I recently read a Mass Audubon article titled “Wayne Feiden, Providing a Legacy of Open Space for Northampton”, which states that Northampton has “neighbourhoods with leafy parks and plenty of protected land on the outskirts of the city. Many residents are passionate about the quality of life it offers and consider it one of the most livable and vibrant cities in America.
Credit goes to Feiden Community Planning, Northampton’s Director of Planning and Sustainability. In other contexts, Feiden stressed the importance of including the community in the planning process and requiring developers to help the community protect more open space.
The city’s proposal to build an animal control facility in a residential neighborhood, next to a conservation area with wetlands, appears to contradict its heritage and open space principles, and jeopardizes the well- be residents and wildlife.
If necessary, this kennel should be located away from dwellings. I think the best use of the property at 196 Cooke Avenue would be an extension of the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. As a landscape architect, Mr. Feiden could create a small park, including a parking lot. This would improve the quality of life for nearby residents and add to the beauty of the conservation area.
This option seems more desirable than building a controversial animal control facility there. Mr Feiden is expected to choose to extend his legacy of open spaces with a project more suited to improving the lives of Northampton residents.