The North Adams Planning Board on Monday endorsed a change in zoning for a parcel on the corner of Union and Eagle streets to central business.  reports the property, which comprises the former St. Francis of Assisi church location and its rectory, was split into three different zones: residential, industrial and commercial.
Owner Colvest Inc., through its attorney, Jeffrey Grandchamp, asked that the entire parcel be zoned as central business, or CB1, because the current zones are "largely incompatible."
The now empty church parcel at 55 Eagle St. and the former rectory at 12 Union, and a few smaller connected parcels, were purchased last September by Colvest Group, operating as Colvest/North Adams LLC. Based in Springfield, the real estate development and management company owns commercial properties throughout Western Massachusetts.
Colvest has specialized in developing mixed retail shopping centers and office spaces but officials last year said there were no immediate plans for the prominent parcel.
City Councilor Rebbecca Cohen and Planner Lisa Blackmer questioned how the change would affect the immediate area and why other abutting properties were not being included in the change.
Grandchamp said his client was not trying to "involve greater zoning changes" on property it did not own.
Building Inspector William Meranti said the change was in line with recommendations being made by the city, which is consolidating the number of zones and streamlining the 50-year-old zoning map to reflect more modern uses.
The Planning Board voted to recommend the zoning change to the City Council. The zoning change also is included in the updated map being presented to the Community Development Committee on Aug. 21.

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