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Townhouse plans at Average Joe's site OK'd by Amherst Town Board

A proposal to build 48 townhouses at the site of Average Joe’s tavern and an adjoining property on Sweet Home Road won a key approval Monday night from the Amherst Town Board.

The board unanimously approved rezoning the entire 1.74-acre parcel at 2350 Sweet Home and a 5.8-acre portion of the parcel at 2360 Sweet Home to a multifamily residential classification.

RAS Development's initial plans to build 85 rental apartments at 2360 Sweet Home, at North Ellicott Creek Road, changed to accommodate neighbors, and again when the Average Joe’s property at 2350 Sweet Home became available more recently.

Neighbors spoke in support of the latest proposal at a March 5 public hearing.

"I think the applicant was diligent in their work with the public – the residents surrounding them – as demonstrated by the residents' support for the project," Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa said Monday prior to a vote on the rezoning request.

The 48 single-story attached residential units on about 7.5 acres will be sold with an option for a second-floor loft space. There will be 13 buildings, including 10 four-unit buildings, two three-unit buildings and one two-unit building. Each residential unit will include an attached garage, and the site plan shows 202 parking spaces.

Sean Hopkins, attorney for RAS, said he appreciated the neighbors' willingness to meet and provide input on concerns about density, building height and a preference for owner-occupied units.

The proposal has been in the works since December 2016, when RAS filed its first rezoning application for 2360 Sweet Home. The town Planning Board in November recommended approval of both rezonings for the project named "Sweethome Commons."

The rezoning of 2360 Sweet Home was subject to 18 conditions recommended by the Planning Board. Key among them is a condition that 5.2 acres of that parcel remain as permanent open space.

Owners of Average Joe's have said the bar and restaurant would close for good once the planned development receives its necessary approvals and construction is set to begin, likely in the late spring.


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