One East Pleasant Street (as proposed)
To no great surprise an abutter (and competitor) to the recently approved One East Pleasant Street, a 5-story mixed use project that will revitalize the north end of downtown, has filed an appeal within the 20 day deadline to overturn two Special Permits as well as the entire "site plan approval."
Joel Greenbaum, who is also a major Amherst landlord, filed the appeal in Hampshire Superior Court naming Archipelago Investments LLC (the developer), eight members of the Amherst Planning Board, and the town of Amherst as Defendants.
The suit alleges the mostly residential project violates town zoning bylaw because it is a "large scale student housing project". Of course the developers would disagree, citing the demographic of their initial downtown 5-story mixed-use project, Boltwood Place, that attracts tenants other than just students.
Furthermore the suit alleges the project fails to comply with Amherst's zoning bylaw mandating affordable housing units in any housing project that requires a Special Permit.
The town attorney has already found that since the project is allowed "by right" and the two Special Permits are relatively minor tweaks, the affordable housing clause does not apply.
Statement from the developers:
Click to enlarge/read
The appeal stands little chance of winning on its merits and killing the project, but will most certainly slow down the bulldozers. The tired old strategy of "death by delay".