Public Comment: Two Questions For The Town Council


Architect's rendering of apartment building now under construction at 11-13 East Pleasant Street viewed from west. 1 East Pleasant Street is pictured to the south (right). Photo: Amherst Planning Department

The following public comment was submitted to the Amherst Town Council in writing on May 13, 2023.

Here are two sincere questions for the Amherst Town Council,

1) As we struggle to figure out what level of “densification” we aim to achieve, would it not be useful to know how dense is too dense? I suggest a study to determine when we have reached our healthy maximum population. There has been no discussion of this important number, as far as I can tell.

2) As the Chamber and BID proudly announce that our central business district’s commercial spaces are 96% full, can we admit that defining “mixed use” in a building as 30% of the ground floor, rather than all usable space is commercial (exempting stairs, elevators, mechanicals) is wrong? Because it’s easier and more profitable to build private student dorms downtown than find tenants means a much less nice town. The 96% occupancy rate clearly shows there is demand for the kinds of businesses that will make our town much more usable and popular.

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1 thought on “Public Comment: Two Questions For The Town Council

  1. Thank you for asking important questions about the transformation of the downtown. We frequently drive to Northampton or elsewhere to enjoy varied cuisine and entertainment. The cinema and the Drake are great, but we would prefer to see a more vibrant downtown rather than more packed residences.

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