This survey of a portion of Great Barrington’s rich catalogue of historic buildings was a significant undertaking for the Historical Commission. It provides the town with the first of a series of reports that provide documentation of sites worthy of preserving and those potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
After the planning board crafted a set of zoning regulations to deal with pot earlier this year, the selectboard reviewed them and most thought the regulations were a bit too lax since they would allow cultivation by-right in too many zones.
Brian Vincent and Andy Vincent of Commonwealth Cultivation are looking to establish a retail marijuana outlet at 82 Railroad St., a property that overlooks the Taconic parking lot where 14 years ago State Police under District Attorney David Capeless conducted a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of more than a dozen teenagers for possessing pot.
The battle royale involved the planning and select boards. For weeks, the two panels had been at odds over which should be the special-permit-granting authority in regards to the marijuana production and sales facilities, and whether most, if not all, of the facilities should require a special permit.
The entire area around Lake Mansfield is a delicate ecosystem surrounded by homes on a hill from which storm water and sediment run into the lake. Simply repaving the road won’t solve any of this, and town officials say such a measure will simply increase car speeds.
The hotel was designed by the same people who designed the adjacent former Bryant School, turning it into Iredale Mineral Cosmetics’ modern world headquarters while sensitively preserving the former school’s charms.
The silver lining of this autumn of our discontent is that the streets and proverbial water coolers of Great Barrington are suddenly buzzing with neighbors newly engaged with the civic life of our town.
“You could imagine that demolition is anathema to historic preservation. On the other hand, you could get a new structure that pays homage to history. It all depends on what the Selectboard is willing to do.”
— Town Planner Christopher Rembold
I decided to investigate the solarize program launched by Gov. Deval Patrick and spearheaded locally by Malcolm Fick with the town’s Energy Committee as well as Juliette Haas of Egremont. Calculations showed that a free-standing structure with 20 photovoltaic panels would provide 100 percent of the electrical energy that we typically consumed.