An Open Letter from Carol Hutter, North Street Resident, to the Mayor

From: Carol Hutter…
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007…
To: Mayor of Northampton
Subject: it green!

Hello! My name is Carol Hutter, and I currently reside at…North Street. I am just writing to let you know that I am concerned about the prospect of building in the wooded area near my apartment. I feel that it is really important to protect the wet lands, and also to preserve that nice natural GREEN area separating our neighborhood from the King Street traffic and car lots…etc. Northampton, to me is my lovely home-town where I have lived since 1988. I love to hear the sounds of the crickets at night, and to know that the traffic on North Street is only really really busy during the rush hour…however people speed through here so much and disregard the posted speed limits.

One of my most wonderful companions, my cat, Benny, was hit by a car out on North Street during rush hour on a Summer morning 7 years ago because he was accidentally let out of the house, and I couldn’t get him back in time. I had a guest and she opened the door and out he went. He was a house cat, and this one morning he darted out in front of a speeding car. He was injured severely and I had to have him put to sleep. It was so, so sad, and the car that hit him did not even stop.

More of these incidents will happen if the units they propose to put in are built. there will be many more speeding cars on North street, and the street is narrow already, and it is not posing a pretty picture to me. Plus, the pollution will be worse, and the green trees and all that we value in nature that HELPS our town to clear the air, will be gone.

Please help us keep the beauty of our town. Money is not everything in this world.

Thank you for reading this.

Sincerely, Carol Hutter

The Mayor’s office replies:

From: “Karen Bellavance-Grace”…
Date: September 11, 2007…
To: “Carol Hutter”
Subject: RE: it green!

Dear Ms. Hutter,

Mayor Higgins asked me to thank you for your email, and first to express our condolences on the loss of your beloved companion. The Mayor has had dogs in her life for a number of years and appreciates how deep that loss can be.

In terms of the proposed development project in your neighborhood, the decisions about the details of the project will rest with the Planning Board and Conservation Commission. Part of the approval process will be to address the traffic needs such a development will have. One hope is that creating more homes close to the downtown will appeal to people who want to walk into town or commute by bike on one of the nearby bike paths.

The Mayor agrees with you about how important it is for our community to ensure that our city continues to maintain and care for green areas as well as ensure that there are good quality homes for people across the economic spectrum. Northampton sets aside funds every year to acquire and preserve open space throughout the city.

Mayor Higgins understands how large a change this project will represent for you and your neighbors and encourages you to continue to participate in the process as it continues to move through the Planning and Conservation Commissions.

thank you,

Karen Bellavance-Grace
Aide to the Mayor

See also:

North Street Gets Support from South Street: A Letter from Virginia Schulman

Letter to Advocate: “Heartsick Over Noho”

Letter to The Republican: “planners and most board members are out of touch with the city’s residents”

Letters from Residents Describe Groundwater and Sewage Issues Around North Street