Decision on Easthampton condo project upcoming

  • Rob Levesque, owner of R. Levesque Associates, who represents the owner of a proposed condo development on Loudville Road in Easthampton, explains site lines to John Bator, the president of the Pascommuck Conservation Trust , during a recent site tour. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Published: 10/9/2020 5:27:15 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The Planning Board is expected to decide next month whether a high-end condo development that has drawn criticism from a number of neighbors can proceed.

The “Wildflower Condominiums,” a proposed 18-unit, 10-building development off Loudville Road, needs a special permit from the board. One of the buildings, at 73 Loudville Road, is owned by Cynthia Steplar, who is developing the project. Of the nine new buildings, eight would be duplexes.

At a Planning Board meeting this week, a number of letters from residents criticizing the project were read aloud, with concerns about traffic and the project being too big for the area among those raised.

A major portion of the meeting involved a series of exchanges between board member Brenda Salyer and Robert Levesque, whose firm, R. Levesque Associates, designed the project.

Salyer produced data that showed that the duplex structures being proposed were considerably larger than median single-family homes near the proposed development, by her numbers.

Of the houses Salyer looked at, the median livable square footage was 1,321.

“The scale to me is way out of whack,” Salyer said at the meeting. “That’s what I think the community is concerned about.”

Levesque, however, asserted that the structures had footprints that are comparable to Steplar’s house. His firm said the condo units will be between 1,200 to 1,500 square feet, depending on how they’re built out. There will be two units per duplex. In a follow-up interview, he said that a formal response to Salyer’s data is being prepared.

If built — the project has already been OK’d by the Conservation Commission — the condos are expected to sell for $350,000 to $400,000 each, Levesque said.

The board will take up the project at its Nov. 10 meeting over Zoom. A special permit needs approval from four of the five board members.

At the request of Jesse Belcher-Timme, the board’s chairman, City Planner Jeffrey Bagg is preparing the draft of a written decision approving the project, though Bagg said the outcome of the vote is not known. 


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