PAMOGRAM — March 7, 2021
This is a quick note to tell you of two important upcoming public meetings.
TOMORROW: Town Council meets on Monday, March 8th at 6:30. For some reason it is not posted on the main website for the Town, but it is for real. The link for the March 8 meeting is here: https://amherstma.zoom.us/j/88362729706 If you have trouble getting the link to work, you can also find it on the Town Council website https://www.amherstma.gov/3435/Town-Council . Under “agenda | packet” for March 8, you will find the “virtual meeting link” as well as the link for Amherst Media’s channel 17 live streaming. See below for details
TUESDAY MARCH 9 COMMUNITY RESOURCES COMMITTEE (CRC) special time 3:00—5:00 p.m.
https://amherstma.zoom.us/j/86936114249; or join by phone (301) 715-8592; enter webinar ID 869 3611 4249
The topic of the meeting is the continued discussion of the new Zoning Priorities such as Removing footnote M in Residential General (RG) neighborhoods, revising the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) bylaws, and revising the zoning in the Business Light (BL) district. At this meeting the Planning Department will be presenting their latest thinking on these issues.
It is crucial for the many voices, old and new, of the Local Historic District (LHD), otherwise known as Precinct 10, to be heard at this meeting. If we do not stop the removal of footnote M, our neighborhood will be irrevocably changed by developers building multiple units on the property of single family homes, turning lawns and trees into parking lots, and a family friendly neighborhood into nonstop non-owner occupied student housing. That this would create affordable housing is a myth.
I know you have been here before and thus created the Rental Registration bylaw. This is like fighting the Hydra, as soon as you cut off one head another appears. But just because we are close to UMass does not mean that UMass owns us. Let them solve their housing problems without destroying a diverse and friendly neighborhood.
Main topics will be a vote “to authorize the Town Manager to move forward with plans for the North Common as presented in [Plan 3B (no parking) OR Plan 2 (some parking)] and [one-way OR two-way traffic] on Boltwood Avenue from Main Street to the exit of the rear of Town Hall Parking lot, and to maximize all other parking in the immediate area.”
After much study I have come down on the side of Plan 3B with no parking in front of Town Hall, leaving that area green with plantings and an ideal place for events, flag raising, demonstrations, and celebrations. Great attention has been made to form a parking plan around the North Common, so that very few spots are lost. The impact of this change is clear, especially if you look at the overhead shot and see how wonderful restored North Common looks without cars impairing the view of Town Hall. Please note, that there is an excellent public parking lot behind Town Hall as well as ample parking in the Boltwood lot.
Other topics are approving wayfinding signs, answering a Public way request for the Farmers’ Market and other business.
Keep masked, Keep moving, Keep an open door and an open mind, and Keep the faith!
Dorothy S. Pam, Amherst Town Councilor, District 3