Planning Board Meeting Minutes 03/08/2021

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Town of Otis

Planning Board Meeting Minutes

March 8, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Online using the Zoom link provided below.


*This meeting is being conducted remotely through Zoom. You must check back within 24 hours of the start time for a link to join.

Pursuant to the Governor’s March 12, 2020 order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, Sec 18, this meeting is being held via remote participation to the greatest extent possible. Every effort is being made to ensure that any member of the public may access the meeting in real time, via technological means. Agendas will be amended to show the link and participation code to access the meeting no sooner than 48 hours before. Recordings and/or draft proceedings of the meeting will be available on our website as soon as possible.


  1.  Roll Call: Call to order at 7:00 pm
  1. Hal Kobrin, Chair
  2. Rona Knight, Member
  3. Jim Kauffman, Member
  4. Jen Daily, Member
  5. Stacey Schultze, Clerk
  6. Larry Gould, Building Inspector
  7. Members of the Public Present: David Donahue, Mary Kay Pinkham, Mike Parsons, Sandy


  1. Approval of Minutes.  Approval of February 8, 2021 Planning Board meeting minutes.
    1. Rona accepts, Jen seconds, all in favor


  1. Form A Application
    1. Mike Parsons addressed Jen’s questions.
    2. Hal motions to accept
    3. Jen seconds
    4. All in favor


  1. Special Permit Amendment: D & J Development LLC
    1. It was decided that there will be a public hearing on April 5th, which will be advertised in the Berkshire Eagle
    2. Abutters will be notified
    3. Fee, Application and letters from Conservation and Zoning will indicate they have reviewed the amendment and it does not impact their prior approval


  1. Flood Plain Bylaw
    1. A public Hearing will be advertised for an April 5th
    2. Hal and Larry will work together to draft language
    3. Their draft will be distributed to the planning board members electronically for comment
    4. If needed a special meeting can be scheduled so the bylaw can be ready for this year’s town meeting.


  1. MVP grant and BRPC update
    1. Sub-committee meetings have increased in frequency and intensity to meet required deadlines
    2. Lyn can add info to the Planning Board’s page on the town website
    3. BRPC has indicated that they can host a webpage and a link would then be added to the town website


  1. Complete Streets Grant
    1. Wednesday morning is the kick off meeting
    2. The Sub-committee consists of Hal, Rona, Brandi, and Fire/Police/ Hwy have been asked to join


  1. File access and filing system review and alignment with state requirements.
    1. Hal has indicated that the files that were missing have been found and there is a strategy in place for returning planning board documents to the separate filing cabinet


  1. Open Space and Recreation plan
    1. This year the open space portion of the master plan can be amended
    2. Each section that corresponds with current grants can be updated so all sections will be on the same update schedule
    3. This will avoid a large Master plan overhaul saving the town approximately $20K


  1. Short-term rental bylaw and/or addition to town meeting
    1. Larry suggests that the town adopt the state allowed 6% tax that will benefit the town and allow access to the registry of short-term rentals. This will be submitted through the select board to be added to the town meeting items
    2. Larry and the Planning Board agreed that further research for a bylaw is necessary and should be planned for next year
    3. Jen points out that the bylaw should account for a good neighbor standard that matches the current culture in Otis
    4. Mary Kay noted that AirBnB makes it easy for hosts to upload their information such as insurance and collects taxes automatically
    5. Jen notes that Lenox has a bylaw about short-term rentals


  1. Draft updated directions for Form A, B, C and the 2 types of special permits
    1. The board recognizes the need for updates to the processes that are transparent to lay people
    2. Larry indicated where a draft may be found and noted that situations often are unique requiring additional follow up
    3. Clearer directions or processes will streamline the application and reduce staff time.



  1. Any Other Business, Old or New.
    1. The board indicated that they would like to amend the bylaw for special permits in the following year to address amendments
    2. April’s typical Planning Board meeting will be moved to April 5th from April 12th date.  This will be noted on the town website.


The Public is invited to attend using the following Zoom link.


Topic: Planning Board March 8, 2021 Meeting

Time: Mar 8, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 870 0144 3493

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Meeting ID: 870 0144 3493

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