Sawmill will be demolished to make way for project
It didn't take long for NIMBYs to voice their public comment about Beacon Communities proposed 130 unit development in North Amherst and as usual complaints included traffic, noise, and the fear of more college aged youth moving to their neighborhood.
NIMBYs invaded 8/29 Select Board meeting
The main suggestion was to downsize considerably the number of housing units by as much as 50%. Since the project includes a significant affordable housing component it has to be a sizable number of total units to make up for the low cost ones.
And since Amherst has an across the board housing shortage, any increase is a good thing. Beacon is using a "friendly 40B" approach to get needed concessions on height, set back and lot coverage in order to make the project work.
If the state grants them clearance they must still get approval from our Zoning Board of Appeals but unlike a normal hearing where a Special Permit requires a unanimous vote this would only require a two-thirds vote.
Yesterday the town filed a MassWorks grant proposal for $1 million to redo the funky North Amherst main intersection of Montague & Sunderland Roads with Meadow Street, North Pleasant and Pine Streets.
Sunderland and Montague Road branch off after intersection of Pine/Meadow/North Pleasant
And the state does heavily weigh future economic development before issuing the grants.
Neighbors are concerned that the town has formed an unholy alliance with Beacon and Cowls (the landowner) in order to acquire the grant and that will unduly influence the ZBA.
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A few years ago these same NIMBYs successfully shot down zoning changes that would have led to more development in North Amherst and as a result the state twice turned down our $4 million MassWorks grant to rehab Pine Street.