Weekly Feature

2017-11-08 / Front Page

Code amendment comments accepted through Friday

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

The public will have through Friday, Nov. 10, to submit comments to town officials regarding proposed amendments to the Amherst Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinance.

Since late winter 2016, town officials have been working on the amendments, which have been dubbed “ImagineAmherst.”

According to Associate Planner Dan Howard, the project seeks to enhance sustainable development that doesn’t infringe upon the residential or non-commercial neighborhoods. Another aspect of the project is to encourage walking through the creation of pedestrian-friendly areas.

In addition a 14-person project working group, there is also a Technical Review Committee that consists of eight members. Both groups have been working cooperatively toward identifying and correcting issues in the zoning code as it pertains to the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

Town officials have been assisted in the process by Code Studio, a consulting firm familiar with the town. The Planning Department and other town officials have been working with the committees, residents, developers, and business owners to analyze the characteristics of existing centers and the current code.

Any feedback provided by the public will be used in the creation of a final draft generic environmental impact statement on the amendments. The FGEIS will be considered by the Town Board during its Nov. 20 meeting.

At its meeting on Oct. 30, the Town Board set a decision date of Monday, Dec. 11, for consideration of the overall findings statement and the plan amendments.

During a public hearing held during the October meeting, several members of the audience spoke on the matter and said they felt the inclusion process was flawed because only a select number of zoning areas in the town were studied during the project.

Howard said that the criticisms of the public have not necessarily been accurate and the committees have been working diligently to incorporate all of the necessary areas of the town as well as include residential feedback.

Supervisor Barry Weinstein said any written comments from the public should be sent by 4 p.m. Friday if a resident is using email. Comments sent by mail that is postmarked by Friday will also be part of the project’s files.

For more information about the amendments or for addresses to send the materials, visit www.ImagineAmherst.com or www.amherst.ny.us.

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