South Deerfield’s Residents Are Uneasy about a 72-unit Development
Walking up the path to Town Hall, I recognized many vehicles from my road. Tonight I was here with fellow residents of my neighborhood to hear about a large development planned for 22 acres of farmland behind Mountain Road and off Sugarloaf St.
I came in skeptical and in doubt about such a big plan, but after looking at their diagrams and designs, I think they are bringing us something great. It’s a 36 duplex houses for people 55 and older, with two new streets and a compliance with the mandates the town planners have set forth in every document about smart growth that’s been done in recent years.
But of course, my sentiments were not in the majority at this meeting. No, it was a chance for people to bring up all of their reasons for objecting to the plan. Traffic was on one young mother’s mind. Another neighbor cited problems with water run off, despite the sophisticated study that has already been done to locate where the water flows and to see how deep the water table is on all portions of the land.
My neighbor Penny said she moved here for the open space. She asked about whether this was worth it, as we would be displacing both farmland, wildlife habitat and open space.
I felt that Tony Wonsesk from SVE, one of the presenters, along with developer Mark Wightman, has a realistic and well-studied grasp of the laws, the environment, and the whole picture regarding the development.
I think Deerfield needs this kind of injection of money and people, we haven’t built any housing in decades. Really.
We can resolve whatever issues of traffic, and sewer, and water run-off, and in the end, this new development will be a popular place for Deerfield residents to retire to, as well as bring new life to our small town. I think any time something big is brought up, people are resistant. But in towns like Greenfield and Easthampton, communities like this have been very popular and haven’t caused the problems anticipated by the naysayers.
Sharyn Paciorek agrees with me, telling reporter Andy Castillo of the Recorder, “The town needs growth. We’ve been at a standstill for so long.” The next hearing will be on October 6.