Saturday, April 23, 2016

VIDEO / TEXT: Williams administrator circulates email pitch and video link for college's Spring Street inn proposal

Here is a copy of an email circulating around town from Williams College spokesman Jim Kolesar which links to a March 29 video featuring three college officials talking about the school's proposal to build an up-to-100 room hotel -- near Christmas Brook -- at the foot of Spring Street.
From: Jim Kolesar []
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2016 8:30 AM
To: Various recipients
Subject: Williams Inn Project

Am taking a moment to share background information on the approaching Annual Town Meeting vote on expanding the Village Business District for construction of a new Williams Inn near the bottom of Spring Street.

The expansion has been recommended unanimously by both the Planning Board and Select Board, in votes that followed a year and a half of analysis and public discussion.

But since many people have time to pay close attention to such issues only as the votes approach, I'm sending the attached Q&A and this link to a Willinet presentation on the project.

If you have any questions about any of this, please let me know. And feel free to share this with anyone you think might appreciate seeing it.

Town Meeting is Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in the elementary school gym. As usual, many important votes are on the warrant, so I hope you can be there.

READ KOLESAR'S Q&A PITCH FOR THE SPRING STREET INN PROPOSAL (which includes lines two two siting proposals, one alongside Spring Street and the other set back.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Noted environmentalist/author Lauren Steven encourages Planning Board to ask "hard questions" of Deep

Subject: To the Editor:
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2016 14:46:50 -0400
From: Lauren Stevens 
To: Bill Everhart

Those favoring a zoning change to permit an inn and accessories on the Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown bridled at the scrutiny the Planning Board gave the project. They might want to look farther north on Rte. 7, where a defunct race track sits. I can remember the beauty of the Pownal Valley, billed as "The Gateway to Vermont," before the construction of what is euphemistically called Green Mountain Park. Originally designed for horse racing, later used by greyhounds, occasionally for concerts and now by a few model airplane enthusiasts, the decrepit stables and kennels have fortunately been replaced by solar panels, but the huge, vacant grandstand remains an unproductive eyesore.

Waubeeka guards the "Gateway to Williamstown," attractive in ways similar to the Pownal Valley. A small inn might be just the thing, but I'm glad the town's Planning Board has asked harder questions about scale and viability than did Pownal or Vermont, apparently, before the construction of Green Mountain Park.

Lauren R. Stevens

Deep granted time by Finance Committee the night before election to pitch his 40-acre Waubeeka timeshare development in South Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The night before a contested election, the Williamstown Finance Committee is scheduled to hear a pitch from developer Michael Deep at its next meeting for his proposed timeshare hotel development at the 200-acre Waubeeka Golf Links site in South Williamstown.

Deep purchased the 18-hole public golf course two years ago for $1.2 million and is now seeking permission to use 40 acres to build what he terms a New England Country in with "fractional" units under the state's timeshare law.

The Finance Committee posted on Thursday a notice showing the presentation by Deep and his attorney, Stan Parese, at its Monday, May 9, meeting, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.  That is the night before the town election, in which six people are vying for two open seats on the Planning Board, with which Deep has tussled.

Finance Committee Chairman Michael Sussman, in an email, said Deep had requested the time, and invited other interested parties to present views about the Deep proposal to the Finance Committee.  Deep does not have any specific proposal before the Finance Committee. But he has been running advertisements on local cable television which make assertions about its financial benefits to the town and now he apparently wants a forum to backup his assertions.