Joyce Rosenfeld: What do council members want for Northampton’s future?

Published: 6/10/2021 4:15:38 PM

I was relieved to hear that I am not the only one confused by the proposed amendment to the zero lot lines ordinance, section 10-14. The language both in the proposed amendment and in the verbal explanations given over these many weeks is confusing.

It is confounding and does not address the well researched facts we citizens have presented, nor does it answer the questions we have been asking. Why make these changes? And why make them now?

I was relieved when I heard that city councilors Marianne LaBarge and William Dwight at the May 20 City Council meeting express their confusion and their need for clarity. I wonder if there is one member of this council who feels that he or she truly understands the language of the proposed amendment or why these changes are being proposed at all. Or why are they being proposed now?

And, most importantly, if special permits are declared irrelevant in order to build on developer-owned properties — properties purchased solely for the purpose of building as many high-priced single-family speculative homes as possible — then our iconic neighborhoods all over Northampton will become Everytowns of the 1980s with vinyl sided and propane/fossil fuel heated single-family homes that are affordable to only a certain element of our society. And with the most paltry amount of green space or old trees allowed.

Is this, council members, what you want for our future? I am relieved to know that there is the hope that this issue will not be rubber stamped.

Joyce Rosenfeld


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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