Bank of America downtown Amherst
In all likelihood the Planning Board will bring to Town Meeting this fall a zoning article allowing downtown businesses to lease out their parking lots as a sort of stand alone business using only a simple Site Plan Review process.
Now, without such a change, that would require a Special Permit, which needs a unanimous vote of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Currently Amherst downtown has more private spaces (57% of total) than public so a more efficient use of those surface parking lots can be a benefit to both private businesses and consumers.
BOA parking lot (right) Amity Street lot (top left)
But another concrete idea in the recently issued final draft of the Downtown Parking Report suggests either purchasing outright or entering a cooperative agreement with Bank of America. Their 47 space lot is located behind Amherst Cinema adjacent to the town's most popular Amity Street Lot.
BOA building stands out just a tad from surrounding architecture
Since town officials have never really forgiven Bank of America for the design of their building (constructed by Amherst Savings Bank in 1984) dead in the center of town. So universally panned, The Design Review Board was created in response to the building, to prevent a repeat occurrence.
So it would be kind of fitting for them to now come around and do the town -- and consumers -- a favor.
Click to enlarge/read
Downtown Parking Report (final draft) "Action Item."