Amherst's "living room" wishes to expand by about 40%
The Jones Library will need to negotiate a pair of hurdles at the upcoming Town Meeting, one of them a tad more sizable than the other because it requires a two-thirds vote: In order to buy adjacent property from the Strong House History Museum, a zoning change from Residential to Business is required otherwise the Strong House becomes "non conforming".
Land behind the Jones Library and to east side of Strong House needed for expansion
And Amherst frowns on anything non conforming.
The other interconnected problem is the property that the Library hopes to build on currently hosts the Kinsey Memorial Garden and the Strong House History Garden, both considered jewels in an emerald necklace of badly needed downtown greenery.
A citizens petition article #39 to Town Meeting calls upon the Library not to touch the Kinsey Memorial Garden. That will only require a simple majority vote to pass, although it is non-binding.
But it will however -- if passed -- cast doubt on the viability of article #43, the needed zoning change for the Strong House (last article on a l-o-n-g warrant).
Click to enlarge/read