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Planners look over exterior drawings of the Mulcare Building renovation.
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Alicia Canary is taking a rundown building on River Street and turning it into an art studio and home.

Snocross Racing to Return to North Adams

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Snocross racing will return to North Adams this winter and be expanded with the development of a practice track.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More snocross racing will occur at The Range on Curran Highway this winter as well as practice runs beginning this fall.

Range owner David Bond said the weekend event this past February brought in thousands of snocross racers and audiences, and an estimated $300,000 was spent in the city.

The potential for the sport in North Adams has been cemented with the purchase of East Coast Snocross by Clarksburg resident Kurt Gagne, owner of Gagne Mechanical Corp.

"His idea is to create a practice track, there isn't a place for these teams ... to practice practice on the East Coast," Bond told the Planning Board on Monday night. "His idea is if the weather cooperates ... sometime in November we will start to blow snow and have the track available around Thanksgiving."

For two weeks, people would come to the area to stay, shop and eat.

"It would make North Adams the epicenter of Northeast snocross racing," said Bond. "He has plans to make it bigger and since he's from the area, he wants to help North Adams gain some recognition."

The intent to again host the event and expand through the use of a practice track on weekends was submitted to the Planning Board in a letter.

Planner Jay Walsh, however, felt the proposal was "an obviously large change of use" compared to the one-off event approved this year. "It's not the event, it's the extended time line," he said.

He objected that accepting the letter on the basis The Range is a recreational facility would open up the possibilities of other activities such as motocross or shooting events. Plus, the area includes wetlands and the river.

"I'm concerned about the noise it's going to generate," Walsh said. "I think at the very least it should be presented to us with a full plan where not only abuttors but others can voice their opinion on it."

Planner Brian Miksic felt the letter and the ordinances already in place, including for noise, were sufficient.

"I don't see it as a change of use and the potential issues like sound can be dealt with by existing ordinances," he said. "It's an entertainment facility so I have no problem with that."

The other planners agreed voting to accept the letter; Walsh was the lone vote against. Planners Robert Burdick and Paul Hopkins were not in attendance.

The board also approved plans for Northern Berkshire Community Television to move to the former Shapiro/Gateway Cheverolet building on Union Street. Executive Director David Fabiano said the public access station would purchase the western end of the building in a condominium arrangement from owner Scarafoni Associates.

The plans would also include a building mounted antennae for NBCTV's 100-watt radio station that would cover most of North Adams and parts of Adams and Williamstown. Fabiano said the station had FCC approval for its current location but would need further approval for the relocation.

Fabiano said most of the work would be done this winter with the anticipation of moving in the spring. The television station is relocating from Western Gateway Heritage State Park to make way for the planned Greylock Market.  

In other business, the planners also:

Approved redevelopment plans for the Mulcare Building on Marshall Street. Owner David Moresi, of Moresi Associates, said the layout will remain essentially the same but HVAC, plumbing and electrical will be completely replaced, and bathrooms and the kitchens in the residential units will be gutted.

The Mohawk Tavern will be rehabbed and operated by a third party and the former Rub restaurant "will be the trailing edge of our project because we'll take a little more time for the restaurant space."

"In our opinion, it's a key building in the redevelopment of the downtown," said Moresi, whose father and grandfather had originally owned the building. "We're really excited about it."

Approved a special permit to Alicia Canary to create an artist studio and gallery and personal residence at 100-104 River St.  A second floor will be added in addition to the three ground units. Canary goes before the Zoning Board of Appeals next Monday.

A change of ownership of the Dairy Barn at 465 Curran Highway. Norman Haskins bought the property earlier this year and eventually plans to expand the menu, repave the parking lot and possibly add picnic tables.

"Not a lot's going to change," he said. "Get it cleaned up, redone, redo and give it the loving care it hasn't had in several years."

He anticipates keeping it seasonal and closing this year after the Fall Foliage Parade, with a grand reopening in the spring

Approved Deals 4 U used-car sales at 362 State Road, with minor mechanical work for prepare cars for sale. The operation was approved with the condition that only 35 cars be on the lot. Signage was yet to be approved.  rendering be brought for ward

Re-elected Kyle Hanlon as representative to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

Tags: NBCTV,   Planning Board,   snocross,   used cars,   

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