NSNA Petition Signature Total Vaults Over 3,000

Not only is respect for trees and wetlands scientifically sound, it’s extremely popular. As of today, the North Street Neighborhood Association’s petition has garnered 3,174 signatures, including 2,010 from residents of Northampton. The petitions began circulating on July 21. They call upon Mayor Clare Higgins and the Northampton City Council to:

1) Pass an ordinance to protect “significant trees”
such that all “significant trees”, whether on public or private land, may not be cut down in whole or substantial part without permission from the Northampton Tree Committee or other appropriate official body. A significant tree is one which is 75 years old or older, or is 3 or more feet in diameter at chest height. The Tree Committee would take into account whether the tree is diseased, damaged, or poses a danger to people or property, and whether not taking action on the tree would impose a hardship on the property owner that exceeds the public’s interest in preserving the tree.

2) Revise Northampton’s wetlands protection ordinance to emphasize that new development should not occur within 100 feet of a wetland in any part of the city unless exceptional circumstances apply,
such as the property owner demonstrating to the city that their hardship in being restrained from development exceeds the public’s interest in protecting wetlands.
The association will present the latest signatures at tonight’s City Council meeting, 7:15pm in City Council Chambers, 212 Main Street, behind City Hall. The Council will take its second and final vote on the proposed wetlands ordinance. NSNA will urge the Councilors to amend Table 1 in the ordinance to specify a minimum of 50-foot no-disturbance buffer zones throughout the city. At the very least, this level of protection should be secured for urban residential zones URB and URC. We urge concerned citizens to attend the meeting.

See also:

How to Amend the Wetlands Ordinance to Make It Less Harmful to Wards 1-4
NSNA has called attention for some time now to the considerable body of evidence that wetlands are critical to flood mitigation in urban areas. The City Council endorsed this position in the Flood Mitigation Plan of 2004. We can’t recall hearing any significant rebuttal of our flooding concerns this summer. Nevertheless, the threat is simply being ignored.

Hyla Ecological Services Analyzes the Proposed Wetlands Ordinance

Two Articles on Wetlands in the Valley Advocate
…adding provisions to protect vernal pools where none existed before is inarguably a step forward in protecting Northampton’s wetlands. But at what cost does this protection come? Are vernal pools the city’s bargaining chips, surrendered to environmentalists so that the city can allow development close to inner-city wetlands?

Our Response to Suzanne Beck’s Letter to the Gazette

Our Response to Jim Levey’s Letter to the Gazette