Friday, April 24, 2009
Ghost of Christmas future 2
Back 15 years ago Phillip Sweeney asked Amherst Town Meeting to zone this property Village Square to allow commercial development. They overwhelmingly turned him down. I of course voted in favor. One town official even told Town Meeting that someday this entire corridor (ultra-busy Rt. 9) would be zoned commercial but Mr. Sweeney is a tad ahead of the curve (naturally the NIMBY neighbors spoke against the rezoning.)
His speech was one of the most disjointed I have ever heard in Town Meeting and he looked, with his frizzy hair, a bit like a male version of recent sensation Susan Boyle (but without the speaking/singing talent)
When the lopsided vote was announced (and it required a two-thirds majority to pass) a long-time Town Meeting member sitting behind me said to the member next to him "That's because we don't like him." Hmmm....
He did manage to open the Maplewood Restaurant under a "farm stand" exemption (what is more natural than fresh brewed beer?) but with all the rules and regulations restraining his commercial activity the restaurant only lasted a few years.
And now it just sits there, abandoned. The first commercial enterprise you see when approaching Amherst from the east. A reminder of the motto: bury your business in Amherst.