Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is a public body corporate as established under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40B.  This law, adopted originally in 1955, is often referred to as "The Regional Planning Law."  Originally established in 1966 by the votes of ten cities and towns in Berkshire County, BRPC now consists of the thirty towns and two cities in Berkshire County Massachusetts.

The Commission consists of one member of the Planning Board of each member city and town, known as the Delegate, elected annually by said planning board and certified in writing.  Each city and town, acting through its Chief Executive official, may also appoint, pursuant to MGL c. 40B § 4, an alternate designee, known as the Alternate, to act in the delegate’s absence.

The member cities and towns in the planning district are:

Adams
Alford
Becket
Cheshire
Clarksburg
Dalton
Egremont
Florida

Great Barrington
Hancock
Hinsdale
Lanesborough
Lee
Lenox
Monterey
Mount Washington
New Ashford
New Marlborough
North Adams
Otis
Peru
Pittsfield
Richmond
Sandisfield
Savoy
Sheffield
Stockbridge
Tyringham
Washington
W. Stockbridge
Williamstown
Windsor

The Commission holds regular meetings, at least six times annually.  Special meetings are also frequently held.

BRPC is predominantly funded by grants and contracts.  Major funding sources are grants and contracts entered into with the federal government, the state and local cities and towns.  In addition to those sources, assessments are levied on the member cities and towns and are apportioned among member communities on a per capita basis according to the most recent national census. Most of the local assessment money is used to fund activities for which no grants are available.

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Committees

An integral feature of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is the work done by the standing committees of the Commission.  BRPC currently has the following committees, comprised of delegates, alternates, and, in some cases, members from outside BRPC.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for oversight of the business affairs and formulates general programs for the Commission, in accordance with specific needs, plans and goals of the Commission.  It reports its actions at the next Commission meeting.  The Executive Committee has the following powers:  disbursement of Commission funds based upon a warrant approved by the Executive Committee; borrowing funds in anticipation of revenue; authorizing signatory authority on checks; hearing and resolving personnel grievances; establishing personnel policies; authorizing applications for federal, state and local aid; seeking contributions; entering into contracts; approving comments on proposals of a regional or inter-community nature; approving submittal of comments for projects undergoing state or federal agency review; establishing policy for responding to requests for planning related technical assistance; authorizing planning services; and approving submittal of comments on legislation or regulations which affect the region or member municipalities. 

Executive Committee   Staff: Nathaniel Karns, Executive Director

Kyle Hanlon, Chair (North Adams)
Sheila Irvin, Vice Chair (Pittsfield)
Marie Raftery, Clerk & Regional Issues Committee Chair (Stockbridge)
Charles Ogden, Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair (Egremont)
James Mullen, Environmental Review Committee Chair (New Marlborough)
Rene Wood, Commission Development Committee Chair (Sheffield)
Sam Haupt, At-Large (Peru) Transportation Expert
John Duval, At-Large (Adams)
Roger Bolton, At-Large (Williamstown)

Environmental Review Committee

The Environmental Review Committee reviews projects requiring state or federal environmental permits.  It may also review requests for funding assistance from state or federal agencies and local land use actions for potential regional impacts and compliance with adopted regional plans.  The committee advises the Commission or the Executive Committee regarding its recommendations and requested conditions before a given project or action is approved or denied by state, federal, or local authorities.

Environmental Review Committee Staff: Nathaniel Karns, Executive Director

James Mullen, Chair (New Marlborough)
Malcom Fick (Great Barrington)
Stephen McMahon (West Stockbridge) (Non-Commission member)
John “Jack” Hickey (Lanesborough)
Mark Smith, Vice Chair (Lenox)
Sarah Hudson (Tyringham)
Eleanor Tillinghast (Mt. Washington) (Non-Commission member)
Kyle Hanlon (North Adams) (Ex-Officio)
Roger Bolton, (Williamstown)

Commission Development Committee

The Commission Development Committee considers Commission education, membership, structure, and process, including periodic evaluation of the performance of the Commission.  Periodically, the Committee also reviews the Commission’s bylaws to determine whether amendments are needed to enhance the operations of the Commission.  A nominating subcommittee of this committee recommends a slate of officer candidates to the Commission for the next fiscal year. 

Commission Development Committee Staff: Thomas Matuszko, Assistant Director

Rene Wood, Chair (Sheffield)
Sarah Hudson (Tyringham)
John Duval (Adams)
Kyle Hanlon (North Adams) (Ex-Officio)
CJ Hoss (Pittsfield)

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee oversees the Commission’s financial operations and reviews the annual audit.  It recommends the per capita assessments of the member cities and towns for the next fiscal year to the Commission for approval no later than in February.  It also recommends a full budget for the next fiscal year for Commission action prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Finance Committee    Staff: Marianne Sniezek, Office Manager

Charles Ogden, Chair & Treasurer (Egremont)
Kyle Hanlon (North Adams) (Ex-Officio)
Sam Haupt (Peru)
Sheila Irvin (Pittsfield)

Regional Issues Committee

The Regional Issues Committee provides recommendations to the Commission identifying regional issues facing Berkshire County, provides recommendations on proposed state or federal legislation or regulations, make recommendations to the Commission concerning requests from municipalities for policy or guidance on regional issues and studies regional issues and policies.

Regional Issues Committee   Staff: Nathaniel Karns, Executive Director

Marie Raftery, Chair (Stockbridge)
Kyle Hanlon (North Adams) (Ex-Officio)
James Mullen, (New Marlborough)
Robert Bott, (Mt. Washington)
Sarah Hudson (Tyringham)
CJ Hoss, (Pittsfield)
Chris Rembold (Gt. Barrington)
Eleanor Tillinghast (Mount Washington) (Non-Commission member)
Andrew Groff (Williamstown) (Non-Commission member)
Peter Bluhm (Lee)
Gwen Miller (Lenox)
Sheila Irvin (Pittsfield)