I wanted to let you know that Sweetwood will be holding a public informational meeting about its’ rezoning request on Monday, April 3, at 6:30 in the auditorium at Sweetwood. Some additional information is provided below. We will be running a notice of the meeting on iBerkshires, but I would appreciate you sharing the below information with your membership. Thank you again for reaching out & I hope to see you on the 3rd. Please let me know if you or any SWAC members have any questions in advance.
Community meeting offered by Sweetwood
When: Monday April 3, 2023 at 6:30 pm
Where: 1611 Cold Spring Road, Williamstown
Why: 1611 Cold Spring Road, LLC (“Landowner”), the owner of 1611 Cold Spring Road, Williamstown (Parcel Numbers 302-001-000 and 302-002-000) (the “Property”), proposes two warrant articles for spring town meeting: (1) that the Property is rezoned from the Rural Residence District 2 (RR2) and Rural Residence District 3 (RR3) to the Southern Gateway District (SG); and (2) that the Town’s Use Regulation Schedule in Zoning By-Law § 70-3.3 is amended to permit the conversion of an existing building within a business district to a multifamily use by right.
Proposed Rezoning: The Property is currently developed with Sweetwood of Williamstown, an assisted
living facility with approximately 70 units of supportive housing (“Sweetwood”). Sweetwood continues
to provide the highest quality of care and amenities to its existing residents. However, there are
currently a number of vacant units at Sweetwood and the demand for assisted living care in
Williamstown and the region is not sufficiently high to support the costs of operations.
The existing RR2 and RR3 zoning of the property does not permit Sweetwood to operate outside of the
Code’s definition of “Assisted Living.” To support Sweetwood’s ongoing operation and care for its
current residents, Sweetwood seeks the flexibility to rent its existing units to any individual, not just
those who may require assistance with their daily living. Rezoning the Property to SG, coupled with the
proposed text amendment, would permit Sweetwood to lease its units to any person seeking to rent in
The rezoning proposal is also consistent with existing zoning along the Route 7/ Cold Spring Road
corridor. The current southern boundary of the SG district terminates approximately 0.7 miles from the
Property, where the Taconic Trail and Cold Spring Road intersect.
Proposed Text Amendment: The proposed text amendment would permit the conversion of an existing
building within a business district to a multifamily use by right. Any new construction of multi-family
dwellings within the business districts would still require a special permit from the Zoning Board or
Planning Board. Given the crucial need for affordable and market rate rental housing in the region, this
requested amendment will serve as at least one step towards alleviating pressure in the local housing
market. Utilization of existing buildings and structures in business zones will help achieve this goal without
significant impact to Town resources and infrastructure.