Weekly Feature

2017-03-08 / Letters to the Editor

Westwood plans may not be changed

The Amherst community needs to be alerted to what appears to be a misconception regarding the Westwood project. Some believe that once rezoning of the property is approved, Mensch Capital Partners can freely change the proposed redevelopment plan within the approved uses of the new zoning classifications.

That is not true.

In May of 2013, the Town of Amherst enacted a new Planned Unit Development law for any site 30 acres or larger, which includes Westwood, requiring developers to meet a higher standard of planning and implementation.

The PUD law requires eligible sites be planned in keeping with a Town of Amherst Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan, which Mensch has done. Once approved, both the Conceptual Master Plan and a Development Agreement between Mensch and the town will be binding on the property and registered with Erie County as a Deed Restriction.

It may only be changed with an affirmative vote of a majority of the town board, which may impose certain conditions or restrictions, as well as any mitigation measures for any potentially significant environmental impacts.

The development agreement will require development of Westwood to be generally consistent with the approved Conceptual Master Plan.

Mensch does not have unchecked flexibility to implement whatever we want within the zoning code (as may be the case with other properties). In fact, we are compelled to implement the Conceptual Master Plan consistent with the terms of the Development Agreement or seek approval from the town board to amend the Conceptual Master Plan.

To date, no other parcel has been subject to these requirements since there are very few, if any, other development sites over 30 acres.

It is important that all residents are properly informed with the facts to arrive at informed opinions.

Andrew J. Shaevel
Managing Partner
Mensch Capital Partners

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