Age Friendly Berkshires Land Use Planning

Overall, current housing stock and residential neighborhood fabric do not adequately support senior residents as they age in most Berkshire County municipalities. Many seniors are “over-housed” in large family-sized homes, without more appropriate alternatives in their communities. This project proposes to address some of the zoning shortfalls that exacerbate this issue, and to encourage growth that follows the Massachusetts Sustainable Development Principles. Model bylaws, using the Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit and other best practices will be drafted. BRPC will then work intensively with three municipalities (Egremont, Sheffield and North Adams) of varying population sizes, needs and resources, to implement up to two regulations each to encourage the production of sustainable housing to meet the needs of older adults aging in the community. This project will be easily adaptable to other municipalities.