Video: Floodplains Public Information Session, 11/10/09

Northampton Senior Land Use Planner Carolyn Misch hosted a public information session yesterday on proposed zoning changes affecting all floodplains except the Meadows. Here is a complete video of the session recorded by Adam Cohen. It is 1 hour 1 minute long. See the flyer describing the session with a map of the affected areas. See the text of the proposed ordinance changes (PDF).

Here are handouts circulated at the meeting by Ms. Misch:

See also:

Northampton Media: “Floodplain Proposal Simplifies Permitting; Releases Bean Farm Land from Restrictions” (11/10/09)
There are, according to Misch, 2,465 acres of land currently within the Watershed Protection overlay. Under the OPD plan, 75% of these, or around 1800 acres, would be changed to Special Conservancy designation. The SC zoning eliminates the special permit requirement for substantial home improvement and allows expansion of a pre-existing non-conforming use by Zoning Board finding alone. Under either SC or WP, according to Misch, it is close to impossible to build a new home. “It’s the City’s policy to discourage new residential construction in a floodplain zone,” said Misch. “No new residential construction will be allowed under SC.”

Springfield Republican: “Bean Farm land in Northampton caught in tug-of war between developers, athletic field supporters and farming advocates” (11/10/09)
The 47-acre farm in the Mill River flood plain has found itself in the middle of a tug-of-war between farming advocates who want to keep its prize soil in agriculture and sports buffs who are desperate for new playing fields in Northampton. Waiting in the wings is a developer who envisions a subdivision on the land.