Waubeeka Golf Links to present revised country inn plan to Planning Board

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WILLIAMSTOWN — The Planning Board this week is set to take up another revised proposal for a country inn at Waubeeka Golf Links.

The revision includes a number of changes, including specific language that would prohibit any dwelling units on the golf course property and guarantee that all property not included in the building envelope would remain open space if the country inn is permitted.

"We're trying to make it clear that this is not going to be some enormous thing," said Stanley Parese, attorney for Waubeeka owner Mike Deep.

The change, to be presented during a special meeting on Thursday, also would eliminate wording that ties the size of the inn to a permanent conservation restriction on the property. It limits to 10 acres the amount of property that would be allowed to hold buildings and caps the number of guest rooms to 120.

"The actual square footage equation will have to be worked out by a developer, but the cap is there so everybody can calm down about the idea that this is going to be some giant bulky building," Parese said. "It's not."

The current proposal currently allows 40 acres for development, and contains no cap on the number of rooms. The golf course property is 200 acres.

Deep hopes to add a country inn to his golf course, which is losing money annually and is in danger of closing, to increase revenue and to bring more visitors to town. But the Planning Board has been reluctant to approve a necessary zoning change, so Deep has submitted a citizens petition to be considered at the May 17 annual town meeting, where it would need a two-thirds majority.

Several neighbors of the golf course, and three members of the five-member Planning Board, have opposed every proposal offered regarding the project. They maintain that Deep's concept has changed over time and is too big for the area. They have also expressed a wish for further open space requirements.

Deep is hoping to receive a positive recommendation from the Planning Board on the revised proposal to bolster his chances of approval at the town meeting.

The revised plan also removes language that ties building size to conservation restriction acreage, which Parese said was irrelevant.

"In the permanent conservation wording that was proposed, for Mike [Deep] to do what he wants, 190 acres would have gone into permanent open space restriction," Parese said. "We've said over and over again that is not going to happen."

The Planning Board meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday at town hall, 31 North St.


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