Condos proposed on Amherst Road in South Hadley 

  • A map of Skinner Woods, a proposed condominium development in South Hadley.

Staff Writer
Published: 7/11/2019 12:21:31 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — A  10-unit condominium development has been proposed on the Amherst Road section of Route 116.

The residential development, called Skinner Woods, will consist of 10 freestanding, “modest” single-family homes located between 534 and 542 Amherst Road, according to a preliminary plan submitted to the town. The two-story homes would include two and three-bedroom units and house approximately 39 residents. 

The development is currently undergoing Planning Board review. Thomas Spring of Skinner Woods, LLC is listed as the project’s applicant, with Bucky Sparkle of Zengineer in Easthampton preparing the plan. 

All of the houses will have vistas of the Mount Holyoke Range, Spring said, and the back of the property will offer access to trails associated with Skinner State Park and the Mount Holyoke Range. A pavilion is also proposed at the trailhead. 

Almost nine acres of the 11.4 acre site will be open space, the plan states, and the site will feature a public “common usable open space ... for conservation and recreation.”

The homes will feature a townhouse style with similar designs, according to Spring, who said that he builds small, moderate to high-end projects. Spring has also developed Cedar Ridge Estates and Alexandra Place in South Hadley.  

The location, which sits at the base of the Mount Holyoke Range, is currently made up of brush, grassy areas, a wooded section, a short gravel road, and the sloped site of a former gravel pit, according to the plan. 

According to the plan, “over 90 percent of the large trees on the site will be left untouched and contiguous with the surrounding woods,” and additional trees will be planted elsewhere on the property. 

The site falls within a water supply protection district and will require the developer to secure a special permit, and is home to eastern box turtles and wood turtles, which are protected under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. The preliminary plan presents a protection plan intended to preserve the turtles and their habitat. 

The proposed site has room for up to 13 units, according to the plan, but the additional homes were not included in the proposal because they would “would remove a large area of the woods in the southwest of the property as well as eliminate public gardens, the pavilion and other public amenities.”

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing for the applicant’s request for a special permit and stormwater management permit on July 22 at 2 p.m. at Town Hall. 

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com. 


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