Vol. III No. 7 4/1/2022
Contributors: Our Candidates
Kate Fletcher, Candidate for Planning Board
As I complete my second term on the Planning Board, the work feels more important than ever. Thoughtful leaders introduced our zoning bylaws in the 1980's with the recognition that there was a need to codify what had until then been common sense approaches — reasonable building heights, the scale of a property in relation to the land it was situated on and the surrounding area. Thanks to this foresight, the Town has virtually no sprawl and has mostly managed to dodge detrimental impacts to residential neighborhoods. One area where we need to raise the bar is on the shores of the Stockbridge Bowl. More can be done within the parameters of our existing bylaws to promote lake ecology and aesthetics for this gem of a public good.
Stockbridge is still beautiful, characterized by lovely residential neighborhoods and an open rural character on the outskirts of town. The downtown, with its historic buildings, churches, sites and residences is architecturally cohesive. Contemporary buildings like the fire station and an extension at The Austen Riggs Center are in scale with their surroundings. Main Street is still graced by tall arching trees which soften the streetscape and provide conservation value. Our remarkable natural resources provide ecosystem services that climate scientists now recognize for their importance in mitigating pollution and global warming, providing wildlife habitat and supporting human health.
As we enter the next stages of development in Stockbridge, it is important to uphold not just our zoning bylaws, but the ideas that inform them. This approach has worked well for the Town for decades. Stockbridge has notable cultural and physical legacies. It also has an important legacy of enlightened governance that benefits us all. Now more than ever, we need planning board members who are committed to these principles. I would be honored to continue to work on behalf of Stockbridge, its residents and its community of friends.
Photo: Jay Rhind