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Pittsfield ZBA Continues Allendale Pines Expansion Request
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:05AM / Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Allendale Pine is proposing to add 21 new lots to the park.

Aerial view of the proposed property line from the application.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals is not ready to approve a special permit to expand Allendale Pines.

The panel last week continued Eagle Allendale LLC's request for the expansion and alteration of the mobile home park to create 21 new sites adjacent to 389 and 399 Cheshire Road.

This was largely due to the board's feeling that matters had not been resolved with an abutter, Shaun Zatorski of 399 1/2 Cheshire Road. 

"We need to regroup on this," Chair Albert Ingegni III said at Wednesday's meeting. "It strikes me that there's more than conflict, I think there's missing information that we need to make some good decisions."

An attorney representing Zatorski argued that he will be negatively affected by the increased use of a right of way that Eagle Allendale plans to pave for access to the expanded lots. Zatorski is the owner of a tree service business and says he needs to have sufficient access for his equipment.

"When he purchased the house, it was a simple right of way for usual purposes and uses in 1923," he explained.

"Now it's going to be somewhat of an access private way, much wider, much more traffic. That's detrimental to him. His kitchen window sits 15 feet from where the curb is going to be for this access route,15 feet. Comings and goings of cars. Imagine being at home at your kitchen window and there are now 21 residents that live up behind you that use that access point in and out of your driveway."

Project engineer Brent White of White Engineering said the applicant has attempted to provide more screening from the house to the driveway but there was concern that it would prohibit Zatorski from using it.

"We have no issue with them utilizing that driveway with their equipment to come and go once the community is built," he explained, adding that he was instructed to essentially remove the screen with the understanding that the board can set conditions as they see fit.

He later added that the proposal would improve access because it provides a 26-foot wide paved road that the resident can use without obstruction.

The board deferred a decision until its Oct. 19 meeting and hopes that in the meantime, the two can work something out.

Eagle Allendale plans on expanding the 65-lot park with 21 new 5,000 square-foot lots, separating the parks into AP South and the new AP North.

Lot rent is proposed to be $550 for AP North and the existing lots' lower rate of $320 will not change.  The higher rate is attributed to the costs of creating a new lot from scratch and inflation.

The proposal utilizes an existing curb cut to create a paved driveway from Cheshire Road to the new portion of the park, which would have to be cleared and graded.

Several other nearby residents attended the meeting to express concerns about the expansion, mainly related to possible traffic impacts and safety.

A traffic study stated that the project would have a negligible impact, causing a 0.6 percent increase in traffic during the peak hour.

Ward 1 Councilor Kenneth Warren is an abutter to the proposal and believes that it will have a significant impact on traffic and worsen existing conditions.

"I don't see how anyone doesn't believe that it will have a significant impact on the traffic situation at the spot it is proposed. I'm going to give you several reasons from the past the present and the future of why. In the past as it's already been mentioned, there have been multiple accidents, including one or two deaths," he said, listing a handful of incidents that have happened on the corridor.

Warren stated that making a lefthand turn in that area of Cheshire Road is "taking his life into his hands" and addressed Zatorski's concerns, saying an original plan had screening all the way to the end of his property on Cheshire Road and there was no access.

He also advised the board to think about the future use of the Berkshire Mall and how it will affect traffic. In July, the Lanesborough Selectmen authorized negotiations for a host community agreement with a cannabis cultivator in the former anchor stores.

"We've all got to understand that that's eventually going to be something, there's going to be an incarnation there," Warren said about the mall. "And that's going to add traffic to that area along with this traffic so the fact is there's going to be an impact."

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