Planning Board Minutes 06/13/2016

Town of Otis
Planning Board Meeting Minutes
June 13, 2016
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: Hal Kobrin, Michael Ernst, Jim Carlin, Terry Cook , Al Koivisto, Jim Kauffman, and Rona Knight
Others Present: Dave Donohue


Appoint New Chair: Al Koivisto nominated Hal for Chairman and Rona seconded. No other nominations were made from the floor. Six voted in favor with Michael abstaining from the vote.

Approval of Minutes: The May 9, 2016 minutes were unanimously approved as written. Michael made the motion to accept and Rona seconded.

Otis Lake Partner’s: Water’s Edge: Lisa noted the condominium lot, the former J & D Marina, was going up for auction on June 24 and there was a walk-through of the property scheduled for June 15th. Dave Donohue was present to ask questions of the Planning Board about the property and the condominium plans. The asking price for the property is around $9,999,000.00 (million). Dave was informed that the Otis Planning Board approvals had expired and would have to be brought before the Planning Board once again.

High Rise Road Solar Farm: Lisa provided everyone with a copy of the email she authored to Hal and Chris Morris, Town Administrator. Seaboard Solar has been presenting themselves as having permits granted by the Town of Otis when in fact there are no permits granted to Seaboard Solar by the Town of Otis to date. Michael made the motion that a letter should be drafted to Seaboard Solar stating the Town of Otis has not issued any permits as yet. Rona seconded the motion and Lisa will draft the letter.

Complete Streets and TIP/TAC: Hal provided the email chain between himself and Chris on both the Complete Streets topic and TIP/TAC. Planning Board members also received two responses from Chris Morris. The Transportation Improvement Plan Update was written June 9th and the Complete Streets update was written June 13th. Hal stated Chris’ response does not agree with what Hal understood the project to be. There was a lot of discussion about Complete Streets. Both Terry Cook and Michael Ernst noted the Planning Board had asked for the Select Board’s reasons for not supporting Complete Streets and the letter from Chris explicitly states those reasons, so the Planning Board cannot move forward with this topic. Hal wants clarification from the Select Board as to Chris’ response.

Ongoing Discussion of St. Paul’s paperwork: Three and a half weeks ago there was a conference call with the Episcopal Diocese, their lawyers, Jeremia Pollard who is the Otis Town Counsel, and Hal. All the attorneys agree the Episcopal Bishop actually owns St. Paul’s Church. Hal has not heard anything since then, but he believes it appears the diocese may give the town the lot and building.

BRPC Meeting: Michael went to a regular BRPC meeting on May 19th. Two people were there to present the Uber working model for larger cities and how drivers are screened for the service. Michael could see the need for larger communities but couldn’t see if it would be useful for Otis. Rona countered that the service may be useful for seniors with transportation needs for shopping and medical visits. Michael also found out that Becket has been approved for a medical marijuana facility, but they don’t have either cell service or adequate broadband service to support the business. They approved a budget of $2,400,000 in revenues and expenditures for next fiscal year.

MPO: Michael also noted the Metropolitan Planning Organization (part of BRPC) has $75 Million for road work. The west part of Route 23 was scheduled for some of this money but got bumped off the list for Skyline Trail in northern Berkshire County.


Michael moved the meeting be adjourned, Jim Carlin seconded, and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:13 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,
Lisa D’Orazio
Planning Board Clerk
Town of Otis
List of Documents

A copy of the email Lisa sent regarding Seaboard Solar will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the June 13, 2016 response from Chris Morris on Complete Streets to the Planning Board will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the June 9, 2016 response from Chris Morris on Transportation Improvement Plan Update to the Planning Board will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the Complete Streets email chain between Hal Kobrin and Chris Morris will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the Transportation Improvement Program email chain between Chris Morris and Hal Kobrin will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the St. Paul’s email between Chris and Hal and a copy of the letters Hal authored on Jan. 11, 2016, Feb. 8, 2016, and Feb. 18, 2016, plus the letter authored by Geoff Pigman on Feb. 7, 2016 will be filed with these meeting minutes.