Butterfield Terrace property impacted in oval, Pokeberry Ridge underlined
A cluster of four properties on Butterfield Terrace, sandwiched between UMass and Amherst town center, could see an increase in housing density IF -- and that's a BIG if -- Town Meeting approves a citizen's petition article requesting a zoning change from the current RN (medium density) to the higher density RG.
Even with the zoning change, which requires a two-thirds Town Meeting vote, any development to increase housing units (up to 18 are possible according to town Planning staff but the petitioner put the number at 14) would still require a Special Permit.
Petitioner Mike Alpert told the Planning Board last week that most people in town don't even know Butterfield Terrace exists and the nearest neighboorhood street, Pokeberry Ridge, is 100 feet higher up, so their "scenic vistas" will not be impacted.
But that didn't stop neighbors from speaking out against the zoning change, citing of course the impact of noise from renters presumed to be, gasp, students.
Half the current housing on Butterfield Terrace is owner occupied. Units requesting Zoning Change: 35,43,51,61
The petitioner was forthright about wanting the zoning change to allow for development, but did say they could end up owner occupied or senior housing.
Only one of six housing units on Pokeberry Ridge is a rental
The Planning Board voted 5-1 to recommend the zoning change to Town Meeting.
Planning Board Chair David Webber
Although, with the batting average the Planning Board has had with Town Meeting of late, that recommendation could do more harm than good.