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Porches inn is adding 11 guest rooms and four studios, along with underground parking for seven vehicles. A rendering of what the new building will look like along Veazie Street.
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The new building will be situated on the north side of the River Street inn.

North Adams Planners OK 11-Room Addition to Porches

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Berkshire Hills Development purchased to the two houses more than a decade go. They were approved for demolition last year.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Planning Board on Monday gave the go-ahead for Porches to add 11 rooms to the downtown hotel.
 
The hotel on River Street is planning to knock down two adjacent buildings at 22-28 Veazie St. and replace them with a new structure that will contain 11 rooms and four studios, and will allow for seven underground parking spaces.
 
The hotel is allowed by right in the B-2 zone and has owned the two Veazie Street two-family homes for more than a decade. Their demolition was approved by the Historical Commission back in July 2022. 
 
The approvals had come at the same time as the reluctant OK to take down the 1901 former store and apartment building across the street for a new restaurant. The restaurant is now on hold as the inn moves forward with its expansion.
 
Plans show that the new structure, which will front Veazie and then extend along the back of the inn's property, will be within the zoning setbacks. The current buildings are non-conforming and not within the set backs. 
 
Berkshire Hills Redevelopment Co. was represented by attorney Jeffrey Grandchamp and Darrin Harris of Hill Engineering.
 
Grandchamp said the four studios would be small and for the use of guests. As for the underground parking, with an entrance on Veazie Street, it would controlled by hotel.
 
"Where people check in, they'll be assigned either a parking spot there or a lot in one of the other parking spaces at the inn," he said. "And there will be electronic guided access so that there isn't people driving and looking for a spot that they're not assigned."
 
The hotel also asked for a temporary variance on parking requirements, noting it currently has 59 spaces and, with the new structure would need 68. Of the nine required, seven, including one handicapped accessible spot, will be part of the new construction.
 
Grandchamp said the hotel wanted to use two spots where the eventual restaurant will be built until permanent parking can be identified.
 
The board unanimously approved the plans with the condition the inn come back within 14 months with a permanent parking plan. 
 
The board also approved with conditions a change in operational hours for Bro MX over objections from residents who say the noise from the motocross track on Curran Highway is "extraordinarily obnoxious." 
 
The track is allowed to change the two week days it's open to deal with weather conditions and to run between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends so as to accommodate funerals at the nearby cemetery. Planners shot down a request stay open until 8 p.m. during the week, setting it at 7 p.m.
 
In other business, the board approved a two-year extension of a special permit for a glamping resort. Owner Benjamin Crespi received the special permit in May 2021 for an outdoor recreation resort at 976 Notch Road. 
 
"It's been challenging to underwrite the project from a feasibility standpoint with structure cost skyrocketing, interest rates skyrocketing," he said. "And fundamentally, we're trying to solve how to do a project where it you can only use it half the time."
 
He asked for more time overcome these challenges and "deliver a better project."
 
The board also warned it would start getting tougher on enforcement issues and would consider revoking the special permit for Nite Owl automotive on River Street.
 
The garage has been warned and fined a number of times for having far too many vehicles and Chair Brian Miksic said, "it's looking pretty crazy over there."
 
A zoning ordinance change in 2021 gave the board authority to revoke special permits

Tags: motels, hotels,   Planning Board,   

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Weekend Outlook: Spring Celebrations, Clean-ups, and More

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
This spring weekend, there are a variety of events in and around the Berkshires, including Spring Celebrations, music, cleanups, and more.  
 
Editor's Pick
 
Downtown Celebrates Spring Week
Downtown Pittsfield
Saturday & Sunday
 
There will be various events to celebrate spring, including a beach and tea party, and a free Kids' Paint & Sip event.  
 
The featured event is "Where's Winston?" a spring scavenger hunt for images of the Pittsfield Police Department's comfort dog, Officer Winston, at a dozen downtown locations. More information here
 
Friday 
 
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