Letter: Elm Court plan needs a do-over
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
At our annual meeting July 19, the members of the Bishop Estate Association passed a resolution urging the Stockbridge Board of Selectmen to reject the Amstar application for a special permit to develop Elm Court. The vote was unanimous, with one abstention.
The proposed 96-room hotel annex, 15,500-square-foot spa and 60-seat public restaurant are all way too big. The resort would be built in one giant step, with no checks or balances along the way. That represents the extreme opposite of "smart growth."
The special qualities of our distinctive Berkshire neighborhoods are priceless legacy assets. Town officials should not sell out our neighborhoods for the promise of a fast buck, a buck that may turn out to be illusory, since Amstar refuses to submit any details about its business plan. The Amstar application also does not include any wastewater plan whatsoever. Granting a permit for four very long corridors of toilets without knowing where the sewage goes would display a reckless disregard for public welfare requirements under the Stockbridge zoning bylaw.
We would welcome a more reasonable proposal for Elm Court at a scale more in harmony with the quiet, family-oriented residential character of the existing neighborhood. Let’s slow down, begin again, and do it right.
The writer is president, Bishop Estate Association.
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