July 28, 2014  7pm  Cheshire Annex

Present: Charles M. Howard, Jr., Bernard F. Bator, Daniel L. Speth, and Francis M. Griswold
Christopher D. Walsh


Peter Traub
Mr. Jennings
Rick Gurney

BRPC Representative, Thomas Matuszko

Charlie: Opened the 7pm meeting.

Charlie read The Berkshire Eagle Legal Notice for a Special Permit to install a “Welcome to Cheshire” sign donated by the Cheshire Lions Club.  Lions Club representative, Rick Gurney, reviewed the project, the history of the club and its efforts to raise the money for the building and installation of the sign.  He also showed a drawing of the actual sign.  Charlie noted that the highest point of the sign is not to exceed eight (8) feet.  The sign will be four (4) feet by six (6) feet.  After a discussion period, with no questions or objections from the audience, Charlie
Made a motion to accept the application as submitted with the addition of the following requirements:

  1. The sign will be a minimum of twenty (20) feet in the westerly direction and can continue for another ten (10) feet
  2. The sign will go westerly nine (9) feet.
  3. The sign will have no illumination with either internal or external lighting.
  4. The sign will be located to the south side of the property no closer than twenty (20) feet from the side property line.
  5. The sign itself will be no larger than four (4) feet by six (6) feet with the height no higher than eight (8) feet from the existing grade.

    The motion was seconded by Fran and a unanimous vote was taken by:  Charles Howard, Fran Griswold, and Bernard Bator.  Daniel Speth was unable to vote as he had yet to be sworn in by the Cheshire Town Clerk.  Christopher Walsh was on vacation. Chris also needs to be sworn in – a reminder will be emailed.

    To Be Noted:
    Bernard Bator voiced his personal opinion on the placement of a sign on town property.  He felt the land was taken for taxes and is now owned by the town.  Placing a sign on the property looks like the town is keeping the land.  He stated, “This is prime property, business property and the town should be looking
    to sell the property.”  The Board noted that should the property be sold, the sign can be removed and it can be taken off the property’s deed.

    Form A:  Edmund Clarimont.  Page 305  Book  635. (Estate Planning for his daughter,)  Mr. Clarimont rescinded the plans submitted on June 25, 2014 and replaced it with a revised edition. The new plans could not be signed due to Dan’s not being sworn in.  Additionally, there are legal questions regarding old Route 116 and its ownership.  Charlie will discuss with Assessor’s and the Board of Selectmen.

    BRPC Representative, Thomas Matuszko discussed the progress of the Cheshire by laws and the excellent assistance received from Brian Domina.  Mr. Matuszko discussed the process of the creation and development of a Cheshire Master Plan and the importance of having a cross section of people on the committee.  This project could take up to 2 years and possibly more time.  No member should have an  agenda or special interest in order for the committee to be objective to the real needs of its community.
    Categories could include:  Land Use, Natural Resources, Housing (Affordable and Elderly), Capital Improvements, Infra Structure, Zoning Changes, Assessments of Town Properties to name a few.
    Communication is most important in the process.  This might include surveys and public meetings.
    He noted that Sandisfield and Otis are starting a process while Great Barrington has passed a plan.
    He noted that the cost for this project could start at $20K and go to $30K.  He was willing to check if there were any grants available to assist the cause and he would get back to the Board asap.  New grants will be out in October and or November and would be awarded in January.  (Local Assistance Program.) It is important to look at present issues.  Trends.  The Future – rural/less industrial/more or less  taxes. Positive and Negative changes.  Goals.  Objectives.  Budgets.  Year 1; Action Plan.  Year 2; Action Plan. It is the Cheshire Planning Board’s responsibility to accept a Master Plan before it goes further in the process. The Cheshire BOS will be invited to the committee meeting on August 11, 2014 7pm.
    The Cheshire by law reorganization was discussed and he suggested following  Domina’s suggestion not to make by law changes at this time.  He felt it best to get the reorganization part passed first by the town at an Annual Town Meeting.

    Discussion continued by reading a letter received from Attorney St. John and the Dollar General project.

    Mr. Matuszko will apprise the Planning Board for upcoming trainings.

    Charlie motioned to adjourn the July 28, 2014 Cheshire Planning Board meeting at 9:30PM; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Carole A. Hilderbrand, Secretary to the Cheshire Planning Board

    Charles M. Howard, Jr.     Bernard F. Bator     Daniel L. Speth    Francis M. Griswold   Christopher D. Walsh