What do we want Northampton to look like? And who are “we” anyway?

The Northampton Chamber of Commerce is recommending some new zoning regulations for King Street. Will they help all Northampton residents? We talk to former city councilor Fran Volkmann, planning consultant Joel Russell, Economic Development Committee Chair Dennis Bidwell, and Chamber executive director Suzanne Beck about Northampton’s zoning past, and possible future.


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Friday 9 July 2010 Audio
2010-07-09  »  Jaz Tupelo


  1. Nicole Graziano
    10 July 2010 @ 1:17 am

    This question comes at an interesting time, as I am sitting in an airport waiting to get on a plane from Portland, Oregon to come back home. Portland wowed us in many ways. Particularly in its model as a city with many different, vibrant and integrated (socially, economically, ethnically) neighborhoods and vast choices for people wanting to get out for food, drinks and culture. Northampton’s city center model doesn’t really exist in Portland, and I like that. Now, I know that Portland is far larger than Northampton, but how about spreading out a bit beyond Main Street? Wouldn’t it be great to see some additional go-to restaurants, bars and shops trickling further down King Street?
    I think this can be accomplished through a relaxed approach to zoning and some city incubator money.

    And who are “we”? Well, I think that we are a bunch of residents who deserve a little bit more than the smallish offering of restaurants and shops we frequent. We’ve got a lot of talented people in our area, I would love to see them put their ideas to work and open some additional businesses that we can all enjoy.

    Let’s keep the big shops out on Route 9 and focus on keeping our town special.

  2. Michael Kusek
    12 July 2010 @ 9:16 am

    A little something to add to the conversation:—Reshaping-cities/