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Developer wants to build subdivision on former airfield in Amherst

A former airfield in the northwest corner of Amherst is being targeted for a new subdivision.

M.J. Peterson-Airport LLC wants to develop 139 homes on 55 acres of vacant land at 271 Tonawanda Creek Road, according to plans filed with the Town of Amherst.

The Amherst Town Board still needs to rezone 34 acres on the site for the project to move forward. The other 21 acres include state regulated wetlands and would remain a conservation area.

The town’s Planning Board recently recommended approval.

The project has raised some questions among nearby neighbors about increased traffic, impact on wetlands and its density for the neighborhood, Amherst officials said.

A meeting was held recently with the neighbors, whose biggest concern was over developing the site for multifamily housing, said Sean W. Hopkins, attorney for the developer. M.J. Peterson, however, amended its request to the town so that the property could be rezoned from suburban agriculture to traditional single-family residential.

The 139 homes would sell for about $200,000 or more, town planners were told. The subdivision may include some smaller, patio-style homes typically attractive to empty nesters, senior citizens and young professionals, according to plans.

Once part of a private airfield, the property is bordered by Daisy Lane and Creekwood Park to the north; East Summerset Lane to the west; Sundridge Drive to the east; and Caspian Court to the south. Access would be from Daisy Lane and Sundridge Drive.

M.J. Peterson is looking to start construction in the fall, then phase in the development over the next four years, concluding in 2019.