Hawley board eyes Berkshire East houses

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

HAWLEY — The Planning Board meets today at 2 p.m. in the Town Office, to review a Berkshire East Cluster Development proposal on Berkshire East-owned property that had been proposed for subdivision roughly 40 years ago.

Planning Board Chairman Henry Eggert said the proposal is in “a very preliminary stage.” He said the ski mountain resort is considering the development of 25 to 30 homes on a roughly 76-acre parcel of land owned by Berkshire East. Eggert said the dwellings might be built gradually, on an as-needed basis after the initial ones have been sold.

He said homes would have a footprint of about 900 square feet, with two loft bedrooms on the second floor. All the dwellings would share a common septic system.

Eggert said Planning Board members will discuss their individual concerns and issues with Berkshire East representatives at today’s meeting.

Planning Board member Lloyd Crawford said Berkshire East has not submitted an application, but is “trying to get feedback from the town, to see what the issues are, before they go any further.” Crawford said this site, off East Hawley Road, was proposed for a subdivision in the late 1970s; but nothing was ever built there.

Crawford said that cluster development allows builders to construct more dwellings on a site than would usually be permitted, in exchange for an agreement to permanently protect more land.

Jon Schaefer, an owner and manager of the Berkshire East resort, could not be reached Tuesday afternoon for comment.

Hawley, with about 337 residents, encompasses 146 single-family parcels, according to the Massachusetts Division of Local Services.