ZBA: Hilda Greenbaum, Tom Simpson, Barbara Ford, Building Commissioner Bonnie Weeks
Tonight the Zoning Board of Appeals continued the public hearing for folks to speak for or against Dr. Kate Atkinson relocating her successful family practice (with about 2,500 patients) from a 2,200 square foot building to a 12,000 square foot building she plans to construct in a Professional Research Park. The planning board has already voted in favor of a building going up. Now the only question is will that commercial building be allowed to house a medical practice.Dr. Kate Atkinson, family practitioner for 11 years and resident of Amherst Woods (neighbor to the NIMBYs)
Site is located between two existing commercial buildings and will be two floors as well.
Yeah, that too is one of those 'Only in Amherst' questions that should take no time at all, but in this case is taking hours on end. After two and half hours of testimony and discussion this evening the board closed the public comment portion but since the room had to be vacated by 10:00 PM continued the hearing to December 28 where they will render their decision, which requires a unanimous vote to pass.
The usual assortment of NIMBYs spoke against the good doctor, citing increased traffic. But a bevy of heavy hitters spoke in favor of Dr Kate: Former Town Moderator and land use planner Francesca Maltese, Barbara Shaffer Bacon who owns property nearby (with business partner Stan Rosenberg) Amherst Redevelopment Authority Chair John Coull and a handful of Town Meeting members who reminded the Zoning Board this concept already passed town meeting by a two-thirds vote.
Alan Powell, sidekick to BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) Mary Streeter, defended the very concept of NIMBY saying "Who else is going to defend your own backyard?" Maybe he should get a dog.Alan Powell. Proud to be a NIMBY
And former Amherst Wildwood Elementary School Principal Mark Prince was at least honest saying, "I oppose this because it's in my backyard."Mark Prince
Friendly locals indeed