Thursday, January 29, 2015

The North Shall Rise Again

Pine & Meadow Streets (east/west) and North Pleasant (north/south)

In addition to $100,000 in proposed capital appropriations to significantly improve the north end of Amherst town center, town officials are also asking Town Meeting to finance "North Amherst Center Studies & Improvement".

The $35,000 will go towards a study to redo the intersection of Pine/Meadow/North Pleasant streets as well as the adjacent weird junction of Montague and Sunderland Road.

During the 2011 "Form Based Zoning" effort, which garnered more than a majority of Town Meeting approval but came up shy of the two-thirds required,  the road alignment in the heart of the North Amherst commercial village center was an often heard complaint.

Sunderland Road (left), Montague Road (right).  North Amherst Library (center)


Kevin said...

Failure to pass form-based zoning, under MGL 40R, resulted in Amherst losing out on $4.5 million in state funding for Pine St. Instead, the money for Pine St came out of the town operating budget. On top of it, we got the cheapest version of Pine St, with no guard rails. Amherst zoning should be called "fear-based zoning".

Anonymous said...

To get out of this pattern of "fear-based zoning" (a very apt description), candidates who are not for it have to come forward and run. If they don't, we're screwed, eventually. At some point, Larry's confidence that they can't reach the two-thirds will be overtaken by political reality.

The residents who are motivated to run are the fearful ones. There is one very large voting bloc (bigger than one-third, close but not quite two-thirds) that is essentially a NIMBY coalition. It can become a working majority in just one election. You'll know it when it happens, which will be too late.