Video: Conservation Commission Meeting of 9/10/09; Kohl Condos Approved; Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir

Here is a complete video of the 9/10/09 meeting of Northampton’s Conservation Commission. This video is 2 hours 14 minutes long and was recorded by Lachlan Ziegler.

The 20-unit Kohl Construction condo proposal off North Street was approved (0:00:00-1:28:32 on the video) but it appears Kohl has some work to do to ensure there’s enough room to line stretches of the 35-foot wetlands buffer zone boundary with boulders. We’ll publish the final version of the proposal conditions and covenants when they become available. As we mentioned before, a Land Court lawsuit against the proposal remains active. Kohl has pledged not to begin work until it is resolved.

Following the discussion of the Kohl proposal, the commission heard a “request by John Clapp for a support letter for a Community Preservation Act application for funds to restore the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam in Leeds” (1:29:15-2:07:11 on the video). Here is a picture of the proponents’ presentation board:

Here is the official agenda of the Conservation Commission meeting:

Northampton Conservation Commission

Date: Thursday September 10, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Place: City Hall Hearing Room (use back door or main Crafts Avenue door) 2nd floor, 210 Main Street, Northampton

For more information: Bruce W. Young, Land Use and Conservation Planner


Approval of Minutes for 08/27/2009

5:30 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.

*Public hearing was closed on 08/27/2009

6:00 PM
Request by John Clapp for a support letter for a Community Preservation Act application for funds to restore the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam in Leeds.

See also:

Gazette: “North Street project OK’d” (9/12/09)
The conditions prohibit the use of lawn and garden chemicals and salt for de-icing unless in emergency situations; placement of about 100 boulders every 4 feet along the 35-foot no-disturb zone that protects the wetlands; annual inspections of the no-disturb zone; and a five-year invasive plants removal plan within the area being disturbed and within the 35-foot buffer zone.

Video: Conservation Commission Meeting of 8/27/09; Rebutting Gerrit Stover

Pictures from the August 27 Conservation Commission Hearing on the Kohl Condo Proposal

Planning Board Grants Special Permit to Kohl Condo Proposal; Conservation Commission, Land Court Hearings To Come (6/26/09)
The North Street Neighborhood Association believes most of Kohl’s land is unsuitable for building (too wet, buggy and flood-prone) and that the best use of the land is to conserve it as an informal park. The state has offered to match funds raised by abutters for the purpose of conservation.

Valley Advocate: “Northampton’s Hidden Reservoir” (9/3/09)
The Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir is a hidden gem. Hugging the north side of Chesterfield Road, a couple of miles uphill and upstream from the popular Musante Beach swimming area in Leeds, the six-acre pond supports a variety of wildlife, including blue heron, kingfisher, wood turtles, river otter, fish, and migrating birds. It is fed by two coldwater streams which are alive with brook trout.

Video: Board of Public Works Meeting of 7/29/09; Roberts Meadow Upper Reservoir Dam; Landfill Alternatives
The Department of Public Works is considering the dam’s removal (see PDF of 2009 proposal). Some neighbors and citizens would prefer to preserve it and the character of its immediate surroundings. The Board’s inclination is to remove the dam to resolve the safety hazard posed by its current condition.