Pittsfield Asks for Info on Vandalism, Ransacking in Parks

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is asking that community members report suspicious activity after two parks were vandalized and ransacked.

On Friday, it was reported that Clapp Park, located on West Housatonic Street, and the Common on First Street experienced recent acts of vandalism that included destruction of the bathroom fixtures and the control room.

Copper was taken from both locations. The metal is commonly stolen and sold for profit.

"Both parks are vital resources to our community. We are devastated that this activity has taken place and are going to try our best to have things repaired in time for spring," the city posted on its Facebook page.

"However, we have a lot of work ahead to have bathroom facilities and splash pads available in these two locations."

The post included pictures of what appear to be control rooms with broken pipes and other materials scattered on the ground.

"We now must purchase, repair, and install new doors, locks, toilets, sinks, dispensers, and mirrors," it reads.

"In addition, we need to obtain replacement parts and piping to properly operate the bathrooms and splash pads."

Both parks have bathroom facilities and splash pads, which are recreation areas that spray water on users during the warm months.

The city asked that if members of the public have seen any suspicious activity in either park recently to report it to the Pittsfield Police Department at 413-448-9700.

Additional updates will be shared closer to the spring season.

Tags: vandalism,   

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West Side Residents Build Ideal Neighborhood At Zoning Session

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Program manager James McGrath opens the session at Conte Community School.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents mapped out a West Side they would like to see during an input session this week, utilizing multi-use properties to create robust density.

Held at Conte Community School on Monday, this was the second meeting of a project to examine zoning in the neighborhood. The Department of Community Development, in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, has been working with an urban planning and design consulting team on the effort that will conclude on June 30.

"This is a really important project for your neighborhood," Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

Multifamily houses with spaces to accommodate a small business were popular. A community center, church, year-round farmer's market, and even a place to draw in commerce appeared as elements on the tabletop street.

An emphasis was also placed on the amount of immigrants coming to the area in need of housing.

Max Douhoure, community outreach coordinator for Habitat, explained that he grew up in Africa where people liked to live together, which his build reflected.

"I wanted to improve their conditions," he said. "That’s what I did."

During the first meeting in November, the team heard desires for businesses and commercial uses — including a need for small, family-owned business support. The session provided an overview of what zoning is, what zoning can and can't do, how zoning can improve the community, and the impact on residents.

"Today's exercise is really about creating spaces in buildings and on properties to do a combination of residential [uses] that meet the needs and commercial uses that meet the needs of the neighborhood,"  Emily Keys Innes, principal of Innes Associates explained.

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