to crisis as we have been doing, while growth around us has continued unabated. This letter deals only with the first.
 
This will not be a treatise on affordable housing.

A Look at the Vineyard in the 21st Century

How’s this for a long view of the Vineyard, let’s say some time after the year 2000 when this fragile Island enters the 21st century.
  • A summer population of as much as 260,000.
  • More than 40,000 buildings situated on only 64,000 acres of Vineyard land.
  • Miles upon miles of asphalt roads criss-crossing back and forth across the length and breadth of the Island.
  • Housing construction riveted to rigid, evenly spaced grid plans, like another Levittown. Forget cluster development with open spaces and green buffer zones.

Definite Facts on Housing Units, Their Condition, Equipment

The 1960 census of housing of the U.S. Department of Commerce counted 5,340 housing units in Dukes County.

Dukes County Has 3,799 “Housing Units” for Its 5,699 Inhabitants

Dukes County boasts a total of 3,799 “housing units,” for its 5,669 inhabitants, according to revised figures issued by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for 1940. At the time the tally was made 1,699 of the houses were occupied, 524 were vacant and for sale or for rent, and 1,576 were vacant for other reasons.

More Than Third of Island Population Is on Relief

A total of 36.8 per cent of the population of Dukes County, calculated on the 1930 census, is being supported by public funds either from the ERA, public welfare or soldiers’ relief, according to figures compiled by the Hyannis Regional ERA office for February.
 
For Dukes County, the accompanying table shows, the total relief load is 479 cases, supporting 1,820 persons.

Editorial: Two Sides of a Question

Not long ago we heard a valued summer resident of an Island town discourse in a rather surprising way. She said:
 
“Some of us have formed a knockers’ club this year. If anyone asks us about the Vineyard, we say, ‘We-e-ell, the mosquitoes were pretty bad this season,’ or something of that sort designed to be discouraging. You see, it’s a question whether the Island isn’t becoming a little too popular, whether there haven’t been too many people around this year.”
 

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