Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fate of the Gateway

Nothing really new came out of last night's joint meeting between the Amherst Redevelopment Authority and the Amherst Planning Board: A vision of what the Gateway Corridor could be was presented, residents raised concerns and committee members took it all in.

Tonight at 5:00 PM, in the first back-to-back meeting in over twenty years, the ARA meets again to decide the critical issue of where to go from here. Do we bow out gracefully now that a "vision" has been articulated and let the town figure out how to proceed? Who will take up the negotiations with UMass for the former Frat Row--a signature piece of property that our consultant called a "catalyst" for positive change?

Tomorrow is July 1st--start of the new fiscal year. At this exceedingly late juncture we don't even know who will be running UMass/Amherst in the near future.

The retirement of Building Commissioner Bonnie Weeks will also delay the hiring of a new building code enforcement officer, so slum lords get a reprieve while owner occupied houses in residential neighborhoods will once again have to endure party houses when UMass students return, and the cycle resumes yet again.

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow..."


Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Bonnie Weeks's retirement will end the disasterous inspection process that has cost businesses so much while she dithered and delayed projects for little reason. Perhaps Amherst's reputation as a town that is impossible to open a store in a timely manner will finally change. There are electricians that refuse to work in Amherst. Now maybe they'll come back.

Anonymous said...

I have several friends that won't do any work in Amherst just for that reason. I sounds like she let her personal opinions get in the way of good business. I'm sure many business people will be happy to see her go.

Anonymous said...

If not wanting to do your work according to the dictates of the state building code(s) means you don't want to work in Amherst, so be it. I've never known Bonnie to be unwilling to work with a tradesman as long as the tradesman was willing to do the work properly. Most stores that don't open in a "timely manner" have only the owner's failure to cross all the t's and dot all the i's that he/she has been told about weel in advance.

Anonymous said...

Amherst is known to be unfriendly to businesses trying to open. Ask anyone who has opened a business here in the past 5 years. You will hear horror stories.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:28 Where the heck have you been living! So all the businesses that have had permits delayed for no reason, and there's allot of them, are all caused by tradesman and business owners. Why is it just Amherst they won't work? It is a well known fact Amherst is not business freindly and unless things change always will be. Don't try and cover it up with "crossing the T's and dotting the I's". This situation has a long history and it covers many contractors and business owners not just one or two disgruntled hack nail bangers.