Vol. II No. 03 2/1/2021
Reader to Reader — We Got Mail
Great issue as usual. One correction…India Spartz…last letter a 'z' not 's'. One request…Please use "Town Offices" instead of "Town Hall", so it doesn't get confused with the old offices building across from the cemetery. "TOWN OFFICES" is over the front door.
One suggestion...keep the COVID vaccine rollout info coming...the links were helpful. As a 75+-er, I'm anxious to get the shot, and the uncertainty of how/where/when to sign up is frustrating.
— Pat Flinn
Nice to hear from you. The spelling correction appears online at www.stockbridgeupdates.com. Let me weigh the Town Hall/Town Offices issue. You and I are in Stockbridge long enough to remember; many are not. Indeed, yes, as we get information about COVID, we will post it in a regular issue or send a news alert if necessary.
I live in Lenox and don't necessarily have a dog in the hunt regarding Stockbridge Community events, although it seems in my 38 years managing the former Shadowbrook Estate grounds for Kripalu, I've established an affinity for your community. I am Kripalu's historian of sorts, not ever close to your historian capacities. I manage Bullard Woods property for the SBA as well, I am a groundskeeper without borders.
I love the sense of community you are currying with the newsletter. It's no easy feat to publish it in a world of polarities, and I like its simplicity. I am sending pictures of the landscape from Olivia's Overlook to the lake taken in a Fall morning. I call it, "Hope on the Horizon." Also, a picture of Old Man Winter taken one snowy night at Kripalu.
I hope you can use them or at least enjoy,
— Kevin Foran aka Moose
Thank you for the well-wishing and the photos. Will use one or both with gratitude.
Thank you for letting the community know that the town has hired Jeff Lacy to help with finishing a Cottage Era Estate/Open Space Design bylaw. Randall Arendt was also hired. They are both renowned creators of bylaws/developments that maintain quality open space and important land features while respecting an owner's equity. Randall presented to the town via Zoom on November 5 how his concepts are used to keep the town's character when facing development pressures.
Your recent newsletter also pointed out that the Planning Board should be more aware of explaining procedures that we must follow during our deliberations. The PB wants to hear from the public. We need to make that clear and we hope that an overview of the process will encourage participation.
The PB received a request to change the sign bylaw to allow The Lost Lamb on Main Street to install signs over the building's door and window. That started a discussion on issues, including the impact on the entire business district, as well as limits on the size and number of signs permitted. A recommendation was made that based on their experience in reviewing Special Permits, the PB instead of the Board of Selectmen should grant approval for signs. The members of the Board of Selectmen have told the PB that they agree with this change.
Informal discussions are occurring on a proposed change in parking requirements downtown and a change requiring new residential construction to have off-street parking. These discussions are occurring during regular Zoom meetings open to the public. A public hearing notice will soon appear in The Eagle and on the town's website announcing the formal public hearing on the proposals. This will be a time to ask questions, express opinions, and offer alternative amendments to the bylaws. Once the hearing is closed the PB is required to evaluate what they have heard and, if they wish, make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.
The language will then appear as a bylaw amendment on the Town Meeting warrant. At that meeting residents may vote to support, amend, or reject the proposals. If a proposed amendment substantially changes the original, proposed language, or if an amendment radically differs from the original, a new notice and hearing will be required for the PB to consider any alternatives.
Once the town passes a zoning bylaw, the process continues. The town clerk must submit the bylaw to the Commonwealth Attorney General. That office reviews municipal bylaws for consistency with existing law and for procedural defects. Once AG approval is secured, posting requirements must be met. The bylaw then becomes part of the town's zoning bylaws.
This is a brief summary. More detailed information is available by reading the zoning bylaws on the town's website, by reviewing Mass. General Law Chapter 40A S. 5, or by contacting a PB member.
— Bill Vogt and Christine Rasmussen, writing in their individual capacities
Thank you, Bill and Christine,
Good afternoon Carole,
I am enclosing a selection of recent winter photographs I took when we were at our house in Stockbridge over this most recent Christmas and New Year's.
My wife Marilyn and I find your information to be very beneficial. I am currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chair of the Tanglewood Buildings and Grounds Committee, and both my wife Marilyn and I are active BSO participants at Tanglewood. I am also a life member of the Trustees' and serve as an emeritus Life Member of their Board. Marilyn is a steadfast member of the Berkshire Botanical Garden and I have been a major supporter of the Stockbridge Bowl Association. Our President there, Richard Seltzer, and I were college classmates (1965) at Harvard (small world). I never knew him when we were undergraduates (he studied hard and I didn't), but the Berkshires has serendipitously brought us together.
While Delaware is our legal address, our emotional home is definitely in Stockbridge. Having first rented and now owning a house on Prospect Hill Road for a decade, we have gotten to know, and become close friends, with many of our Berkshire neighbors. It is a very inspiring and stimulating place in which we spend an increasing percentage of the year.
With all best wishes and fervent hopes for a peaceful transition in Washington (Joe Biden has been a close friend and collaborator for nearly 50 years) and we trust that his leadership will help promote a speedy and effective national effort to conquer this deadly pandemic.
With best wishes and fingers crossed,
— Nathan Hayward III
Dear Mr. Hayward,
Thank you for your kindness to Stockbridge Updates and your contributions to the community. Thank you, as well, for your lovely photos.
Editor's note: I received many more emails "in appreciation and praise for the quality of the written content and the photography…for filling a gap at a time when many other news organizations are cutting staff and their ability to cover local news...for being simple and straightforward."
I appreciate hearing from all of you. I value comments positive and negative. I am indebted for corrections, and deeply moved by encouraging words.
Thank you, one and all,