From the Town of Great Barrington

The Planning Board, after several months of preliminary discussions, will begin to review proposed zoning amendments at its meeting this Thursday night, Jan. 10, at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall.

The board is considering zoning revisions to increase housing opportunity throughout town and to bring more zoning flexibility on Stockbridge Road. The revisions take their cues from the economic development, housing, and land use goals of the Master Plan, including redeveloping underutilized sites; allowing for the housing types at various price levels in “in-fill” locations, and improving aesthetics on Stockbridge Road. Any zoning changes would maintain and promote a strong business corridor north of town.

The proposed amendments include: reducing certain setback and density restrictions for two-family, multi-family and accessory residential uses; allowing “tiny houses” as accessory dwelling units; increasing residential density in the B-3 zone; clarifying percentage of nonresidential space needed in a “mixed-use” development; clarifying allowed uses in the Downtown B zone; revising the Design Advisory bylaw to streamline permitting; and rezoning areas of Stockbridge Road more mixed uses and increasing landscape requirements.

The first draft of the proposed amendments can be viewed on the Planning Board page of the town website.

The Planning Board discussions will continue at each meeting over the coming months on Jan. 10 and 24, Feb. 14 and 28, March 7 and 21. Public input is welcome at all meetings, and at least one of the March meetings will be a formal public hearing regarding the amendments. Meeting agendas are always posted at least two days in advance on the Town website.

Zoning Amendments receiving Planning Board endorsement will be presented to voters for approval at the May 6, 2019 Annual Town Meeting.