ADAMS -- A portrait of a possible Greylock Glen with development was provided at Town Hall on Monday night, in what was the most detailed presentation of concept plans to date.
The town and project designer Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. organized the public hearing, held before the Planning Board, to seek a special permit from the board for the various projects being fine-tuned for the site.
The permit was granted by the board after nearly two hours of questions and public comment, with members voting unanimously in favor. It remains valid for 10 years.
"The special permit is in place to be an umbrella over [the project proposals] to say the concept is OK," said David J. Rhinemiller, chairman of the Planning Board. "[Development projects are] not going to all go at once. They'll be in phases, but this gives them blanket approval to start."
The hearing was carried by Director of Community Develop ment Donna Cesan and Stephen Derdiarian, of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., aided by concept design posters depicting each project proposed for a 50-acre swath within the 1,063-acre Glen property.
"We've really broken it down to the areas suitable for development, and even then we're weaving it in to the natural environment," Derdiarian said. "...The impression we're creating here as you drive in is this is about the environment, learning from it and appreciating it," Derdiarian said.
The proposed projects comprise a
Cesan described the proposal as a step-by-step process with the goal of "creating a destination."
"This is really a unique setup to Berkshire County," Cesan said. "...It's going to showcase sustainable design."
According to Derdiarian, concepts include "green" solar roofs on all buildings, rain gardens and biofiltration swales -- or, vegetated filtration channels to slow and purify water -- dispersed on-site. Porous pavement, local materials and sensitive grading are also planned for use.
The campground is likely to be the first step, and Cesan said a marketing study found "strong interest" in such sites. She also said Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art are potential collaborators in the amphitheater and educational center projects.
The presentation was followed by a host of questions from the board and attendees concerning trail protection from ATVs, site management and security, finances, potential sound and light given off and more.
Cesan and others answered with the most up-to-date information, but ultimately acknowledged more would have to be done in the way of securing private interest and unrolling plans before definitive answers are available.
Before any specific project can occur, the town will have to go before both the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board for renewed vetting.