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.
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Pittsfield School Committee Updated on Beginning of School Year
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Public Schools has started the new school year with more than 5,000 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through Grade 12.
School administrators provided an update the beginning of the year at Wednesday's School Committee meeting.
"I would like to welcome everybody back and it is hard to believe we are at the start of another school years but here we are," Chairwoman Katherine Yon said at the meeting broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television.
Superintendent Jason McCandless thanked the many people who helped prepare the schools for incoming students as well as community members who help make the Pittsfield Public Schools home.
There are 520 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students in the district. On the other side of the spectrum, there are 1,632 high school students and 400 career and technical education students.
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Mayor Linda Tyer named Sammons chief last week and he was sworn in to take immediate command of the Fire Department. Tuesday's broadcast event was largely to celebrate his promotion and introduce him to the council and the city.
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District Attorney Andrea Harrington made the announcement on Tuesday morning in front of the Boys and Girls' Club and backed by the county's two mayors, state officials, members of her office and school and law enforcement leaders.
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Although the mosquito numbers were low, this was not the case in youth e-cigarette use and Armstrong said according to a recent Central Berkshire Prevention Needs survey use is on the rise.
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