Greenfield Planning Board meeting on ADUs canceled due to ‘technical difficulties’

Staff Writer
Published: 10/23/2020 2:57:44 PM
Modified: 10/23/2020 2:57:34 PM

GREENFIELD — The Planning Board canceled its 6:30 p.m. meeting Thursday night minutes after it was supposed to start because of “technical difficulties.”

The board had planned to discuss accessory dwelling units, better known as in-law apartments or ADUs, and whether they should be allowed by right. However, residents tried to sign into the virtual meeting with no success. By 7 p.m., it was announced on the city’s calendar that the meeting was canceled.

The Planning Board, for a second time, had planned to vote a recommendation to bring to City Council. Thursday’s meeting came following a joint public hearing with the Economic Development Committee on Oct. 13, where it heard comments and concerns from the public.

Earlier this year, City Council modified an ordinance that now allows detached ADUs by right. Re-examining the decision came about, however, after 50 people signed a petition asking that the council take another vote to return to requiring a special permit to build detached ADUs.

A handful of residents, including those who signed the petition, spoke during the Oct. 13 public hearing and two emails were read, echoing concerns about them being allowed by right. Ultimately, the Economic Development Committee opted to send a “negative” recommendation to the full City Council, meaning it decided the full council’s vote in May to allow detached ADUs by right should stand.

Those who spoke during the hearing said they believe neighbors should have the right to discuss their concerns when someone wants to build another home on an abutting property. They’re also concerned that a property only has to be three-quarters of an acre to be allowed to build a second structure, as the ordinance is written.

The full City Council will once again discuss the proposed changes after it receives a recommendation from the Planning Board, which will most likely discuss the matter at its first of two monthly meetings in November. The Planning Board typically meets the first and third Thursday of each month.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.




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