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A Lenox hotel owner has concerns about plans for an affordable housing complex nearby. Now the two are seeking middle ground

Rendering of Brushwood Farm development from air (copy)

An artist's rendering shows the layout of the proposed affordable/workforce housing development at Brushwood Farm off Pittsfield Road in Lenox. Pennrose proposes to build 13 townhouse buildings containing 65 affordable and workforce rental apartments on nearly 15 acres at Brushwood.

LENOX — In a surprise move, an expected zoning board decision on a major mixed-income housing complex at Brushwood Farm off Pittsfield Road has been delayed at the request of the developer.

Officials with Pennrose LLC told the Zoning Board of Appeals at its scheduled Thursday night meeting that it is completing a legal agreement with the Toole Family’s adjacent Courtyard by Marriott to resolve differences over the siting of the project.

Such an agreement would minimize or eliminate the prospects of an appeal against a favorable ZBA ruling.

Pennrose is proposing to build a 13-building, 65-unit affordable and market-rate rental apartment complex. The developer is seeking a comprehensive permit under Chapter 40B, a provision of state law designed to help clear the way for affordable housing.

The Toole group’s objections at a ZBA meeting last month and at a follow-up site visit centered on the proximity of the site plan’s boundaries to the rear of the hotel and the expected impact on guest experiences during construction and thereafter.

Marriott co-owner Colin Toole stressed that the family does not oppose development on the Brushwood property, owned by the Hashim family, and is not against affordable housing, but that the specific location was unacceptable under town bylaws.

Now, a revised site plan is being prepared as part of the legal agreement between the two parties, Pennrose attorney Andrew Singer told the zoning board.

He said an agreement in principle was reached that day, but Pennrose and the Tooles, represented by attorney Dennis Egan, will complete a written final agreement to be submitted to the ZBA.

“I haven’t reached a final judgment on anything, as I never do until the close of evidence,” said ZBA Chairman Robert Fuster Jr. “However, after the site visit at the Marriott, I could see a legitimate basis for some of their concerns, and hopefully that’s something you guys will work out.”

The zoning board will resume its consideration of the Pennrose housing site plan at 6 p.m. March 2.

The $30 million estimated cost of the project does not include the undisclosed purchase price of the site at 36 Pittsfield Road. Pennrose holds a purchase-and-sale option, pending ZBA approval.

The affordable and market-rate apartments would be rented to qualified, income-eligible individuals and families, and there would be no subletting allowed under the one-year, renewable leases.

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

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