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Process favors developers over the residents of Amherst

I applaud the writer of the July 15 letter “Officials, developers are destroying Amherst.” I would like to draw attention to “the process.”

Simply put, a developer who wants to add or change something must submit a detailed development plan that “complies” with the current codes. If the details of his application to the Planning Board deviate (which appears to be the norm) from Amherst code he can alter the plan or apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance.

Residents located proximate to the site in question are notified of the initial request to develop and then, if petitioned, the request to deviate from the current code.

Residents who object to the proposed development/variance can urge the boards to deny the application(s) they will rule on. But both boards prefer that clear, unemotional, logical and fact-based arguments be submitted in writing and verbally presented at the scheduled meeting. But to gather the details contained in the applications, calls and/or visits must be made to the Planning Board, the Zoning Board and Town Clerk offices to clarify the whats and whys of the plan/variance.

If all goes well a resident’s time, research, analysis and presentation will be rewarded with a Ph.D., oops, I meant a favorable decision. Something has to change.


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