Letter: DONA Committee To Monitor Eruptor Project in North Amherst


The Amherst District One Neighborhood Association (DONA) has appointed a committee to monitor and advise the Town and the developers on the proposed Eruptor project in North Amherst.  The Eruptor Neighborhood Committee has met with former-state senator, Stanley Rosenberg, a Principal and liaison between the nuForj LLC, the local group that initiated the project, and the Amherst community.  Questions, concerns, and suggestions for improvement have and will continue to be shared with the developers as well as the town committees involved in review and permitting of this project.

The work of the Eruptor Neighborhood Committee emerged from an ongoing comprehensive DONA study on the needs, opportunities, and threats created by potential commercial development in North Amherst.  The designation of North Amherst as a Federal Opportunity Zone to encourage investment and development has resulted in greater awareness of the need for such a comprehensive review.  The DONA Planning Committee will produce recommendations to help define the characteristics and qualities of future projects that North Amherst residents might welcome to guide potential commercial development.  

This more comprehensive DONA study builds upon prior work including the Town of Amherst Master Plan (2010), the PVPC Economic Development Plan for Amherst (2018), the North Amherst Village Form Based Zoning Workshop (2011), and results of a community meeting including 60 residents organized by DONA to learn specifically about the Eruptor Project (2019).  

When a purchase and sale agreement for a building site in North Amherst was announced, the Eruptor Neighborhood Committee was created to monitor this specific project.  A set of questions focused on the potential impact on the neighborhood and town was shared with Rudy Vogel, Founder and Managing Principal of nuForj LLC.  At a meeting between DONA and Stanley Rosenberg on May 25, answers to some of the questions and concerns began to be answered.  

Representatives of the DONA Eruptor Neighborhood Committee met with David Ziomek, Assistant Town Manager and Director of Conservation and Development, and Planning Director Christine Brestrup, on June 4 to discuss the proposed project and identify ways in which DONA can provide input as the project moves forward.  

Among the potential concerns being monitored are increased traffic through North Amherst center, neighborhood disruption from noise and light pollution, infringement on wetland resource areas and a driveway crossing of Eastman Brook, potential impact on air and water quality from the advanced manufacturing processes, and the loss of farmland that has been in agriculture for 250 years.  

While the original project was being spearheaded mostly by local and regional investors, the emergence of a major commercial real estate developer, Scannell Properties, has created a heightened sense of urgency among DONA members.  The Eruptor Neighborhood Committee will continue to work to protect the interests of neighbors and town residents, as well as to guide and encourage the creation of a project that North Amherst can look upon with pride.  

Eruptor Neighborhood Committee 

Bruce Coldham
Meg Gage
John Gerber
Janet Keller
Lauren McCarthy
Steve Rogers
Eve Vogel
Lyons Witten
Larry Zacharias

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