Thursday, April 17, 2014 06:59am
North Adams, MA now: 27 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

 
TOP STORIES AROUND THE COUNTY

Williamstown Planners Look For Ways To Save Farms

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
01:59PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Print | Email
Important
1
Interesting
1
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board is looking for ways to save local farms by allowing new usages to increase revenues.

Last Tuesday, Topher Sabot of Cricket Creek Farm proposed changing the zoning bylaws to allow the farm to host weddings, concerts and events like yoga classes that are not currently allowed on farms.

"In terms of events, we are limited to agricultural-related ones," Sabot said on Thursday. "It would be a nice supplement."

While agriculture will remain the farm's focus, a supplement income would be "critical" to the farm's survival, Sabot said. The proposed changes are still in the works but Sabot said he hopes to have a full proposal developed in time for the next town meeting, where voters would have to approve the changes.

"Our hope is, if there can be a change, it can be for next summer," Sabot said. "The proposal is still a work in progress."

Tuesday's meeting with the Planning Board was the start of what Sabor said will be an ongoing conversation toward making those changes. The board was in favor of working out the language and details of the move. The board will still have to flesh out definitions but also ways to regulate noise, times, numbers of people and vehicles.

"I think the move is to allow things that will help farms survive. I'm going to work hard to make sure it can happen," Ann McCallum, board member, said.

At Cricket Creek, Sabot said he explored asking for the changes years ago and is now pushing for them. The farm constantly gets requests for weddings, he said, and hosting those would be the main aspect of the proposal. Small-scale community concerts and "creative arts" events could be added to give flexibility for farms.

"One of the missions of the farm is to support the community. This is another way to be a community resource," Sabot said. "We have no desire to be full-time event planners."

The board could consider limiting the number of events or the scale of the events but that is still being worked out.

"Farming can take on a new look," Chris Winters, Planning Board member, said. "If we like farms, we like all the things that go with farms."

But allowing events is not the only move that the board is looking to make to save farms. The board is also considering changing the bylaws to allow for second dwelling units on lots in some of the rural districts. That move could help save farms by allowing the owners to transform a barn or garage into rental space.

That proposal, being headed by McCallum, has been in the works since last year and aims not only to help farms but also to fill business areas as well. Residents are not allowed to build a second dwelling on the same piece of land but bylaw changes could pave the way for townhouses to be allowed in places like Water Street.

Sabot hopes to continue his discussions with an updated proposal at the next Planning Board meeting.

Tags: agriculture,   

4Comments



View All
Softball: Lee vs Hoosac
4-14-14 Kassandra Kazimierczak went 2-for-4 with a double...
Baseball: MG vs Hoosac
4-11-14 Dan Flynn's suicide squeeze with the bases loaded...
Softball: MG vs McCann
4-11-14 Mount Greylock and McCann Tech played an atypical...
Sullivan School CPR Class
Seventh-graders at Sullivan School in North Adams learned...
Lacrosse: Mounties vs. Hoosac
Mounties overwhelmed Hoosac Valley on Wednesday 14-1....
North Adams Furnace St. Fire
Firefighters contained a top floor apartment blaze on...
Berkshire Chamber Career Fair...
More than 50 employers connected with job seekers at...
Lacrosse: MG vs St. Joe
Mount Greylock boys lacrosse team won 17-4 St. Joseph at...
Softball: MG vs Drury
4-8-14 Mount Greylock softball claimed a 7-2 victory over...
Wahconah High School Musical...
Wahconah Regional High School is putting on the 1930...
Drury Coach Marceau Benefit
Friends and supporters filled the Eagles Hall on Friday...
Lenox High International Fair
Lenox Memorial Middle and High School students got to...
Slice of Life Pizza 2014
Moments House's annual Slice of Life fundraiser that pits...
North Adams Hospital Closes
Union members and supporters of North Adams Regional...
2014 Berkshire Awards
The Berkshire Awards ceremony was held on Friday night at...
Chamber Night At Moments...
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce visited the new Moments...
Softball: Lee vs Hoosac
4-14-14 Kassandra Kazimierczak went 2-for-4 with a double...
Baseball: MG vs Hoosac
4-11-14 Dan Flynn's suicide squeeze with the bases loaded...
Softball: MG vs McCann
4-11-14 Mount Greylock and McCann Tech played an atypical...
Sullivan School CPR Class
Seventh-graders at Sullivan School in North Adams learned...
Lacrosse: Mounties vs. Hoosac
Mounties overwhelmed Hoosac Valley on Wednesday 14-1....
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings |
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2012 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved