Changes to Cottage Era Zoning Bylaws
The proposed 37 Interlaken Project cannot be approved under the current Town of Stockbridge Zoning Bylaws. There are certain aspects to this unique resort community that were not contemplated by the current Bylaws. In order to move forward with this $150 Million investment in Stockbridge, we plan to submit a zoning amendment for consideration by appropriate Town boards and, ultimately, by Town Meeting in May 2018 if construction is to begin in by late 2019. This proposal would amend the Town’s Cottage Era Estate bylaw to allow residential redevelopments of Cottage Era Estates, and would allow resort developments subject to Site Plan Review by the Planning Board. Specific features of the proposed bylaw include the following:
Residential development would be allowed at a density of up to one house for every three acres of land area allocated to that purpose. To avoid over-development and preserve the beautiful open spaces that characterize Cottage Era Estates, this development could be “clustered” within a property.
The proposed Bylaw would allow for the development of a world-class destination resort. Such resorts may include the following features, which would be open to the public:
- Hotel with up to 100 rooms
- Restaurant venues & function facilities
- Resort condominium units at a density allocation of up to one unit per acre
- Recreational amenities, such as pool, spa, tennis and golf facilities
- Artists’ studios and galleries
The Bylaw would allow portions of a Cottage Era Estate to be used for greenhouses,
farming and other agricultural uses to supply both the on-site restaurant and residents of the
Site Plan Review
Any resort development under this proposed Bylaw would require the developer
to obtain approval of the site development plan from the Town’s Planning Board. This rigorous process would require the applicant to provide complete site plans, a full traffic study, drainage calculations, and detailed landscaping and lighting plans. In reviewing these plans, the Planning Board will be charged with ensuring that the proposal satisfies the following performance standards:
- Minimize use of wetlands, steep slopes, floodplains, hilltops
- Preserve natural or historic features
- Provide for the preservation of open space
- Preserve or enhance scenic views from publicly accessible locations
- Prevent pollution of surface or groundwater
- Provide for safe vehicular and pedestrian movement
This proposed Bylaw will provide the flexibility necessary to encourage beneficial reuse and redevelopment of Cottage Era Estates such as the 37 Interlaken property, while also requiring that a process and standards are in place to ensure that the development is undertaken in a way that protects the Town’s history, traditions, environment, and resources.
We want to present these draft Bylaws to the Selectmen in early November. We are hopeful that the Selectmen and the Planning Committee will provide these proposed Bylaws with a timely review; however, we recognize that this may not be possible as a result of a small number of abutters who oppose this project. We plan to work diligently and cooperatively with the Town to secure a timely review. We recognize that if our efforts are not successful, we will need to ask that our proposed Bylaws be placed on the Town Warrant for a vote at the 2018 May Town Meeting.