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NORTHAMPTON — Two new triplex units are coming to 14 Garfield St. in Northampton after the Planning Board unanimously approved a site plan review for the project during a late January meeting.

The project, which is spearheaded by NuWay Homes, includes the installation of two three-family units with associated site improvements that include a paved parking area with 12 parking spaces, the installation of underground utilities and electric connections.

According to Rebecca Li, a civil engineer from R Levesque Associates — the land design and permitting company representing NuWay Homes during the Planning Board meeting — the triplex will have a covered entryway, a back deck for each story and an ADA-accessible first level.

“Each story is equipped with two bedrooms, a living area, kitchen, and the main entry point would be via the front door with a stairwell going to the upper levels,” Li said during her presentation.

The interior of the triplex is designed to have a more “open floor concept” and a basement level floor for storage will be available to tenants.

Prior to the Planning Board’s site plan approval, several residents from the surrounding neighborhood expressed contempt for the project, saying that it would negatively impact the character of the neighborhood. Others voiced concerns about parking.

Jane Myers, a resident of the neighborhood, argued that the project does not fall in line with the city’s site approval code which states that the purpose of the approval process is to promote development that is harmonious with the surrounding area and assures public convenience and safety.

“The Garfield Street proposal does not meet these criteria, I believe, and it will change the character of our neighborhood,” Myers said. “Approving this plan would create a dangerous precedent for the entire neighborhood and others like it.”

Another nearby resident, Laura Battles, said she understands the need for affordable housing in the city, but the units proposed by NuWay are considered “oversized” for the neighborhood. She also expressed concern about the effects the triplexes would have on traffic and infrastructure.

During her presentation, Li illustrated that the new triplexes would in fact fall in line with the surrounding neighborhood’s makeup because there are other two-and-a-half and three-story structures in the area that are comparable in size and height.

“Just driving around the direct neighborhood, there’s a lot of two-and-a-half-story structures that are very comparable in what the height will be for the new triplexes,” Li said. “The neighborhood also has various duplexes as well as there are some further multi-families.”

In response to parking concerns, Li said the project meets the zoning requirements for parking. She also added that the project is trying to reduce the amount of light pollution, headlight pollution and noise pollution.

Carolyn Misch, the city’s director of planning and sustainability, noted how the size of the proposed units — around 1,200 square feet each — is “modest” compared other types of units that are being brought on in the city.

She also emphasized how the units are a way for more affordable housing to be available for Northampton residents, especially as prices of detached single family homes continue to skyrocket.

“We’ve been looking at ways to encourage smaller units so people can get into the [housing] market and potentially move into single family homes if they so desire in the future,” Misch said. “This gets them a foot in the door because most single family detached homes are out of reach for people at this point in Northampton.”

The Planning Board ultimately approved the project with accompanying conditions including one that said the project will promote the convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and on adjacent streets.

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