Monday, May 18, 2015

IF You Build It?

Greenleaves Buildings #27 & #25

The Zoning Board of Appeals is pretty used to concerned neighbors attending a public hearing with the intent to squash a proposed development via Special Permit in their front or backyard.

 Concerned Greenleaves residents pack May 14 ZBA meeting

But their May 14 meeting was a tad unique in that owners who live in Greenleaves Retirement Community turned out to complain about a Community Center being built in their side yard, a structure that is required by the original 2004 Special Permit that allowed Greenleaves to be built in the first place.

 Open lot between buildings #25 & #27

A legal arrangement they were aware of when first purchasing their condos in the development.

When the condo project was first built each building had one unit temporarily set aside as a "community room" as a convenience for the residents until the Community Center was constructed.

But the tenant/owners have now gotten used to that arrangement and apparently like it better than a stand alone building nearby.

 Proposed Community Room (that may not happen)

The project owners wish to reclaim the original community rooms and sell them as residential units as originally planned. 

The ZBA is now stuck in the middle of the dispute.  In a somewhat informal poll taken by management 18 residents supported building the new Community Center and 24 opposed it.

Senior Planner Jeff Bagg expressed concern that so much time has been spent on the proposed building and now it may not happen.  The ZBA would still have to modify the original Special Permit to allow for nixing the  Community Center and approve that space for parking or any other function. 

The hearing was continued to June 11th.

Russell Street is Rt 9. Greenleaves straddles Amherst/Hadley border


Anonymous said...

Since Greenleaves are condos, and the original developer actually sells the property to the condo owners, the owners are in fact complaining about themselves.

Anonymous said...

This seems rather silly.

It's not NIMBY.


....even though I already agreed to it and signed a contract to that effect.

only in the Collective of Amherst.

If only one resident wants to keep it, I think they would have to keep it.

Governments do not have the right to nullify private contracts with something as simple as a town meeting, especially if nothing illegal is described in the contract.

You must negotiate out of contracts and there would seem to be too many parties to do this successfully. Just one hold out and rights could get violated, the town may think they can use the meeting, just because a lot of people are there, to trample upon previous agreements the town required.

Hopefully everyone agrees with each other on this one. ;)

Anonymous said...

There are big concerns about adequate parking for elderly residents who cannot walk far. Parking has already gotten tight as the new building took away nearly a third of the parking spots and residents of that building have not yet moved in with their own cars. For elderly residents, being able to park by the building they live is not a silly reason to want to refuse to add to that parking pressure. It's not at all trivial.

Bubbles said...

Larry, did you interview any residents? Things are not always what they seem. Be sure you have your facts right.

Larry Kelley said...

I did.

And I am. (What I yam)