New development should be positive
I am writing in response to last week’s Amherst Bee article, “Public hearing raises questions: are village residents anti-development.” I am not anti-development but strongly believe that new development projects that require rezoning should have a positive impact on the residents and business owners of the community. This can be accomplished by providing a community with new services, by making a community more pleasant and/or by increasing the tax base, thereby lowering the tax burden of others.
Many residents of the village and members of the Village Community Plan Committee have indicated a desire to improve the accessibility of Main Street businesses to local residents, reduce traffic throughout the village and increase the number of village residences to improve the quality of life of village residents and business owners.
Last week’s article in The Amherst Bee failed to report that the rezoning of the Stereo Advantage warehouse building at 56 South Union Road from residential to commercial was requested in order to tear down an existing house so that a parking lot could be constructed in its place. The project will also increase traffic on South Long Street, which is already soon to be impacted by a newly constructed Walgreens and other nearby businesses.
There are many examples of ill-conceived development projects in the village and in Amherst that have been rushed “through the system” and now must be tolerated by our residents and business owners for many years to come. In 2007, I expect that the Community Plan Committee will provide a set of creative and detailed (i.e., “smart“) land use, architectural design and development recommendations that will strengthen the village’s identity as a unique historic, cultural and natural resource. Before we demolish buildings for parking spaces, why not make sure that we get it right for a change?
Victor Paquet Howard Avenue