West County Notebook

Shelburne board won’t buy forest land

SHELBURNE — Selectmen waived their right of first refusal to buy a 2-acre parcel of conserved forest land on Smead Hill Road, so that the landowner could sell it to a neighbor for a future house lot.

The board heard recommendations from the Open Space Committee and Conservation Committee, who said the land was not connected to a larger wildlife corridor, nor to a potable water source and is not a critical piece of land to be preserved. The current owner has another 100 acres of conservation land and wants to sell the lot for financial reasons. Open Space Committee Chairman David Schochet said the prospective buyer favors conservation preservation, but would like to acquire a house lot for possible family use in the future.

New Mole Hollow owners seek permits

SHELBURNE FALLS — The new owners of the former Mole Hollow Candle building are seeking permits to rebuild the foundation at the back of the building, which was built in the 1840s, on fill.

On Tuesday night, the Conservation Commission began reviewing a request to remove a shed and loading dock at the rear of the old gristmill, so that the building’s foundation could be secured and a concrete floor could be laid in the basement. A representative for building owner Edith Mehiel, of the Goldthread Organic Herb Farm and Apothecary, said the exact building footprint would be restored, after the foundation work was done. He said interior work on the building itself won’t be done until the foundation work is done.

Conservation Commission members continued the permit hearing to Feb. 4, to get more information about drainage, since the building is near the Deerfield River and near the Glacial Potholes.

Goldthread Apothecary is still planning to use the 12,000-square-foot building as a “mixed use” holistic health center, with an herbal apothecary, tea lounge, wellness center, holistic health care library and downstairs-level learning center.

Mehiel purchased the building from Mole Hollow Candle Co. founder Peter Curtis in November 2012. Last summer, the storefront portion of the building was used as the setting for a restaurant during the filming of “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr.

‘Sense of Place’ discussion set for senior center

SHELBURNE FALLS — The Senior Center is hosting a “Conversation Cafe” and luncheon for participants of all ages on Wednesday, noon to 2 p.m., at the Senior Center, 7 Main St.

The topic will be “A Sense of Place,” and it will be led by Stacy Kontrabecki, the organizer of Shelburne TedEx talks, and Art Garden director Jane Beatrice Wegscheider. Lunch is free and will include soup, bread and desserts. In case of inclement weather, a snow date has been set for Jan. 29.

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