Amherst Office Park new mixed use building opened in October with 17 apartments
In addition to paving the way for new student housing on appropriately named University Drive, the Amherst Planning Board also approved a group home on Henry Street and two additional apartments in the new Amherst Office Park building in South Amherst.
A few neighbors did come to express concerns about the group home and questioned if rural Henry Street was a good location. Since the project is allowed by right in any zoning district in town the Planning Board had almost no say in the matter.
The one family house will be occupied by five elderly residents and two staff members will be on site 24/7. Because of the Dover Amendment they are exempt from the town bylaw restricting one family homes to no more than four unrelated occupants.
The Planning Board did suggest trees or bushes to screen the 6 car parking lot. The vote to affirm site plan review was unanimous.
362 Henry Street, North Amherst: foundation is already in
The Building Commissioner had already issued a foundation permit knowing Planning Board approval was guaranteed and that has already been installed. ServiceNet has signed a 25 year lease with builder Raymond Goulet.
Their final Public Hearing was the shortest of the night and it occurred at the end of the meeting without a single spectator left in the audience. Ron LaVerdiere requested permission to turn excess storage space into two one-bedroom apartments with one of them handicapped accessible.
Since the endeavor required no external changes to the building and LaVerdiere reported current parking, unlike town center, is underutilized so there's plenty of parking for the additional two units, the Planning Board quickly gave their unanimous consent.
Amherst Office Park has plenty of parking (photo taken 9:15 AM Wednesday)