Officials, developers are destroying Amherst

Recent development approvals in the Town of Amherst remind me of some of the lyrics from the song “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone; they paved paradise and put up a parking lot, with a pink hotel, a boutique …”

Developer pressure and questionable decisions on the part of our Town Board members or the Planning/Zoning Board members (who are appointed by the town supervisor) have resulted in the out-of-character structure at Main and South Forest; height variances challenging the quality of life for homeowners on Livingston Parkway; inappropriate construction in Eggertsville; and consideration to remove a “forever green” provision to allow an increased number of parking spaces for a leased business on Wehrle Drive. If allowed, this action would move these parking spaces into the back yards of Rubino Court residents. The existing building hasn’t increased in size since it was built some 20 years ago, so why is the parking so inadequate now?

When will Amherst residents get as much consideration as developers? The quality of life for everyone in Amherst is threatened by each of these flawed plans and it needs to stop before the town becomes something none of us recognizes. Residents are watching and have a voice when exercising their right to vote in the next election. Maybe some of the current Town Board members will wake up when they find they didn’t know what they had “till it’s gone.”

Marita Ronald