Michele Marconi Comments: TB Hotel@Northtown

Marconi comment: TB Hotel@Northtown

A quick Google search shows 15 hotels within ½ mile of the Northtown center, 89 nearby and 143 hotels within 15 miles. There is clearly no lack of hotel capacity in the area.

But a developer has been selected and will swap locations of an already approved yet to be built hotel on Maple Rd, and will construct one instead, at the Ntown center. On a site owned by the people of the town of Amherst and zoned as parkland.

The deal includes a trade of the Northtown parcel for an already town owned swamp.. walkable only while wearing Wellies, waders or hip boots.

I’m not sure this sounds like either a good deal, a good idea or a good
trade.

It was with great fanfare in which large swaths of greenspace were just rezoned on a town initiative to protect it from unwanted development.

The entire Northtown center was just rezoned to RC.

And now the town again on its own initiative is proposing to carve out and rezone a piece of parkland owned by the people to allow a new hotel, apparently in order to garner $50,000 per year or so in land lease payments from the hotel owner for use in running the expanded icerinks adding a 5th sheet costing taxpayers $12M. This entire scenario just sounds bonkers to me.

Your vote on this rezone will be, by my count, the 9 th separate vote the town board had taken since April on this topic. Not all prior votes were unanimous.. But tonight’s vote is clearly the biggest one. The project has advanced for 6 months working up to the rezoning of the land.

So this is a very big vote and an irreversible step if approved. A vote on the rezoning of the land will determine definitively whether this hotel is built or not.

The Planning Board voted 6-1 for the town board to deny the rezone, noting that they had just approved it to be RC, and a rezone reverse is not reasonable. The hotel is contrary to the land use plan which does
not permit hotels in this area.

There is a supermajority petition from the neighbors.  Meaning, to pass, this rezone needs 4 votes, one more than the simple majority of 3.  The residential neighbors, getting squeezed from all sides, object to
the hotel.

This is neither a good idea nor a good deal. its neither sensible nor prudent. Amherst has sufficient acreage already zoned for commercial uses. There are no circumstances that come to mind in which it would be appropriate to rezone parkland to allow for a hotel.

I ask for your vote on the resolution on the agenda to deny the rezoning application.

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