Stockbridge voters update zoning laws, but ‘Great Estates' proposal falls


STOCKBRIDGE -- Voters approved nine warrant articles at a well-attended special town meeting but a redevelopment plan for so-called Great Estates and a land-use update fell to defeat.

With one exception, the articles dealt with updating the town's zoning bylaws to conform with state laws.

A proposal to make it easier to rehabilitate and develop new uses for at least 13 cottage-era Great Estates won majority support at last week's two-hour meeting, it fell short of the two-thirds supermajority margin needed to pass, said Select Board Chairman Deborah McMenamy.

The revision, which could have cleared the way for more commercial uses, would have affected properties with 80 contiguous acres that included a principal structure used in the past as a single-family residence. Among them were Kripalu, Elm Court, Chesterwood, Naumkeag, Cherry Hill Farm and the former DeSisto School.

The other article that was not approved would have updated the town's bylaw on non-conforming land uses and structures to conform with state legal standards.

Despite those setbacks, McMenamy said she was pleased by the robust turnout -- more than 130 registered voters -- and "the thoughtful input."

"There was a lot of discussion that showed voters really care about the town and don't want to act in a hasty fashion," McMenamy said.

Approved bylaws included an update on wireless telecommunications regulations and clarifications on rules affecting individual and shared driveways as well as fences and walls. Voters also approved hiring an engineer to revamp the Town Offices' troubled heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto


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