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Special Town Meeting Summary & Warrant
Summary
Special Town Meeting
February 27, 2017
7:00 PM
Village School/Town Offices gymnasium

Article 1:      This article seeks voter approval of amendments made to the Berkshire Hills Regional School District (BHRSD) Agreement. These amendments are the recommendations of the 3-Town Regional Agreement Amendment Committee and have been approved by vote of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District School Committee. The form of the article is the same as already voted in Great Barrington and to be voted in Stockbridge. BHRSD administration will attend the meeting to explain and answer questions.

Article 2:      This article seeks voter acceptance of changes to the Town’s Zoning By-laws. The proposed By Law amendments address the downtown area and seek to create a Village Core Overlay District and Changes to the Commercial District Zone Boundary. This article is proposed by the Town’s Planning Board and are the result of years of effort and numerous public meetings. Members of the Planning Board will be present at the meeting to address questions.

Article 3:      This article seeks formal approval to allow the Board of Selectmen to execute a payment’s in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement for personal property taxes to be collected on the MassPike Interchange 1 solar array (645kW). This structured payment to the Town was negotiated by the Town’s Professional Principal Assessor and will provide an average of $10,367 in new revenue for the next 20 years. The solar facility is located on Commonwealth of Massachusetts property and the facility is owned and operated by a private 3rd party.

Article 4:      This article seeks $20,000 from Certified Free Cash to perform emergency repairs to the northeast stone retaining wall just below the Shaker Mill Dam. A section of the wall washed out in recent storms and needs to be repaired to prevent further loss. The proposed repairs have received an Emergency Order of Approval from the Conservation Commission and project quotes have been obtained. If approved, the remaining balance in Certified Free Cash will be $443,644.


Full Text of Warrant Below

------------------------------------

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Town of West Stockbridge
Warrant for Special Town Meeting


BERKSHIRE: ss:
To any constable(s) of the Town of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts
GREETINGS:
In the name of the Commonwealth, you are hereby required to notify and warn the inhabitants of said Town who are qualified to vote in Town affairs to meet at seven o’clock in the evening on Monday, February 27, 2017 in the Village School/Town Offices gymnasium, 21 State Line Road, in the Village of West Stockbridge then and there to act on the following articles:

Article 1:      To see if the Town will vote to accept the amendments to the Berkshire Hills Regional School District Agreement which have been initiated and approved by a vote of the Regional School Committee on October 27, 2016 and which have been submitted as a restated Regional Agreement bearing the date of October 27, 2016 to the Board of Selectmen of each member town, and also including the additional revisions IV, VII, and VIII of the Agreement which are being presented to this Town Meeting on behalf of the Regional School District and are set forth in a document filed with the Town Meeting and bearing the note “Changes requested and approved by DESE (Chris Lynch) after conclusion of RAAC meetings, or take any other action in relation thereto.

Article 2:      To see if the Town will vote to amend its Zoning bylaws as follows:

PART 1 - TO CREATE A "village CORE OVERLAY District"
A.      In Section 3.1 add VCOD = “Village Core Overlay District” under the heading “Establishment of Districts.”
B.      Amend Section 3.2 to change the date of the zoning map - verify final date/map to be drawn by BRPC
C.      Add a new Section 3.2.2 with the following language:
“The Village Core Overlay District (VCOD) is an overlay district mapped over other districts.  It modifies and where there is inconsistency, supersedes the regulations of those other districts.  Except as so modified or superseded, the regulations of the underlying district remain in effect.”+

D.               VCOD – Proposed Dimensional Changes
Add to Table 5.6
5.6 Table of Dimensional Requirements

DISTRICT
Minimum
Area
(acres)
Lot
Frontage
(feet)
Yard Minimum (feet)
Yard
Maximum
(feet)
Maximum
Building
Height
Maximum Coverage by Building (footprint)
 
