From The Valley Advocate
By Tom Vannah and Mark Roessler
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
On March 1, Hospital Hill Development, LLC, submitted a “Notice of Project Change” to the state Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, asking OEEA Secretary Ian Bowles to find that the recent changes made to the Village Hill development plans outlined in the report are “insignificant” and do not require further review of the impact on the surrounding environment.
The plan will add more than a hundred new housing units to what is currently open space and woodlands near the Mill River. Should Bowles deem the changes “insignificant,” developers will be allowed to bypass a thorough state review of the changes and eliminate the opportunity for public comment on the finalized plan.
MassDevelopment, in partnership with Springfield-based Community Builders, has been working over the last decade to turn the site of the former Northampton State Hospital into a development that includes housing, offices, retail, and light industry. A local Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) is charged with overseeing the project.