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West Stockbridge resident opposes The Foundry continuation as commercial amusement venue

I urge West Stockbridge residents to attend the Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, November 2 to oppose the issuing of a permit to allow The Foundry to continue as a commercial amusement venue.

To the editor:

I urge West Stockbridge residents to attend the Planning Board meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday, November 2 at 7:15 p.m. The issue is a permit to allow The Foundry to continue as a commercial amusement venue. I oppose this for several reasons.

  1. The original permit was conditional, with restrictions on noise, parking, trespassing, etc. Numerous violations have been documented. Moreover, The Foundry has operated outdoors without the proper permits.
  2. The Foundry may be cited and fined for these violations to the conditions under which it is allowed to operate. The outcome of the Zoning Board of Appeals October 12 meeting is not public yet. At minimum, the Planning Board’s decision about the new permit should be tabled until the ZBA’s determination is known. However, if history is an indicator, citations may not change The Foundry’s business practices.
  3. The Town lacks the ability to enforce the above restrictions. Our enforcement officer lives 30 minutes away. He is not going to be in West Stockbridge at 9:30 p.m. when violations occur. One solution is for the Town to charge The Foundry the several thousand dollars required for a special police detail to prevent violations during its operating hours.
  4. The business owners/homeowners most affected by The Foundry’s disregard for local regulations are those at Truc Orient Express. That family first came to West Stockbridge in 1979, after narrowly escaping Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. They made the effort to fit into the community and are an integral part of it. In real estate, every owner and tenant is granted the right of “quiet enjoyment;” The Foundry has clearly violated this. Its disregard for its nearest abutter violates not only the Nguyen family’s rights, but also the character of West Stockbridge village. It’s one thing to move to a new place and try to get along; it’s quite another to come in and throw your weight around.
  5. While it’s nice to have an entertainment venue in town, imagine this: The Rouge building, currently on the market, sells to another amusement venue. Then you have two; the Town’s ability to control them grows more costly and difficult. Who ultimately pays the price for that? Town residents do.
  6. The head of the Planning Board has been a strong public advocate for The Foundry. This compromises the Planning Board as the decision maker in this matter.

Gladys Montgomery
West Stockbridge

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