 
Front
Side
Rear
Front
Stories
Feet
 


VCOD
.10
50
5(1,2,3)
3(3,4)
15(3)
15(3)
2.5
35
75%



fOOTNOTES
1.   The 5’ setback is only applicable “as of right” to buildings or uses less than 4500 sf gross floor area.  
2.   The front setback may be reduced by special permit, as provided for by section 4.10, to less than 5' feet where a sidewalk exists along the street and at least one (1) entrance to the building is located along the sidewalk.
3.   For buildings or uses greater than 4500 sf in gross floor area the setback requirements of the underlying commercial district shall apply, except that the underlying commercial district setback requirements may be reduced by special permit as provided for by section 4.10.
4.   Total setback of both sides shall be equal to 6'.  The total may be all on one side, all on the other side, or divided in any proportion.



part two - to permit mixed use

A.      Add to Section 2:  Definitions
Mixed Use – A combination of residential and non-residential uses on a single lot or a combination of one or more non-residential uses on a single lot.

B.      Add to Section 4.11.1: Table of Principal Uses

R-3
R-D
C
M
R-1
36. Mixed Use: Subject to the
Specific requirements set forth in
Section 4.11.3.6
NO
NO
SPP (1))
NO
NO

C.      Add to Section 4.11.3: Special Requirements
4.11.3.6        Mixed Use
        A. Mixed Use in the VCOD
1.   Mixed use shall be allowed by-right in the VCOD if the proposed uses to be mixed are all allowed by right in the Table of Principal Uses (§4.11.1).
2.   Any underlying use which requires a Special Permit according to the Table of Principal Uses shall continue to require such underlying Special Permit, notwithstanding that it is one of a combination of mixed uses.
                
        B. Mixed Use in the Commercial District Outside of the VCOD.
1.   Mixed use shall require a special permit in the Commercial District outside of the VCOD whether the underlying uses are authorized by right or by Special Permit.

C.  Requirements Applicable to all Mixed Uses.
All mixed use, whether or not located in the VCOD, and whether allowed in the District by right or by Special Permit, must meet the following requirements:             
1.   Any allowable use may be combined with one or more other allowable uses
2.   Six (6) dwelling units or fewer are allowed on a mixed-use lot.
3.   Fifty percent (50%) of the ground floor adjacent to the street on which the lot has frontage must be used as a non-residential use.
4.   At least one (1) entrance to a mixed use building must be located on the street on which the lot has frontage.
5.   The allowable uses may be co-located in the same building or in separate buildings on the same lot.
6.   Off-Street parking shall be as required by Section 6.2

        D.      Conditions on Mixed Use Special Permits.  The special permit granting authority may impose conditions on its approval of a mixed use special permit as permitted by Section 6.3.5.
part three - off-street parking
Replace present section 6.2 in its entirety with the following:
6.2 Off-Street Parking Requirements

6.2.1  Required Parking Minimums. After the effective date of this By-Law, off-street parking spaces shall be provided and maintained for every new structure, enlargement of an existing structure, the development of a new use or any change in an existing use, in accordance with the Table of Parking Minimums below.
Table of Parking Minimums


Residential Uses
Required Parking Spaces
Single-family and two-family dwellings
1 space for each dwelling unit
Multi-family dwelling
1 space for each dwelling unit plus adequate space for service and supply vehicles
Non-Residential Uses
Required Parking Spaces
Accessory home occupation, office or roadside stand
1 space in addition to the spaces required for the principal use
Antique or gift shop or art gallery
1 space per 400 square feet of gross floor area, plus 1 space per employee on an average sized shift.
Automobile service station or commercial garage
To be determined by the Special Permit Granting Authority (see sec. 6.2.7) based upon the anticipated number of patrons and employees
Bank, retail business or consumer service establishment, unless specifically regulated in this table                                         
1 space per 250 square feet of gross floor area, plus 1 space per employee on an average sized shift.
Commercial greenhouse, nursery, landscape gardening
1 space per 250 square feet of gross floor area of indoor sales space, plus 1 space per employee on an average sized shift.
Other non-residential uses, unless specifically regulated in this table
To be determined by the Special Permit Granting Authority (see Sec. 6.2.7) based upon the anticipated number of patrons and employees
General Office
1 space per 400 square feet of gross floor area
Hotel, motel or guest house
1 space for each sleeping room, plus 1 space per employee on an average sized shift.
Manufacturing, industrial, wholesale
1 parking space for each 2 employees plus adequate space for customers, service and supply vehicles
Medical Office
2 spaces per medical professional employed on-site, plus 1 space per employee (including medical professionals) on an average-sized shift.
Mixed use
Sum of the parking spaces required for each use
Restaurant, theatre, other places of assembly or amusement
1 space for each 3 seats, plus 1 space per employee on an average sized shift

