CAC Retrofits Master Plan

The new plan for Hospital Hill is approved.

From The Advocate
By Mark Roessler
Friday, March 13, 2009

Northampton’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC), the group charged with overseeing development on the site of the former Northampton State Hospital, met on Wednesday, March 4 to tie up a loose end.

Last fall, the committee debated the merits of a revised site plan for the housing development on Hospital Hill. The plan had no strong advocates. Committee members voiced concern that it was a departure from their stated goal of a village-like setting with a mix of commercial and residential buildings; the revised plan included over 100 new houses, overwhelming the scant commercial development. Many changes were requested, including the possibility of adding a community center, a park at the center of the development, and a more substantial memorial to the former state hospital and its patients.

Two meetings had been opened to public commentary, and the majority of the residents who spoke either had serious concerns about the plan or rejected it outright. Of all the speakers, only Jonathan Wright, whose Wright Builders is currently building 11 half-million-dollar mansions on the hill, urged approval of the plan so that those buying his properties will have an idea of the neighborhood they’re moving into.

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