Kendrick Place (left) proposed One East Pleasant site circled in red
Hampshire Superior Court Justice Richard Carey allowed the town of Amherst and Archipelago Investments LLC "Motion for Summary Judgment," ending a lawsuit filed by abutter/competitor Joel Greenbaum over the proposed construction of a five-story mixed use (mostly residential) building on the site of the former Carriage Shops, in the north end of the downtown business district.
Amherst Carriage Inn circa 1960
The Amherst Planning Board, after five public meetings, gave Site Plan approval with two Special Permits allowing the building 5' extra height and 10% extra lot coverage.
Greenbaum filed suit claiming the proposed structure was a student dormitory, had too little parking and would cast an evil shadow on his property.
Essentially Judge Carey found that Mr. Greenbaum, with two nearby private parking lots, did not prove the new building -- which does provide 36 parking spaces where none are required -- is not a an injury "special and different from the concerns of the rest of the community."
And Judge Carey was not at all impressed with the testimony of Rolf Karlstrom, finding he's "not an expert authority on parking."
The Judge goes on to declare, "Karlstrom, as a biology professor and town resident, does not possess the knowledge necessary to evaluate city parking. As such, any opinion in Karlstrom's affidavit will be stricken from the record." Ouch!
Kyle Wilson (standing), Dave Williams (seated) aka Archipelago Investments LLC
While Mr. Greenbaum can appeal the decision it's unlikely that a panel of three judges would overrule such a strait forward finding from Judge Carey, who is known and respected for his thorough grasp of land use law.