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The Community Development Board was satisfied with the restaurant's parking operations but requested a followup report at the end of the season.

Proprietor's Lodge Gets Permanent Certificate of Occupancy

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board gave city staff the go-ahead to award Proprietor's Lodge a permanent certificate of occupancy.
Board members told attorney Dennis Eagan, representing the restaurant and event venue on Waubeek Road, that they were satisfied with the lodge's recommitment to its parking management plan.
"I think that they have demonstrated compliance with their parking management plan and if there are problems then we can revisit that," board member Elizabeth Herland said.
Earlier this year, the board agreed to only allow the lodge a temporary certificate of occupancy after it was found that the operators were not adhering to the agreed-upon parking plan.
The former Itam Lodge is in a thickly settled area and neighbors have been vocal about parking problems and noise.
The establishment agreed to shuttle guests from another location to alleviate parking and traffic issues. The parking plan also called for six spaces to be designated for carpool only, for a designated space for taxis, and that a parking attendant would be on hand to control traffic. 
Egan said the lodge has applied the parking management plan and, per the plan, has hired law enforcement to monitor events with more than 150 attendees.   
"There were quite a few where it wasn't quite 150 but the applicant figured it was close enough to hire law enforcement," he said. 
City Planner CJ Hoss said he has received no more complaints but the board can always call the Proprietor's Lodge back to a meeting if something arises.
Resident Linda Pensivy, representing the neighborhood, asked the board to extend the temporary certificate of occupancy until the end of the year. She recommended holding off until a late October event that should draw quite a crowd.
"They have not had an event that has matched or exceeded the two to three events that caused the uproar in the neighborhood," she said. "It is going to be high traffic, high volume, and this will be the way to determine if they follow their plan." 
She said she had video footage proving that the lodge was not sticking to the plan. At past events, she said, there has not been law enforcement monitoring the parking lot. She added that the parking lot still causes a nuisance in the neighborhood.
Eagan said there are always officers on-site when need be but they may not be in a squad car 
The board felt confident in allowing the permanent certificate but did ask that Eagan come back at the end of the season to present another report at the end of the year.
In other business, the board approved a special permit request from True East Leaf that wants to establish a marijuana cultivation and retail operation at 161 Seymour St. 
"If you can take care of the parking for the employees then it will be OK," board member Floriana Fitzgerald said.
The proposed use does not meet the city's off-street parking requirements.  
Attorney Anthony Doyle, representing the company, said they are required to have nine parking spots. Currently, there are three on-site and an agreement with Berkshire Medical Center that will provide four more.
He said they are short two spots.
"We certainly will provide those and not allow our employees to park on the street in the vicinity of the store," he said. "It does not behoove us to have employees parking in front of the store anyways we need to reserve that for customers."
Doyle said he was informed by Hoss that there may be a fire access issue with the three spots they have and if that is the case, they will find alternative parking.  
He said they are discussing alternative parking in the neighborhood.
The board did vote to waive the requirement and recommend it to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board did add to the motion that the parking must be squared away before the certificate of occupancy is signed off.  

Tags: community development,   parking,   Planning Board,   

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Dalton Man Gets Year in Jail For Burning Political Sign

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Dalton man who set fire to a political sign made of hay bales last fall has been sentenced to a year in jail.
Judge Mark Pasquariello sentenced 50-year-old Lonnie Durfee on Thursday to one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction on a single count of burning personal property.
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office secured the maximum jail sentence as part of a plea deal.
Durfee set ablaze 20 plastic-covered hay bales that were near the roadway at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton on Friday, Oct. 9. The bales had spelled out support for the Biden/Harris presidential ticket.
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