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Brent White of White Engineering explains the plan to the Mobile Home Rent Control Board.

Pittsfield's Allendale Pines Plans Further Expansion

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Allendale Pines plans to expand the mobile home park with more than 20 additional lots.

This addition will separate the parks into AP South and the new AP North.

The Mobile Home Rent Control Board on Monday OK'd the plan contingent on approval from the Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

"In summary, this project would provide 21 additional financially attainable lots and homes for Pittsfield," Attorney Jeffrey Scrimo said on behalf of owner Eagle Allendale.

"This would be an expansion of the existing Allendale Pines community, but it was served by a separate entrance and separate utilities."

Lot rent is proposed to be $550 for AP North and the existing lots' lower rate of $320 will not change.  The higher rate is attributed to the costs of creating a new lot from scratch and inflation.

"If one were to compare the rent structure that exists for the existing facility versus the proposed, in this case here we're taking a virgin piece of ground, we need to clear it, we need to grade it, we need to provide a sub base to construct a road and then pave the road, construction-grade all the pad sites, slope stabilization, drainage," Brent White of White Engineering in Pittsfield explained.

"The work that was proposed down below, we had a road network in place, we had a road base, we had water and sewer lines that needed to be replaced and the electricity was already to the site.  In this case, here we have to establish that all for the first time in this area."

The project will cost about $1.4 million with additional fees associated with the site's development.
 
It needs to go before the Conservation Commission because work is proposed to occur within 100 feet of a bordering vegetative wetland and the applicant will need to apply for a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals for a pre-existing non-conformity



Teton Management CEO George Whaling added that they are aware of the roadwork happening on Route 8 and know that they can't touch the road for five years after it is completed. The corporation has an ownership stake in Allendale Pines as of 2021.

Residents of Allendale Pines attended the meeting to express existing concerns with property management after a three-phase rent increase was approved in 2020 to facilitate capital improvements such as repaving the roads, reconstructing the water system, and repairing the sewer lines.

Common complaints were related to flooding and drainage.

"Basically our concern, our feeling is how can you start something new before finishing what you started with us?" one resident said. "What did you raise our rent for?"

Chair Peter Marchetti suggested that the residents somehow all mediate with the management company.  The representatives from Eagle Allendale and Teton Management took note of the concerns and committed to having a meeting at the park in the next month.

"We can help negotiate some of that but if the issues that we're hearing are maintenance issues and other issues that need to be taken care of, I think we're happy to kind of mediate a solution," Marchetti said. "But the things that I'm hearing is not something that we would stop another project from happening for."

The park recently added 10 new homes that were allowed by a special permit obtained last summer.

Whaling said the entities were excited about how quickly those units went and recognized the demand for attainable housing in Berkshire County.


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West Side Mural Wishes for Greener Future

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The mural was commissioned by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity. Director Carolyn Valli says murals bring 'a sense of hope.' The nonprofit is building two units of housing near the artwork.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new mural on the West Side depicts a vision of a green community.
 
On Friday, the completion of "I Wish … For a Greener Future" by Hope Aguilera was celebrated by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, which commissioned the piece as a part of neighborhood revitalization efforts.
 
Located on the B&P Auto Body Supply at the corner of Robbins Avenue and Columbus Avenue, it depicts a young boy making a wish on a dandelion with an eco-friendly landscape in the background. Within the mural is a farm, windmills to supply energy, an electric car, and a Bird scooter.
 
"Whenever you start thinking about doing a mural project or doing anything like this Habitat's perspective is 'What do we want to help the community do because it's something they want?'" CEO Carolyn Valli said.
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