PITTSFIELD – The town’s purchase of a nonconforming lot, which is of no use because it cannot be developed, will be discussed by the Town Council on Tuesday night.
According to Town Manager D. Dwight Dogherty, this purchase “is likely only the first of many which will be brought to the council during the next several years.”
Due to the redesignation of zoning districts in conjunction with the town’s comprehensive plan, nonconforming, undevelopable lots may become an issue throughout the urbanized portion of Pittsfield, said Dogherty.
The property to be discussed Tuesday is a lot at the northeast corner of Harriet and Third streets. A home on the property burned a number of years ago and the lot has been vacant since then, said the manager.
“The new zoning has rendered the lot in question unusable for development, which, it could be argued, would constitute confiscation of property without compensation,” said Dogherty. He added, however, that this type of situation is exactly why a land purchase reserve account was established – to provide means for compensation.
The lot was assessed in 2000 for $6,100 and Dogherty said the council could offer the property to abutting landowners to recoup some, if not all, of the purchase costs. He has suggested a $2,000 purchase price to the landowner, Tri-Cap Corp. of Pittsfield.
In addition, councilors are expected to ratify their unanimous vote last week to set a hefty fine in place for those violating town rubbish laws.
The fine, which ranges from $250 for a first offense to $500 for subsequent violations, was set in place after household trash was stuffed in two remote recycling containers. The action cost the town money in cleanup costs and in lost recyclable revenue.
Councilors were outraged, they said, and took a hard stand on the issue. Household trash is prohibited from rubbish containers at Manson Park, litter boxes around the downtown area and the recycling containers.
In addition, as part of the capital budget for 2001, a third compartmentalized container will be purchased to provide for a more efficient rotation of containers when they need emptying. Dogherty said this would cut down on littering and allow for more frequent emptying of the remote containers at Grove Hill and Somerset Plaza.
The agenda also requests that public hearings be set for Dec. 19 for the land purchase, a bottle club registration and special amusement permit for Lee Doncet VFW Post 9955, and for the $2.5 million operating budget and the $221,000 capital budget.
The council meeting is held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the council chambers of the municipal building.