May 8: Planning Board Revisits Sustainable Northampton; Green Roofs = Open Space?

Concerned citizens are urged to attend the May 8 meeting of Northampton’s Planning Board. Among other things, it looks like green roofs may be classified as “open space”. In effect, this implies some open space will become privatized, as the public may not have access to these green roofs…

FOR Thursday May 8, 2008

THE PLANNING BOARD meets in Council Chambers, 212 Main Street, Northampton at 7:00 PM for:

1. Introduction of Mark Sullivan and Marilyn Richards, new Planning Board Associate Members

2. 7:00 PM Continued Public Hearing on an application by Sandra Pinkham for two flag lots and a common driveway special permit and site plan approval at 348 Westhampton Road (Map ID 36-199).

3. Requests for actions for existing permits:
a. Discussion of lighting levels at 54 Easthampton Road service station
b. Review of minor fa├žade change at VCA, 209 Earle Street
c. Signoff of Village at Hospital Hill revised covenants

4. Discussion of possible zoning changes under discussion prior to Sustainable Northampton
a. Site Plan Approval: Clarity in Zoning Technical Performance Standards
b. Site Plan Approval: Traffic mitigation payment-in-lieu of fee
c. Parking Requirements: Central Business District
d. Open Space Residential Development (cluster): comprehensive rewrite)

5. Discussion on Sustainable Northampton Rezoning Committee and rezonings
a. Discussion on committee makeup
b. Discussion on what goes before committee
c. Consideration of Conz Street/Old South Street rezoning
d. Consideration of definition of open space (green roof, LEED-Silver projects)

6. Other necessary business…

If you would like to contact Planning and Development staff, please visit us at for a list of staff emails and phone numbers.

See also:

Berkeley, California: Cautions on Infill
Becky O’Malley, executive editor of the Daily Planet, observes that
some kinds of infill risk depriving the community of valuable common
spaces (“Editorial: Southside Needs Public Space”, 11/4/03):

The current push for infill development, if not properly
managed, risks contributing to the privatization of public space. When
the requirement that a building project incorporate a certain
percentage of open space is translated into isolated rooftop gardens
and gated courtyards, residents are encouraged to turn their backs on
public life. At the same time that movements like the New Urbanism are
preaching the gospel of building suburbs with shared common spaces,
comfortable old streetcar suburbs like Berkeley are being pressured to
convert their existing shared spaces into blocks of individual
apartments, too small for families or voluntary affinity groups…