6.2.2  Reduction in Minimum Parking Requirements.       
a.   If the required minimum number of off-street parking spaces for lots located in the VCOD, computed in accordance with Section 6.2.1 or other provisions in this bylaw, is seven or fewer, then the minimum number shall be reduced to zero.

b.   The required minimum number of off-street parking spaces for lots may be reduced up to fifty (50) percent by special permit where the SPGA (as determined by Section 6.2.7) finds that municipal parking spaces equal to the percent reduction requested are available within three hundred (300) feet of the lot.

c.   The required minimum number of off-street parking spaces for lots may be reduced up to fifty (50) percent by special permit where the SPGA (as determined by Section 6.2.7) finds that shared parking spaces equal to the percent reduction requested are available within three hundred (300) feet of the lot and the following criteria have been met.

1.   The applicant must demonstrate that the uses served by the shared parking facility are not normally open, used or operated during similar hours and that sufficient parking is available to justify its requested percent reduction

2.   A written agreement establishing the shared use of a parking facility shall be submitted to, and approved by the SPGA (as determined by Section 6.2.7) as part of the special permit application.  The written agreement must state specifically the use or uses for which the off-street parking requirement exists.  The approved agreement shall be recorded in the title of both properties in the Southern Berkshire District Registry of Deeds prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit for the project.  

3.   A party to the written shared parking agreement may only terminate the agreement after providing ninety (90) days written notice to the other party, the Building Inspector and the Board that issued the original shared parking special permit.

4.   The shared parking special permit shall automatically expire after ninety (90) days from the date the notice of intent to terminate the shared parking agreement is received by the other party.

5.   During this ninety (90) day period, the holder of the shared parking special permit shall make alternative arrangements to meet the applicable off-street parking requirements and submit an application to amend the special permit or for a new special permit.

6.   A safe and convenient pedestrian connection exists between the site and the shared parking facility.

7.   The availability of parking at the shared parking facility is indicated by directional signs as permitted by Section 6.7 Sign Regulations.

d.   A written shared parking agreement shall terminate automatically if there is a change in the use of the property requiring a greater number of parking spaces; notwithstanding the foregoing, it shall not terminate solely because of a change of use if the new use requires the same or a lesser number of parking spaces than the use to which the agreement applies.

e.      The SPGA may require the applicant to provide a parking study or parking survey with all information deemed necessary to render a decision in (b).  

f.   The minimum number of required off-street parking spaces as set forth in section 6.2.1 may be reduced by special permit from the Board of Appeals upon determination that special circumstances render a lesser provision adequate for the parking needs in any particular case.  If a reduction in parking is made under this section based on the use of shared parked the requirements for shared parked under section c above shall apply.

6.2.3   Off-Street Parking Space Dimensions.  An area of one-hundred seventy-five (175) square feet of appropriate dimensions for the parking of an automobile, exclusive of drives or aisles, shall be considered as one (1) off-street parking space.
6.2.4   Street Access & Maintenance. All required parking spaces shall be provided with unobstructed access to and from a street and shall be properly maintained in such manner as to permit them to be used at all times.
6.2.5   Location & Screening. Any parking area of more than five (5) parking spaces shall not be located within the front, side or rear setbacks.  Such parking area shall be suitably screened on any property line which abuts upon a residential district.
6.2.6   Drainage & Surface Material. All parking spaces shall be properly graded for drainage and topped with stone or oil and stone or an appropriate substitute approved by the SPGA (as determined by Section 6.2.7).
6.2.7   Designation of SPGA.  If a special permit for the Use of the property is requested, then the Board designated as the SPGA for the Use special permit shall be the SPGA for this section. If a special permit for the use of the property is not requested, then the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be the SPGA for this section.    

part FOUR - LARGE SCALE DEVELOPMENT
aMEND SEC 2.2, "dEFINITIONS", BY ADDING:
Gross area  The overall area of all habitable or occupied space of a building on all floors, measured to the outside face of exterior walls, excluding decks and porches, and excluding uninhabitable basements, attics, and mechanical spaces.

