Vol. II No. 21 11/1/2021
Notes from the Planning Board (PB)
October 19 — Hybrid meeting
- Bill Vogt, Chair
- Marie Rafferty, Vice Chair
- Gary Pitney
- Wayne Slosek
- Nancy Socha
Present via Zoom:
- Kate Fletcher
- Carl Sprague
Also present: Jennifer Carmichael, Denny Alsop, Robert Ackroyd and Patrick White
- Minutes of last meeting approved.
- Amended plans for 37 Mahkeenac Road approved. If the PB requested new plans to reflect the change, it would require a Public Meeting. As an alternative, the Chair proposed calling the change an amendment and approving that night.
- Continued discussion of Natural and Historic Resources Protection Zoning (NHRPZ)
- Reflecting that the PB is on an advanced draft, Selectman Patrick White said, "It shocks me that Jeff (the consultant) hasn't walked the Town with you guys. Why wasn't that the first step?" Chair replied that they are doing it now.
- White also asked that when they show the consultant the town and "consider what to build, to protect neighborhoods they also consider what not to build." He used the example of opening a bar in a residential neighborhood.
- Slosek strongly disagreed with any suggestion that there be no bars or restaurants in residential districts. He pointed out most Berkshire Cottages are in residential districts and developing those properties would include mixed use.
- Sprague suggested the PB set aside time to discuss the results of a resilience report which seemed to conclude a majority of Stockbridge residents "respect the limits" placed on growth and development that prevent urban sprawl.
- After discussion, PB set a date for the consultant's visit to Stockbridge
Editor's notes: 1. In general, a Community Resilience Report measures the ability of communities to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity and other factors. Hope PB follows Sprague's suggestion so we can be made aware of report specific to Stockbridge. 2. John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." In the year plus that PB labored over NHRPZ, the real estate market in Stockbridge changed radically. There was an influx of new residents, renovations, demolitions and new buildings. The activity has redefined development in Stockbridge. (See article by contributor Lis Wheeler). The growth and rise in property values is nothing short of stupendous. The attraction to Stockbridge was in no small part due to its low density and residential character. The task for PB seems to have shifted from promoting growth to managing it. The relevance of NHRPZ may have waned.
Photo: Jay Rhind.