GREENFIELD - During the latest city council meeting last Tuesday, council members discussed the possibility of changing one of the more visible portions of Greenfield's southern entrance.
A public hearing was opened for consideration to modifying the existing agreement for the Village Green area of town. Proposed is conversion of 11,257 square feet of empty commercial buildings along St. Charles Place, Park Ave. and Huerta Ave., so that they may be used as residential space.
Interim City Manager Brent Slama clarified the spaces in question are, "All the spaces that were either vacant in the back row and on the sides. Not the clock tower space, but the space behind it."
He also explained the plans for residential spaces, saying, "They include studio units and one-bedroom units."
The spaces have been unused, mainly surrounding the Village Green Park, and Slama explained the question in place is whether it would be better for the city to allow the switch from business to residential use.
Community member Avelina Torres asked if the city would get money from the process, to which Slama answered that the city would receive impact fees. When asked by Torres about the amounts of money in question, Slama said, "When the project goes in front of the planning commission and the city council, we can discuss the numbers."
The application, if approved, would modify the original agreement made between the City of Greenfield and Creekbridge Homes.
"Creekbridge originally came here and promised us a set of things here, and that was one of the main things, to bring this system to the city," said Mayor Pro-Tem Yolanda Teneyuque of the original plan of having businesses surrounding a park. "That was the whole idea, that we needed more business to come in. We needed the buildings to try to get businesses in. It sounded really good when they brought it to our attention."
Teneyuque continued, "I understand with the economy. Everything has gone down, but I don't believe that they have gone far and beyond to attract the business. I think this is going to be a way out so they can convert those offices and businesses into studio apartments."
After the public hearing, during which only Torres came forward from the public, both Teneyuque and Mayor John Huerta said the matter is something the people of Greenfield should think about, as it effects their city.
"This item was recommended by the planning commission," said Slama. "Revisions require going back to planning commission for reconsideration."
For the complete article see the 06-20-2012 issue.
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