PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board on Tuesday granted a parking waiver to Proprietor's Lodge despite opposition from neighbors.
The former Itam building was renovated into a new reception hall and restaurant and the owner is looking to expand with a new ceremony room and a breakout space. But the neighbors feel the traffic congestion has gotten out of control and objected to the plans feeling that it will cause even more problems.
The company sought a parking waiver but officials said they had no plans to expand occupancy. The building has a set capacity of 339 people and the new space would add another 71 to that. But attorney Dennis Egan said the company has no plans to seek an increase in capacity and that the spaces will instead just be for additional uses for the same number of guests.
"This parking issue has been happening for decades. It is more pronounced now because the facility is in more use," said Community Development Board member Gary Levante.
The board said that since the total capacity isn't changing, the waiver isn't going to address the issues that currently exist. However, to help ease the problems, the board asked for a parking management plan.
Egan presented that plan on Tuesday. It entails operating a shuttle service from property Eric Taylor owns in Lanesborough for large events. When the venue's spaces are filled, the event-goers will park at the offsite area and be shuttled over free of charge.
He continued to say six spaces will be allocated for carpool only to encourage people to ride together and there will be a designated space for taxis, Uber, and other drop-offs. He said there will be a parking attendant on site helping control issues and that no person will be allowed into an event if they park on the side streets. Egan also said if attendance to an event is expected to have more than 250 people then the restaurant will close for the evening.
City Councilor Anthony Simonelli, who was in attendance, said new no-parking signs were put up and that he has filed petitions to make Overlook Road near the hall a one-way street and to install stop signs at the end of Constitution, Waubeek, and Spaniol streets.
"The city is doing what the city can do to help with the problems," Simonelli said.
However, he called on Taylor to be a good neighbor. A number of residents spoke at two separate meetings on the issue saying there have been a lot of issues with traffic generated from the establishment.
"We have increased traffic throughout and a parking waiver isn't going to take that away," said Linda Pensivy.
The neighbors cited not only issues with parking and speeding but also the behavior of both guests and employees leaving the establishment at night.
The board tinkered with the parking management plan before ultimately approving it.
"Even if we were to deny this permit tonight, every single issue you identified is still going to be happening," Levante said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
This weekend is your last chance to see the 2019 Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing. Performances are held on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. on the First Street Common.Featuring the witty on-again, off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice's cousin Hero and the soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero's voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. FREE, donations suggested.
The Shaker Barn Music Series presents singer-songwriter Nellie McKay. The deep, and deeply funny, McKay has paid tribute to the disparate likes of Doris Day, transgender jazz pianist Billy Tipton, environmentalist Rachel Carson and comedian Joan Rivers. Wallace Field opens. 7:30p.m.
Children ages 6 and older are invited to learn to paint a sparkly unicorn on a 16x20 canvas at Berkshire Paint & Sip. All painting materials, instruction, light snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the $25 fee. 1-3 p.m. at 305 North Street.
Indulge in the ultimate self-care experience, combining restorative yoga with CBD massage, atRadiance Yoga.Shannon will lead you through comfortable yoga postures and licensed massage therapists will guide you deeper into relaxation with massage using Vermont Farmacy's Herbal CBD Salve. 6 p.m.
Four names will be on the preliminary ballot but only three candidates showed for the debate held by the Pittsfield Gazette and hosted at Berkshire Community College. The moderator was radio host Larry Kratka and Pittsfield Community Television aired the event.
click for more
City Council President Peter Marchetti feels he's brought "professional leadership" to the city and he wants to continue doing so.
Marchetti is again seeking re-election to the council - it'll be his ninth campaign for council and 10th for elected office - in the last two decades. He's had what... click for more
At a ward meeting, Helen Moon was elated to see a young woman in her 20s take a seat in the audience.
At ward meetings and at the polls, it is often the same group of people making their voices heard. But this woman wasn't someone Moon had heard much from in the past so it made her happy to see... click for more