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Council grants zone changes and considers amendment


July 12, 2013
By Carley Dangona

carley@thereminder.com

AGAWAM — Two votes by the City Council move forward a proposed retail development in Feeding Hills and a housing complex on South Street.

On July 8, NWST, LLC was granted three zone changes for 26, 32 and 38 N. Westfield St. in Feeding Hills for its proposed retail development. Details of the plans have yet to be released.

"One of the driving forces behind the zone change was based on a request from the Planning Department who asked that we put the building towards the street because of the historic district that is pending in this area," Robert Levesque, president of R Levesque Associates Inc., said. He spoke on behalf of NWST, LLC.

In a letter to the council dated June 7, Planning Board Chairman Travis Ward wrote, "The Planning Board is of the opinion that granting these three zone changes would eliminate a 'spot zone' in this area; allows for a potential connection from the rear of these parcels to the Fitness First driveway, which would provide for safer flow for both vehicles and pedestrians; and will help to address the Planning Department's concerns with designing a commercial development in this potential National Register Historic District."

The council also conducted a public hearing and the first reading of the proposed amendment to the Code of the Town of Agawam Zoning Ordinances to create a "Residence A-6" classification for low-density multi-family communities.

Developer Mark Benoit, owner of 194 South St., explained the property is currently approved for a 55 and older community development and that he still wants to proceed with the development, sans the age restriction.

The proposed amendment would allow one- and two-family dwellings to be built in A-6 zones along with recreational facilities such as parks, gardens, pools and clubhouses.

The second reading of the will take place at the Aug. 5 council meeting.

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