Proprietor's Lodge gets parking waiver from Pittsfield Community Development Board, to neighbors' dismay

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PITTSFIELD — Despite concerns from vocal neighbors, a Pontoosuc Lake-front venue owner has dodged another obstacle to building a new wedding platform on the property.

On Tuesday, the Community Development Board granted Eric Taylor of the Proprietor's Lodge a parking waiver, which was required in order to build a waterfront ceremonial platform at the venue.

While Taylor was adamant that he had no intention of using the new space to increase capacity — currently at 339 — at the venue or attached restaurant, residents of the neighborhood are already unhappy with the traffic that the business brings to the area.

"How much is too much?" resident Michele Rivers Murphy asked of the business. "We OK things, but where is the follow-through or the oversight?"

Speaking both Tuesday and at a Community Development Board earlier this month, neighbors complained of loud music, public urination and illegal parking during busy nights at the Proprietors Lodge, which is located at the former ITAM Lodge location on Waubeek Road.

"The parking issue has been since ITAM," Community Development Board member Gary Levante said. "Even if we decline this tonight, the issues with parking is still going to be there."

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Due to limited parking at the Proprietor's Lodge, Taylor shuttles guests from his other business, The Lake House Guest Cottages of the Berkshires, in Lanesborough on busy nights.

To avoid the 1.8-mile shuttle ride, however, some event guests, or those looking to get dinner at the restaurant, have been parking along the residential streets, which is bothersome to neighbors.

At the last meeting, the board requested Taylor provide a parking management plan before they decide whether to issue the special permit.

On Tuesday, the board issued the permit, but added conditions. The venue must have a parking attendant ensuring that guests aren't parking along the streets; shuttle buses from Lanesborough are mandatory for events that have more than 150 people attending; and the restaurant must only accept patrons who have made a reservation when there are more than 200 people at an event, the board decided. Taylor must also widen parking spots on the Proprietor's Lodge property to ensure the required 118 spaces are usable.

He agreed with the conditions, but many neighbors were still audibly disappointed with the board's decision, scoffing and walking out of the public meeting.

With the special permit approved, Taylor can move forward with obtaining a building permit to construct the ceremonial platform. He had already submitted an application.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@BerkshireEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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