North Pleasant Street on west side of Kendrick Park is a big concern
As former Chair of the Dickinson Local Historic District Commission and a petitioner before them (not while Chair) of the most complicated project they reviewed -- a $500,000 renovation of historic Hills House on Main Street -- Jerry Guidera has a unique perspective on how Local Historic Districts work and he deemed his overall experience "onerous".
Historic Hills House on Main Street
Jerry Guidera and Tom Ehrgood present to Linclon Sunset Local Historical District Commission last night
Even Steven Bloom Chair of the Lincoln/Sunset Local Historic District Study Committee freely admitted to the 25 or so people at the public hearing that it would be "Another layer of bureaucracy, another hoop to jump through."
Bill Gillen (right) Steven Bloom (left)
Committee member Bill Gillen, a long-time architect, thought the hearings would be good for developers as it would give them an early insight into what the general public thinks of their project, kind of like acting as a canary in a coal mine.
Although in Amherst, ANY project is opposed by somebody.
About two dozen attended the public hearing
During his original presentation Dickinson Local Historic District Chair Tom Ehrgood ruled out simply adding this new proposed district to his Committee's oversight as they are already overburdened and could not handle a 500% increase in jurisdiction area.
Only seven audience members chose to address the Committee and barely a majority favored forming the new Local Historic District, and not all that passionately.
The Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce strongly oppose the inclusion of North Pleasant Street along the west side of Kendrick Park as it is contiguous with the downtown and the last remaining area ripe for development.
After hearing from prominent local developers earlier in the week over that particular concern, Bloom told the crowd the current proposed area "Is not set in stone, it's a trial balloon."
If the Committee decides to move forward with the project it could come before Amherst Town Meeting next year where it would require a hard to achieve two-thirds vote.