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Planning Board Minutes, 01/27/2009
Town of Lenox
Planning Board
January 27, 2009
Land Use Meeting Room

Members present: Chair Joe Kellogg, JK; Gary Schiff, GS; Kate McNulty-Vaughn, KM-V; Steve Sample, SS; Ken Fowler, KF
Staff present:  Mary Albertson, Town Planner, MA; Peggy Ammendola, Land Use Clerk; PA

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm.

Minutes: KF made a motion to approve the minutes of January 13, 2009 and SS seconded the motion.  The Board voted to approve 5-0.

Housatonic River ACEC:  JK stated that there will be a public hearing on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at Lenox Memorial Middle & High School auditorium to discuss the designation of Area of Critical Environmental Concern to a 12.9 mile stretch of the  Housatonic River that encompasses roughly 1300 adjoining acres.  This area includes 125 acres that are located in the industrial zone in Lenox Dale.   Present was Eleanor Tillinghast, an activist with the organization known as Save the Housatonic, who supports the designation of ACEC.  JK said that the Commonwealth is accepting comments through February 9, 2009 and that the Board of Selectmen would be meeting January 28, 2009 to vote on their position regarding the designation and asked if the Board wanted to take a position too.  Both JK and SS disclosed that because they each have property within the area proposed they would not take a stand.  Members questioned Ms. Tillinghast regarding the effect on Lenox if the area received this designation.  Ms. Tillinghast responded that the ACEC designation would not impede economic development, but would enhance the ecological and economic value of the area.  The Board recessed and KF, GS and KM-V will attend the meeting of the Board of Selectmen January 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm with regards to this subject.

Continued Public Hearing: Yokun Ridge Property Management LLC petition to rezone its property on Main Street and Cliffwood Street being parcels 69 & 69-1 shown on Assessors Map 43 from its current zoning classification of “R-15” to “Commercial” with a 10 feet wide strip of land with frontage on Cliffwood Street to be rezoned “R-30”.  Present for this discussion were Attorney Philip Heller, representing Yokun Ridge, and Mr. Welch who is one of the principals.

Mr. Heller stated that he had no new comments.  

Two new letters from Valerie Ryan of 35 Cliffwood and Eric and Carol Haythorne of 9 Cliffwood and one Berkshire Eagle article dated January 22, 2009 written by Nini Gilder were summarized.  All were in opposition to the re-zoning.  Jim Biancola stated that Andrea Winter who wrote a letter of opposition that was recognized at the previous meeting has requested her letter be read into the record tonight. JK advised that the letter was too long to read but was in the file and available to anyone who wished to read it.  
Suzanne Pelton stated that the property is located within the Historical District and that although the Zoning Bylaw allows for two single family homes to be built by right on the parcels, the Historic District Commission would have to approve.

On a motion by GS, seconded by SS, the Board voted to close the public hearing 5-0.

KM-V made a motion that the Board vote in opposition of the reclassification of the rezoning and GS seconded the motion. The Board voted 5-0 in favor of the motion to oppose the petition.

SS moved that the Board recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the petition be placed on the Annual Town Meeting rather than on the Special Town Meeting.  GS seconded the motion and the Board voted in favor 5-0.

Continued Public Information/Input Event on potential zoning bylaw amendments (Town Hall Auditorium) to replace existing Section 7.7 Open Space Residential Development with revised Section 7.7 Flexible Development.  Following the meeting of January 13, 2009, Rob Hoogs of Foresight Land Services and MA re-wrote the proposed new Flexible Bylaw.  This new version was handed out to the approximately 15 people in attendance.  

JK opened the meeting by telling the approximately 15 people in attendance that this bylaw amendment is to encourage open space and the Board is requesting the public to ask questions and voice their concerns and opinions.

Mr. Hoogs provided a Power Point presentation to show the comparisons of a conventional subdivision under the existing zoning bylaw and two alternatives using the proposed Flexible Bylaw.   For demonstration purposes, Mr. Hoogs used the Pine Knoll development which consists of 88 acres.

Among concerns expressed by the public were:
·       Density of development and the impact on the neighborhood
·       The impact of multiple units in excess of duplexes on single family homes in the area
·       Conservation of open space
·       Concern that the proposed bylaw is only applicable to large project.  There is a need for incentives for smaller projects.  

SS moved and KMV seconded to recess this meeting to Jan 29 at 4pm.  

On a motion by SS, seconded by GS, the Board voted 5-0 to recess the meeting to January 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Peggy Ammendola




 
Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500