Town of Otis
Planning Board Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2017
Town Hall Inspectors’ Office
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Otis Town Hall Inspectors’ Room. The meeting is recorded and a quorum is present.
Present: Michael Ernst, Terry Cook, Jim Kauffman, Rona Knight, Hal Kobrin, Jen Daily
Others: Terry Gould, Bill Hiller, Chris Tryon, Larry Gould
Approval of Minutes: The June 12, 2017 Planning Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written. Hal made the motion and Terry seconded.
New Member: Jen Daily was introduced to the other Board members and welcomed. Contact list information was updated and shared with all board members. Jen’s updates will be included next month.
5th Thursday Meeting: Hal attended the BRPC 5th Thursday meeting on June 29, 2017 whose topic was Large Scale Solar Farms. Lisa forwarded the attachments Hal had sent to all the Planning Board members. This is in regards to large scale by-laws for solar farms in towns. Basically the federal government is beginning to roll back regulations and rebates and that makes a huge difference in project viability. Placement and size specifications in by-laws were discussed. It was well attended by most Berkshire towns. Otis is planning on putting solar arrays on three or four town buildings in order to use up the rest of our renewable energy bond money.
Form A ANR: Chris Tryon from Berkshire GeoTechnologies was here to discuss a Form A ANR parcel split for Wendy Strickland, who resides at 1138 South Main Road, Map 15 Lot 131. The intent is Parcel #1 will be transferred to her nephew and Parcel #2 will be transferred to an abutting neighbor. Wendy will retain ownership of the remaining property. The Planning Board approved the parcel split, signed two original plans and one mylar, and charged for two lots. Motion made by Hal and seconded by Jim.
Third Agenda Item:
Building Use Subcommittee: Don Hawley was interested in explaining this subcommittee’s purpose to the Planning Board. Don was unable to make the meeting so Larry spoke for him. Larry went into the history of how the subcommittee came to be in 2008, specified some of the successes this subcommittee had with Town Hall and the Main Fire House, and then went into how the subcommittee is now looking into sharing space for town needs in the town’s long-term future. Not all of our current use is appropriate for the particular building. Because of other pressing projects in town, the subcommittee has taken a back seat and has not met formally in a couple of years. The subcommittee has discussed Recreation Center needs, Library needs, Highway Dept. needs, and Fire Dept. needs. For the short-term, the town is asking the Planning Board to look into the proper use for Harmony Hall, since the building was not designed for the Recreation Center’s current use. Larry also noted that the Library building can be wrapped with insulation siding to cut down on their fuel needs, just like was done with the Town Hall and the Main Fire House. The Highway Dept. stores a lot of their equipment out of doors and this can cause excessive wear and tear on equipment. The idea is to share space and save taxpayers money and not to build an expensive burden. This item will be included on the next Planning Board agenda for August 14, 2017. Uses for Harmony Hall should be the primary focus. Rona suggested a site visit of the buildings involved may help. Larry said the site visits do not have to occur at the same time and can be scheduled around individual availability.
BRPC Delegate: Hal volunteered to continue as the BRPC Delegate for another year.
Michael moved the meeting be adjourned, Rona seconded, and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:00 pm.
Planning Board Clerk
Town of Otis
List of Documents
1. A copy of the Form A ANR for Wendy Strickland will be filed with these meeting minutes.
2. A copy of the Planning Board Contact List will be filed with these meeting minutes.