Planning Board Meeting Minutes 06/08/2020

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Town of Otis

Planning Board Meeting Minutes

June 8, 2020

7:00 p.m.

Online using the Zoom link provided bellow.


*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  Meeting called to order at 7:02 by Hal Kobrin

Members Present: Hal Kobrin, Jim Kauffman, Rona Knight, Jen Daily

Public Present; Stacey Schultze, Heather Morgan


  1. Approval of Minutes. Approval of May 11, 2020 Planning Board meeting minutes.

Rona accepts, Jim seconds, all in except Jen abstains because she as not at the May meeting,


  1. Solar Farm Bylaw- No progress, will continue working on this as time allows. Jim has been tasked with working on a rough draft.


  1. Hazard Mitigation Plan & MVP Grant Application update

Great Barrington’s plan and time line was shared with the board members as a guide for the combined HMP and MVP process.  It was mentioned that the subcommittee formed for these two planning grants, could also be the subcommittee to cover Complete Streets.  Jen asked for clarification on the subcommittee oversight and forming.  Clarification was that this is typically handled by the Planning Board since it is a planning grant.  Rona nominated Jen to be on the subcommittee.  Hal to follow up on the status and submission of MVP grant.


  1. Possibility of adding Compost as an alternative waste stream

Overall a welcomed idea, but it is noted that there may be some resistance because of the threat of bears.  Members agreed that this topic should be included in the subcommittee topics for the HMP & MVP grants.


  1. Any Other Business, Old or New.

Complete Streets update from Rona: Selectman, Bill Hiller has reached out to BRPC for guidance and answers to questions.  Rona did some research and determined that some of the answers from BRPC were inaccurate.  Rona explained to Bill that the town would not need to pay for such things as widening/ repairing/ or making roads multi use and at the same time would allow sewer to expand.  The sewer costs would be at the town expense but the building of the road would be covered by the grant.  Stockbridge and Great Barrington were able to use their grants despite their roads being interstate thruways and thus we could work with Mass Highway on Routes 23 and 8. The only roads not eligible for the grant would be a highway that does not allow pedestrian or bike traffic.  Rona looked into the town of Becket and spoke with Chris Bouchard, who did their application.  After talking with Chris Morris, she said that the grant money could also be used to pay for a consultant to identify projects for all roads.  Hal mentioned that there was an existing document which can be passed to BRPC.  Hal agrees to share the document with Rona as requested.


The Historical Committee wants to meet with the Planning Board to discuss building reuse.  The Planning Board would like to re-instate or organize a new building re-use subcommittee.


  1. Rona moves to adjourn at 7:56 pm and Jen seconds, all in favor.


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


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