Replace present section 4.10 in its entirety with the following:
4.10  This section is intended to regulate larger scale development in the Town of West Stockbridge.
4.10.1  Any non-residential building or use or combination of uses, including mixed uses which include residential components of use, which occupies a gross floor area of 4,500 square feet or more shall, in addition to satisfying any otherwise applicable requirement of this By-Law, be permitted only with a Special Permit from the Planning Board.
4.10.2 If a special permit is required by this section because the building or use, or combination of uses, is greater than 4500 sf of gross area and a special permit is also required for one or more of the uses by sec 4.11.1, Table of Uses, then only one special permit will be required under section 4.10, and the applicant must meet all of the standards and requirements of sec 4.10 and all of the applicable standards and requirements for the use or uses as required by sec 4.11.1, Table of Uses.
4.10.3  For a building or use or a combination of uses in the VCOD that is greater than 4500 sf the Planning Board may reduce the underlying commercial district setback regulations that would be otherwise applicable so as to be no less than the setback requirements of the VCOD overlay district provided that the following conditions are met:
a. The proposed structure is in harmony with adjoining structures in terms of mass, proportions of building elements, and general character of building elements.
b. Main entrances are on the front.
c. If the proposal includes mixed use that the proposal conforms to all the requirements of 4.11.3.6.C.
d. All other applicable regulations are met to the satisfaction of the Planning Board.
4.10.4  Conditions on Mixed Use Special Permits.  The special permit granting authority may impose other conditions as it sees necessary on a special permit granted under section 4.10, as permitted by Section 6.3.5.
4.10.5  In addition to the site plan required under section 6.3.6, all special permit applications made under section 4.10 shall include building floor plans and elevations, drawn to scale, showing all floor areas and general character of the proposed structure, prepared in a manner that is adequate for the Planning Board to assess conformance of the proposal to the requirements for the special permit.
4.10.6  Uses in the VCOD that are less than 4500 sf of gross floor area, in addition to uses in the VCOD  greater that 4500 sf of gross floor area,  which seek to reduce setbacks to less than 5' in the VCOD when frontage of the lot is located on a sidewalk may, by special permit, reduce frontage to up 0' provided that:
a. If existing, the sidewalk has been in existence for at least 5 years prior to the construction of  the new building or buildings being proposed.
b. If new, the proposed sidewalk extends and connects continuously to at least 6 other lots and connects to an existing sidewalk that has been in existence for at least 5 years prior to the construction of the new building or buildings being proposed.
c. The main entrance to the proposed building is on the front of the building and is connected to the sidewalk


Article 3:      To see if the Town will vote, pursuant to the provisions of M.G.L. c.59,s.38H to authorize the Board of Selectmen, on behalf of the Town of West Stockbridge to negotiate and enter into a payment in tax agreement for the term of twenty (20) years with of lessee/operator of the solar voltaic energy gathering facility located at MA Department of Transportation Interchange 1 as shown on Assessor’s Map 404, Lot 12, upon such terms as the Board of Selectmen shall deem to be in the best interest of the Town, or take any action in relation thereto.
[Note: Approval of this article enables the Selectmen to negotiate and enter in a Payment In lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Agreement for the future development of a privately owned and operated photovoltaic solar facility located adjacent to MassPike, Exit 1. The average annual revenue shall be $10,367 for 20-year term.]

Article 4:      To see if the Town will vote to appropriate, from certified free cash, the sum of $20,000 for the purpose of conducting emergency repairs to the northeast retaining wall adjacent to the Shaker Mill Dam spillway, or take any other action in relation thereto.

Article 5:      To do and transact any other business to be done by the Town.


Given under our hands this 13th day of February 2017.


Curt Wilton, Chair
Earl Moffatt
Peter Skorput
West Stockbridge Board of Selectmen.

I certify that I have posted true and attested copies of this warrant at the Post Office at West Stockbridge, at State Line, West Center, Williamsville, and High Street as directed by vote of the Town of West Stockbridge.

Attested: ________________________, Constable           Date: ________________



 
Town of West Stockbridge 21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
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