The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce presented “Rezoning King Street: Findings & Recommendations” to the Planning Board last night. We’ll have that video for you within a few days. In the meantime, download this PDF published by the Chamber (1.3MB).
Gazette: “Builders decry slow road to permits” (5/31/10)
A pair of King Street developers lay the blame for vacant eyesores on Northampton’s main commercial strip directly at the doorstep of city officials whom they claim aren’t inviting enough to business development…
The zoning stems from eight years ago when the city required that new buildings be located no more than 55 feet from the sidewalk. The move was intended to encourage construction of buildings closer to the street with parking lots located behind those buildings, to enhance the look of the street with better landscaping and make the area more pedestrian-friendly, said Feiden [Wayne Feiden, Northampton’s Director of Planning and Development].
The change was met with “push-back” from developers who would rather have parking in front of their buildings. Feiden said, however, that communities that experience a lot of growth have been able to force parking behind buildings and still do well. That hasn’t happened here as quickly because “we’re not as hot of a growth market,” he said.