Community Planning

community-planning

Initiatives

Land Use FAQ's

The realm of land use planning and land development is constantly changing. Some of these changes are effectuated upon the passage of a new state or federal law. Other times change is precipitated by the shifting needs or preferences of people in a community or across the country. BRPC attempts to keep apprised of the latest trends in land development and offer guidance to communities. In this initiative, documents will be added to offer basic guidance. The depth of research into these topics will vary, although an attempt was made to discuss the main points of each. For more information on land use issues please contact Thomas Matuszko, Executive Director @ tmatuszko@berkshireplanning.org or (413) 442-1521 ext. 34.

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Marijuana Legalization

On July 28, 2017 Governor Baker signed a compromise bill approved by lawmakers earlier that raises taxes on retail sales of marijuana, establishes stringent requirements for the packaging and labeling of marijuana products, and spells out procedures cities and towns must follow if they wish to ban or restrict pot shops from opening in their communities. There are various issues local governments will confront with the adoption of this law and significant questions about exactly what should and can be done, and when, at the local level.

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Shared Planner

The Shared Planner program allows each participating town to access services and assistance that fit their specific needs and budget. Many participating towns have requested assistance with creating a more supportive and welcoming environment for businesses and residents by increasing access to important information through the town’s website and promoting the town as a good place to live and work through a variety of marketing channels. At other times, grant applications and collaborations with neighboring towns are the focus. All municipalities in Berkshire County are invited to contact BRPC to learn more about the Shared Planner program.

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Short-term Rentals

On December 28, 2018, Governor Baker signed H.4841, An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-term Rentals, into law, as Ch. 337 of the Acts of 2018. The regulation, insurance, and taxation of short-term rentals has become a topic of increasing concern and urgency in Berkshire County. As a tourism destination, Berkshire County has been affected by the rise of short-term rentals. As such, regional municipalities may require assistance navigating the new legal realities of short-term rentals.

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Sustainable Berkshire Regional Plan - Adopted

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has completed working with a regional Consortium of cross-sector partners to develop a regional sustainability plan for the Berkshires. The three-year project developed a regional vision and supporting goals, policies and strategies for conservation and recreation, economy, local food and agriculture, climate and energy, housing and neighborhoods, historic preservation, infrastructure and services, and land use. Broad and diverse public outreach mechanisms were employed throughout the process to garner strong public input. The Plan was adopted by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on March 20, 2014.

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Projects

Adams Economic Planner

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Adams to advance economic development activities in the town, specifically pertaining to the Greylock Glen Development Project.

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Dalton Open Space and Recreation Plan

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will provide planning services to the Town of Dalton to aid them in updating their Open Space and Recreation Plan.

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District Local Technical Assistance

The District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) program enables Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) staff to provide technical assistance to member municipalities. This assistance must focus on advancing municipal partnerships, planning for housing and planning for growth and is intended to encourage and enable municipalities to work together to achieve and/or enhance cost effective service delivery, or to create and sustain ongoing collaboration and consultation on issues affecting the municipalities, such as land use and planning for new economic and housing growth. Projects and activities should result in a measurable change in the municipalities, whether in law, regulation, program management, or practice.

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Great Barrington Economic Planner

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Great Barrington to advance economic development activities in the town.

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Lanesborough Economic Planner

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Lanesborough advance economic development activities in the town.

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Lee Community Center Survey

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will assist the town of Lee and the Lee Youth Commission by conducting a community survey and report the resident’s feelings on a Community Center.

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Lenox Economic Planner

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing services of a Senior Planner to improve long-term fiscal sustainability through economic development activities in the Town of Lenox, specifically through tasks pertaining to the implementation of the recently designated Lenox Cultural District.

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Lenox Master Plan

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) to aid the Town of Lenox in preparing an update to its 1999 Comprehensive Master Plan.

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North Adams Zoning Amendments

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will assist the City of North Adams with a comprehensive review and re-drafting of its zoning ordinance.

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Rest of River

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is serving as the agent of the five Rest of River municipalities (Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Sheffield), hiring and overseeing the work of the law firm Pawa Law Group to pursue litigation on behalf of the municipalities. The Pawa Law Group will pursue compensation for socioeconomic impacts expected to be experienced by the municipalities during the cleanup of the Housatonic River. BRPC will also serve as the municipals' fiscal agent.

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Richmond Economic Planner

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is providing the services of an Economic Development planner to assist the Town of Richmond to advance economic development activities in the town.

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Washington Town Planning Report

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will work with the Town of Washington to prepare a Town Planning Report which identified key issues, perceived needs, and desired projects in the town.

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Reports

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