Monday, May 23, 2011
0 for 2 on anti slum legislation
Amherst Town Meeting tonight gave the new housing code enforcement officer (approved earlier in the budget) one less bylaw to enforce by turning down a zoning change requiring one half of a duplex to be owner occupied or if both units are rented, an on site manager. Article #28 failed to reach a two thirds majority: 81-49.
The follow up zoning article #29 "Residential Parking Requirement" to forbid the unsightly practice of parking cars on lawns by requiring all parking spaces be paved also failed to garner a two thirds majority: 78-42.
These zoning articles were hatched in response to continuous complaints from older established town neighborhoods where single family homes converted to student housing by private "entrepreneurs" can make life miserable when UMass is in session.
Earlier in the meeting the body voted unanimously to pass article #27, "Adoption of Stretch Energy Code," which increases by 20% the energy efficiency requirements set forth in the State Building Code for new construction making Amherst a 'Green Community' with better access to state grants to fund programs such as efficiency initiatives or renewable energy projects.
The meeting started with a standing moment of silence for Bill Field, former Moderator of 20 years, who passed away yesterday. A visibly shaken current Moderator Harrison Gregg cited Field as his inspiration.