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Allendale Pines mobile home park expansion plan paused, as neighbors share concerns on Cheshire Road traffic

Allendale Pines community

Allendale Pines community. Wednesday, July 27, 2022. 

PITTSFIELD — A proposed expansion of the Allendale Pines mobile home park is delayed, with officials urging that a compromise be reached between the park and its neighbors.

The project would add 21 units to the park with access off of 389 and 399 Cheshire Road. The expansion aims to offer “attainable housing” to families on lower and middle incomes to address housing shortages.

Rick White, owner of White Engineering Inc., presented plans Wednesday to widen and pave over an existing driveway on the north end of Cheshire Road to provide a new entrance for the site, which would serve as the main point of entry.

White said the increase in traffic on the road would be negligible — a 0.6 percent increase in trips during peak hours on the road to pre-existing trends, based on staff analysis.

But the increase was enough to concern neighbors.

Attorney Darren Lee came to a Wednesday meeting of the Pittsfield Zoning Board of Appeals to represent the interests of Shaun Zatorski, a neighbor to the property who lives at 399½ Cheshire Road. Lee said that the new driveway — and the traffic that comes with it — would be detrimental to Zatorski, who would have to contend with a widened access route where he once had a simple right-of-way to get to his home.

“Mr. Zatorski is in the backyard of this project,” Lee said. “His kitchen window sits 15 feet from where the curb is going to be for this access route. Imagine being at home by your kitchen window, and there’s now 21 residents that live up behind you, using that access route to get in and out of a driveway.”

Lee said noise, traffic and the density of the development would all be issues for his client. “It goes from him driving home at night to 30 cars driving by at peak hours,” Lee said.

Attorney Jeffrey Scrimo, representing Allendale Pines, said the property owners are willing to work with neighbors to ensure a “net positive” for everybody.

Zatorski’s concerns were enough to give pause to the board, including board member John Fitzgerald, who said this was a “very tricky case.”

Fitzgerald noted that it is difficult to control traffic on any street in Pittsfield, but said he’d like to see the property managers get together with Zatorski and other neighbors with concerns.

A decision on the expansion was delayed until at least the board’s next meeting, Oct. 19.

Other concerns

Other neighbors voiced concerns, namely with traffic on Cheshire Road. They had issues with the speed and volume of traffic on the road, saying that adding cars to the mix could cause more accidents.

Marietta Rapetti-Cawse and James Cawse came to the meeting with safety concerns, particularly in terms of access to the property by school buses and safe crossing for pedestrians.

Some of those concerns, including sidewalks near the property, will have to be addressed by the state Department of Transportation, White said.

Barbara Conway, of 341 Cheshire Road, said traffic in the Coltsville section of Pittsfield has gotten so bad she goes up Route 7 and over the road by the Berkshire Mall and then down Route 8 to get to their driveway. She and her husband, Robert, were hit by a car in front of their house in the past, she said.

With the road’s already considerable traffic, and the presence of large trucks that don’t have the ability to “stop on a dime”, she’s worried that the expansion will cause more accidents.

Robert Conway said he’s seen at least six accidents in front of their house.

“If you had one house going up, you’re talking about two or three drivers,” Barbara Conway said. “We’re talking about 21 to 42 drivers … [the traffic] is horrific, it really is horrific, and I’m really worried about those people getting in and out.”

Matt Martinez can be reached at mmartinez@berkshireeagle.com.

News Reporter

Matt Martinez is a news reporter at The Berkshire Eagle. He worked at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, graduated Marquette University. He is a former Report for America corps member.

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