Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Reasonable Balance?

Kendrick Place continues to draw fire

Despite the objections from both the Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement District the Amherst Planning Board voted unanimously 5-0 with two abstentions last night to recommend a zoning article to Town Meeting that would better define what constitutes a "mixed use" building.

 Amherst Planning Board

The more restrictive aspects compared to current bylaw is the residential make up of the building would limit 4 bedroom units to no more than 25% of total units (for fear of student rentals by the bedroom) and the first floor must be 60% commercial vs the current vague rule that seems to allow an ATM or gumball machine to suffice. 

Vince O'Connor spoke in favor of the article, specifically citing Kendrick Place as an example of what should be avoided in the future.  And he lamented the loss of the Carriage Shops, which was entirely small business commercial shops, to be replaced by One East Pleasant, which is mostly residential.

 Vince O'Connor:  "Given the latitude for mixed use buildings there should be a better definition."

Although it remains to be seen if these new regulations if passed by Town Meeting (requires a two thirds vote) would apply to One East Pleasant Street, the companion project -- although much larger -- to Kendrick Place. Developers of those two projects,  Kyle Wilson  and David Williams, were in the audience last night but did not speak. 

Last year Town Meeting voted down a citizens petition article that was far more restrictive in defining what constitutes a mixed use building, so this Planning Board article is considered a good faith compromise. 

Kind of like fighting fire with fire. 


Anonymous said...

Kendrick Place has been a wonderful success. None of the forecast calamities have taken place, but MassMutual now has a site in our town, and there are more people living and shopping downtown. Bring on more of these.

Anonymous said...

"Given the latitude for mixed use buildings there should be a better definition."

Oh no latitude for people to make their own decisions - can't have that.

Anonymous said...

Is there a Chrome extension that will block any pictures of Vince in my browser?

Larry Kelley said...

Would come in handy if he wins School Committee seat.

Anonymous said...


It took me a while to connect those green O'Connor yard signs around town with this foolish, old doddering clown. My heart sank once I realized how stupid most of this town is.

Timothy Atteridge said...

Vince O'Connor the poster boy for wrong decision making.

Dr. Ed said...

Actually, I think Team Maria deserves Vince, much like the mASSgop deserves Donald Trump.

And the Carriage Shops were once residential.

Anonymous said...

This is America, you will only find the appropriate mix when you remove the regulations. Then the people will show you the right mix, every moment, every time. As a bonus, by bringing the regulators back in the private sector, they will produce some GDP, which they were not previously. Regulator's reduce productivity and wages.

Anonymous said...

Once again Vince and his cronies hold TM hostage , that's why we need to have Yo on Amherst for All