Conservation Planner Bruce Young’s Staff Report on Latest Kohl Condo Proposal

Northampton Conservation and Land Use Planner Bruce Young has issued the following staff report on Kohl Construction’s latest 20-unit condo proposal for North Street. Concerned citizens are urged to attend the hearing on August 27, 6pm in the City Hall Hearing Room (210 Main Street, 2nd floor, enter via the back door).

Staff Report [partial]

To: Conservation Commission 
From: Bruce W. Young
Re: 27 August 2009, Conservation Commission Meeting

…6:00 PM
Continuation of a Notice of Intent filed by Tofino Associates, Inc. and Northern Avenue Homes, Inc. for the construction of twenty-three dwelling units and associated roadways, parking areas, driveways, sidewalks, utilities, landscaping and stormwater management system. Project is proposed to take place in the 100-foot buffer zone of Bordering Vegetated Wetlands. Project location is Northern Avenue, Map Id 25C-12 and 25C-17.

Staff Recommendation:
-General Conditions #1-32
-Minimum 4’ diameter boulders spaced 4’ apart along the entire Limit of Disturbance Line
-In several sections of the Declaration of Covenants the word “should” needs to be replaced with the word “shall.”
-Upon completion of construction activities, the applicant should provide the Northampton Conservation Commission with baseline documentation of the vegetation and site conditions of the 35’ No-Disturb area.
-A condition should be attached that prohibits chemical treatment of lawns, landscaped areas and parking areas on the site (see 07-16-2009 draft Declaration of Covenants page 7).

DEP Comments: 246-631
[1] To meet the Stormwater Management Standards, a project proponent needs to consider the following three stormwater management components in this order of priority: • Site Planning: Design the development using environmentally sensitive site design and low impact development techniques to preserve natural vegetation, minimize impervious surfaces, slow down times of concentration, and reduce runoff; • Source Controls, Pollution Prevention, and Construction Period Erosion and Sediment Control: Implement nonstructural measures to prevent pollution or control it at its source; and • Structural BMPs: Design, construct and maintain structural BMPs to attenuate peak flows, capture and treat runoff, and provide recharge to groundwater. Proponents can reduce the volume of stormwater that they are required to recharge by using the LID Site Design Credit. [2] The following BMPs may be used to infiltrate stormwater in compliance with Standard 3: dry wells; infiltration basins; infiltration trenches; subsurface structures; leaching catch basins; exfiltrating bioretention areas and porous pavement. [3] The Commission should use Volume 1 Chapter 1 as well as Volume 3, Chapter 1 of the Stormwater Management Handbook to assist in review. The Stormwater Standards are incorporated into the Wetlands Protection Act regulations as per 310 CMR 10.05(6)(k) through 310 CMR 10.05(6)(q). [4] All BMPs must be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with the specifications and procedures set forth in Volume 2 of the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook.

See also:

August 27: Conservation Commission Revisits Kohl Condo Proposal; Hydrological Review

Latest Kohl Condo Proposal for North Street: 20 Units as Duplexes

  • Units 5-12 would be in an area that Conservation Commissioner Paul Wetzel objects to building on because the ground is so wet (March 12 hearing)
  • Wetzel also expressed concerns about how the underground stormwater detention system by Unit 10 would interact with groundwater in and around the wetland
  • Unit 18 appears to be slated for the same place as a unit that Conservation Commissioner Downey Meyer objected to previously as too close to the wetland
  • The total amount of disturbance inside the 100-foot wetlands buffer zone would remain high; Meyer objected to this on the version of the proposal reviewed on March 12
Watering-up: Studies of Groundwater Rising After Trees Cut

July 23: Kohl Condo Proposal Goes Back Before the Conservation Commission; New Draft Covenants

Special Permit As Issued to Kohl Construction for North Street Condos

Video and Slides: Planning Board Grants Special Permit to Kohl Condos on 6/25/09

Video: Conservation Commission Reviews Latest Kohl Condo Proposal on 5/14/09

Video: Conservation Commission Meeting of 3/12/09; Deadlock on Kohl Condo Proposal