At the end of a very long night, the Amherst Planning Board voted to not recommend to the Town Council that there be a six-month moratorium on issuing building permits for projects downtown that are over a certain size.
I’d like to express my appreciation for the 880 registered voters in Amherst, who signed the citizens petition, for expressing yourself, in hopes of being heard. I’d be remiss in not mentioning that a petition AGAINST a six-month pause for better planning had 39 signatures.
I also was surprised to hear, at the hearing, how many on the Planning Board or Community Resources Committee say that six months is not nearly long enough to accomplish the planning that is needed. And then they voted for zero months, during a time where proposals for large, problematic, controversial projects are being submitted steadily.
In a town that prizes learning and openness this result is disappointing. But not surprising.
Ira Bryck has lived in Amherst since 1993, ran the Family Business Center for 25 years, hosted the Western Mass. Business Show on WHMP for 7 years, now coaches business leaders, and is a big fan of Amherst’s downtown.