Vol. III No. 6 3/15/2022
Reader to Reader
Thank you for your reassuring and inspiring editorial about comity and kind words. I feel this way about Stockbridge too, as a haven of humanity and civility especially during these challenging times.
You put my nascent feelings into beautiful words, and are sharing them with our entire community. I want you to know your thoughts, and all your work and dedication on the updates, are much appreciated by those of us quietly reading out here.
Thank you for taking the time to write. I guess putting someone's feeings into words is a writer's deepest hope.
The latest issue of SU looks great and is full of important information for our townspeople. This Stockbridge resident is really curious about "who" is the mystery photographer that goes by the name of Blue Moon Images?? Are you willing to share that info? All the photos by all the photographers add so much beauty to SU!
No secret. Blue Moon is the very talented Dana Goedewaagen. SU placed her email, firstname.lastname@example.org, rather than her name in the caption. Thanks for catching it. Dana's name will appear in captions going forward.
Thank you for creating this forum. It could be so helpful, and potentially defining, during this particularly challenging time. I signed up and am grateful for your leadership.
Thank you for your kind words and for being part of the SU community.
Photo: Patrick White
Photo: Patrick White
A group of folks in town who have long hoped to bring large scale housing and resort development to Stockbridge have shifted gears. After finally giving up on pushing a major bylaw change through the Planning Board related to bringing back the sprawling "37 Interlaken" project, they have opened a new front in the controversial discussion.
The Select Chair reached out, apparently on her own, and contacted the developer, who still owns the property but has not applied for a permit, to speak at the Board's March 10th meeting on "general potential uses — no specific plan to be presented" for the property. Not surprisingly, this proved impossible. Specifics flowed, as did emotions.
Had there been more notice of this event, some may have pondered whether it was a good idea for the SB Chair to have made this arrangement. The idea had been percolating with the Planning Board Chair as well. Public officials must tread carefully in order not to give the appearance of acting as agents, like realtors or other beneficiaries, for private business plans. Inviting in a specific building project can look like a personal agenda, regardless of intent.
One proponent suggested the developer return and speak to residents. But this is now a project of the Select Board as well. Perhaps they can also answer questions. And perhaps residents can inform the Board about their own understanding of the consequences of this project.
No professional planning association would suggest that Select and Planning Boards look at such fundamental and literal changes to the town's landscape without assessing the impact of scale. First. Before writing new laws or reaching out to specific builders to pitch their ideas at official town Board meetings.
We have one of the most outdated Master Plans in the Berkshires. Our Planning Board still has not resolved the Cottage Era bylaw issue after two years and tens of thousands of consultant dollars, paid for by all of us as taxpayers.
To promote "37 Interlaken" in this way is unfair to Stockbridge, and a poor precedent. In fairness to the developer, and with all due respect, he has every right to apply for a permit and therefore be heard — not as our special guest.
One of the committees I serve on is the Regional School District Planning Board. Its mission is to evaluate and possibly recommend a merger or some sort of collaboration between the Berkshire Hills and South Berkshire Regional School Districts. If you use Facebook or Instragram, you may have seen the post below promoting the meeting on March 22. This is where we present the three options for the voters to consider. It's a huge deal that will affect our region for years to come, and I strongly recommend attendance. If you have any questions, you can contact me at email@example.com or 413-441-5231.
Zoom link will be posted at 8towns.org a few days before the meeting.