In fact, town meeting passed an accessory dwelling unit bylaw in 2012. One problem is that the bylaw was so limited in scope and restrictive that it has seldom been used; just four ADUs have been permitted since the 2012 vote.
After months of discussions at full hearings, on social media and in a series of "community coffees" the board instituted earlier this year, the fundamental disagreement remains over whether to require owner-occupation at homes where a second or third unit is added to a primary residence.
The Planning Board last spring withdrew a more ambitious proposal to liberalize the town's housing bylaw in the face of vocal opposition. In the summer, it decided that the ADUs were one area where the town could make incremental changes to allow a little more housing flexibility.
On Monday, the board gave the OK to a parking lot with spaces for 20 cars that will be located behind the church near the old ballfield and will be accessed by Amidon Road, which is east of the church. Two more parking spaces will be created at the front of the building for handicapped access.
The town is expected to file an agreement with the telecommunications company by Friday, Oct. 5. Pittsfield Cellular Telephone Co., operating as Verizon Wireless, filed a lawsuit in federal court a month after the Planning Board denied its application for a permit last year.
According to documents filed for Monday's Planning Board meeting by the company's representatives Bacon Wilson Attorneys at Law, the regional chain is proposing a 5,814-square-foot convenience store and four fueling stations with eight pumps including diesel at 227 Ashland.
In the spring, faced with intense opposition from a vocal group of residents, the board abandoned a proposal to implement changes that would have eased zoning restrictions and created more flexibility in residential zones.
The Planning Board on Tuesday held its second meeting since May's town election and the town meeting at which the prior board had hoped to bring an ambitious proposal to revamp the town's zoning bylaws before voters.
The petition by the owners of the motel development and adjacent properties would take more than a half-dozen parcels purchased over the last several years and a section owned by the state's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife now in four different zones and consolidate them under one designation, CC-1.
The vote to give Michael Gazal and Veso Buntic of Long Island, N.Y., operating as Eagle Street Holding LLC, a special permit for a change of use to convert the building into a contemporary 27-room hotel was unanimous, but it came with one contingency: that the hotel be responsible for preventing guests from double-parking while checking in.
Plans drawn up by Barry Berg Architect of Brooklyn, N.Y., would create 27 double-occupancy rooms of varying size, each with private bath, in the 3,330 square-foot building. The two storefronts are envisioned to become restaurant and bar spaces.
The former Excelsior Print mill on Roberts Drive has been filling up with tenants since being purchased by developer David Moresi last spring. On Monday, they gave the OK to a yarn dyer, a computer repair shop and Moresi's own business office.
In a series of unanimous votes spread over a 2 1/2-hour public hearing Tuesday, the Planning Board decided to pull all three of the zoning bylaw amendments it had planned to bring before next month's town meeting.
Like the proposed bylaw changes themselves, the discussion was complex and wide-ranging. Not all of the comments were negative, and with a couple of exceptions, people on both sides of the table kept their emotions in check.
Resident Molly Guest and Katie Jackson, business and community development manager for tiny home builder B&B Micro Manufacturing of North Adams, tried to convince the Planning Board on Wednesday that it would be a benefit to the town to allow the popular little houses to be sited in the rural town.
The Redevelopment Authority approved the creation of a new lot within the Urban Renewal District that comprises the church's Christian education building on Ashland Street. The Planning Board at its meeting immediately following approved the Form A application that divided the property.
The Planning Board on Tuesday gave the OK to Williams College's plan for a new dormitory and discussed zoning bylaw changes the board may bring to town voters in May.
The college was before the board to seek a parking determination and a finding of functional equivalency for the planned 40-room residence hall to replace Garfield House on South Street.
The complaints came at Monday's public hearing on a raft of bylaw revisions to update the town's zoning. Town officials are anticipating a special town meeting by late December or early January.
The solar bylaw was completed last year but not in time for the annual town meeting in May. It was presented at Monday night's Planning Board hearing as a standalone along with a number of connected zoning amendments and additions.
Originally some members wanted to keep the state's buffer zone of 500 feet, however this would lock all possible retailers out of the downtown. The Planning Board brought the distance down to 300 feet but ultimately compromised at 250 feet.