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Town launches ImagineAmherst to better control development

Amherst is soliciting its residents’ help in updating the town’s current development policies.

To that end, the town planning department will give a briefing on the formulation of the town’s new ImagineAmherst initiative at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers of Town Hall, 5583 Main St., Williamsville. According to Amherst Planning Director Eric Gillert, the town’s current development policies are outmoded. The ImagineAmherst project, he said, aims to adjust policies and regulations that will guide future development in the town and define a new vision that incorporates context and neighborhood sensitivity into the planning process.

“Modern practices call for formulating zoning provisions that focus on the physical character of development and its relationship to the surrounding area. This is what’s missing from our current zoning code, which has not had a comprehensive overhaul since the 1970s,” said Gillert.

“ImagineAmherst seeks to preserve the best of what we have, predict the needs of future generations and be ready to progress into the strongest community we can be. For that to be successful, we need input from everyone.” he added.

The Town Board last month passed a resolution that established the Project Working Committee, which will allow appointed stakeholders to participate in the development of a revised comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance, led by the project’s consultant, Code Studio.

Town officials also will various public forums, and solicit feedback and commentary online through the website and on Facebook at and