Williamsville site too small for a three-story building
While no one in the community will dispute that the current small plaza at Main Street and Hirschfield Drive in Williamsville is an unkempt property, the newly proposed three-story, mixed-use building recently presented is way too much building for the space. The published drawings are reminiscent of the terribly designed massive hotel at Main Street and South Forest Road in Williamsville.
What is even more problematic is the safety of the community. Driveways are proposed to enter and exit on Main and on Hirschfield directly across the street from Williamsville South High School. The village is a strong proponent of a walkable community, but this will not be safe for students or the public. The parking allocated will not be sufficient for the square footage of the proposed building, so residents and small businesses along Hirschfield and Richfield will have to handle the overflow, plus the additional traffic generated by such a large building. There is also the issue of snow removal and snow storage. This is never addressed, but in Western New York it is a problem for many months of the year.
It has not yet been stated, but it is probable that the building will apply for and be granted Amherst Industrial Development tax incentives that will push higher taxes on homeowners in the area who will find the value of their homes reduced by this outsized development in their neighborhood.
With the proposed building being located in both the Town of Amherst and the Village of Williamsville, residents will have to deal with two sets of meetings, two sets of elected officials and will find their voices diminished as a result.
Our elected officials should re-examine the original two-story proposal and give our neighborhood residents and small businesses the relief they need and want.
Mary E. Lowther
Williamsville Southeast Amherst