Stockbridge zoning panel will meet again to review current bylaws

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STOCKBRIDGE — The Zoning Review Committee will hold its third meeting Monday as it pursues a painstaking review of the town's current bylaws before considering revisions and updates.

The working group, a subcommittee of the Planning Board, was formed this year after the board was approached by members of the 37 Interlaken resort development team seeking revisions of the current Cottage Era Estate bylaw in order to allow the $150 million project at the DeSisto Estate on Route 183 (Interlaken Road) to apply for a special permit.

At the committee's initial meeting Sept. 25, representatives of the developers urged the group to make that bylaw a priority so proposed changes could be brought to voters at the annual town meeting next May.

But the committee members voiced doubt that revisions could be ready in time. According to the Sept. 25 minutes, "the property representatives indicated their intention to move forward by any means open to them."

At two open houses, held Nov. 3 and 4, Tony Guthrie, 37 Interlaken Group's managing partner, indicated that his team, now including municipal attorney Jonathan Silverstein of KP Law, would seek to place a Cottage Era estate bylaw revision on the agenda of the annual town meeting through a petition with residents.

At the committee's second meeting, Oct. 23, a review of the current zoning bylaw's definitions began, according to co-Chairwoman Ruth Pearce.

"There is a lot of work to do to assess all the definitions and also to specify others that may be missing and could usefully be added," she said in an e-mail message. "As we work through, we expect to find areas where further research and analysis is required. Some of the definitions work is likely to lead into a review of the bylaws themselves."

The discussion by committee members on the definitions is among the agenda items at the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Town Offices Community Room. The committee, which seeks full transparency and public involvement, plans to meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month at the same time, with agendas posted on the town website and on the Town Offices bulletin board during the week before a meeting.

The review committee is co-chaired by Pearce and Kate Fletcher, both Planning Board members. The others on the committee are Jim Murray of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Carl Sprague of the Historic Preservation Committee and John Hart of the Conservation Commission.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com or 413-637-2551.

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