February 24 Forum: “Rezoning Northampton for a Sustainable Future”

The Zoning Revisions Committee has issued this press release:

City of Northampton Zoning Revisions Committee

For Immediate Release: January 21, 2010

Joel Russell, Chair, Zoning Revisions Committee, joelrusl@gmail.com, 413-584-7228
Danielle Kahn, Vice-Chair, Zoning Revisions Committee, djkahn2004@yahoo.com, 413-320-7208
Carolyn Misch, Northampton Office of Planning and Development, cmisch@northamptonma.gov, 413-587-1287

“Rezoning Northampton for a Sustainable Future”

The future of King Street, appropriate forms of infill development, controlling sprawl, providing a range of housing options, and improving urban design in Northampton will be among the issues discussed in a citywide public forum on February 24, 2010 from 7-9 PM at the JFK Middle School Community Room. The forum, hosted by the Zoning Revisions Committee (ZRC), will give citizens of Northampton the opportunity to suggest how Northampton’s Zoning Ordinance might be changed to implement the City’s Sustainability Plan [link].

After a brief presentation on the ZRC’s ongoing process and the key issues it faces in revising the zoning, the ZRC will hear from citizens on such issues as ensuring quality urban infill, maintaining neighborhood character, and protecting the City’s green spaces and environmental resources. The goal is to implement the Sustainable Northampton Plan in a manner that improves our quality of life and maintains the best features of our community.

Members of the ZRC, which was appointed by the Planning Board as an advisory committee, include Joel Russell, Chair, Dennis Bidwell, Stephen Gilson, Danielle Kahn, Adin Maynard, Peter McLean, Jim Nash, Dillon Sussman, and Tom Weiner.

See also:

Joel Russell’s Introduction to Form-Based Zoning, as Presented to the Northampton Design Forum, 1/26/10 (PDF, 10MB)

Download Envisioning Sustainable Northampton – Final Notre Dame Studio Presentation Book

Envisioning Sustainable Northampton: Notre Dame Urban Design Presentation – Video and Handout

Video and Slides: Final Presentation of Design Northampton Week

Northampton Media: “Northampton’s Built Environment: Squandered Public Equity” by Tris Metcalfe, AIA (11/2/09)
It is understandable that many citizens are not aware of the importance and value of good architectural design. However, it is not acceptable for any city government to be ignorant of these needs and values, since government holds much power and responsibility to shape the world we all must inhabit on into the future long after they are gone.

Video Highlights from the 10/19/09 Mayoral Debate: Wetlands, King Street, Infill and the BID
Higgins: “I agree with Councilor Bardsley that we need to think about design standards. I think we need to think about density…and I think we need to think about things like greenspace and trees.” 

Bardsley: “I think we need design standards… Infill isn’t simply cramming in buildings.”

March 10: Zoning Revisions Committee to Meet; Our Suggestions

Lessons from San Diego: Why We Need Infill Design Guidelines

Our Ad in the May 6 Gazette: “How to Avoid Classic Infill Design Mistakes”

Knoxville Infill Housing Design Guidelines: Lessons from Experience

Video: Zoning Revisions Committee, 10/28/09; Attract People to Infill Areas with Amenities

Video: First public “in-process” presentation and feedback session for Design Northampton Week
Fran Volkmann, Vice Chair, Community Preservation Committee
We would like to concentrate development closer in, we like the idea of walkability, bikeability, neighborhood center… The thing that happens to us, however, is that we buy that and then somebody builds some horrible thing…and then they say to you, “This is infill, you know. It’s good, it’s infill.” …You know if you walk in European cities, you very often find little tiny pocket parks, and little bits of green spaces, mixed in with beautiful buildings… How do we…learn to…value…respect for people at the same time that we try to fill in our park spaces?