134 Montague Road
The shopping experience at Atkins North, a proposed bookend satellite operation of an iconic South Amherst mainstay business, will be a tad more pleasurable -- not to mention safer -- thanks to the Amherst Planning Board, who voted unanimously last night to allow commercial use of the driveway at 134 Montague Road for deliveries.
Amherst Planning Board 12/17/14
The Site Plan Review, Special Permit permission applies only to Atkins North and limits deliveries to smaller type vehicles (no 18 wheeler semi-trailer trucks), so it's not a carte blanche approval for all future businesses opening in The Mill District.
Those businesses will still have to come before either the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals to get the same permission to use the more convenient access via Montague Road for commercial deliveries, something W.D. Cowls, the current owners, have done for centuries.
Atkins estimates only 10 deliveries daily
According to Planning Board Chair David Webber:
The Planning Board also voted (mostly) 6-1 to allow around a half-dozen Mill District commercial signs (some of them illuminated) for the convenience of the general public being able to more easily find their destination.This is a great example of two highly successful Amherst businesses, Cowls and Atkins, creating economic growth by providing much-needed services in North Amherst. Hopefully Atkins North will serve as an “anchor” tenant for further redevelopment of the Mill District.
Cinda Jones President W.D. Cowls, Inc largest private landowner in Massachusetts
Mr. Webber also pointed out the business signs may slow traffic as drivers will realized they are coming into a commercial zone and may watch more carefully for pedestrians and other vehicles entering or exiting the 12 acre emerging development.
Montague Road current traffic is 5,712 cars per day
As this is only the first step in the commercial revitalization of North Amherst, the former "dirty hands district."
A not overly happy Louis Greenbaum