Will an All-Democratic Town Board Favor Development in Amherst?

Traffic gets intense along Main Street in Williamsville and other busy streets in the Town of Amherst. There’s little green space left in the town, and developers are wondering how the all-Democratic Town Board that will take office in 2018 will impact future development in the town.
 (2013 file photo/The Buffalo News)
Traffic gets intense along Main Street in Williamsville and other busy streets in the Town of Amherst. There’s little green space left in the town, and developers are wondering how the all-Democratic Town Board that will take office in 2018 will impact future development in the town.

Angelo S. Natale is in Florida, but that hasn’t stopped several fellow developers from calling him this morning to express concern about the results from Tuesday’s elections in Amherst.

Democrats swept the town supervisor’s race and the two Town Board seats that were up for grabs, giving them all five seats on the board for the first time in recent memory.

Natale, the CEO of Natale Development and the owner of Natale Builders, said he’s tried to reassure his fellow executives. Natale said he doesn’t know the winning Town Board candidates, Jacqualine G. Berger and Shawn A. Lavin, but he knows the supervisor-elect, Williamsville Mayor Brian J. Kulpa, well from Natale’s work in the village.
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6 Responses to “Will an All-Democratic Town Board Favor Development in Amherst?”

  1. James Tricoli says:

    The new Town Board will judge the projects placed before them and decide if is needed in Amherst. I’M SURE THE DEVELOPERS KNOW AHEAD OF TIME IF THEIR PROJECTS ARE WHAT AMHERST REALLY NEEDS .

  2. Money Talks says:

    Here a quote made by Steven Sanders, Deputy Town Supervisor, taken directly from this BN article .

    —–

    “The new Town Board also will control appointments to the town Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Industrial Development Agency board of directors, all of which play major roles in development in the town.

    “My hope is that they don’t make appointments that are purely ideological,” said Sanders, who also sits on the IDA board.”

    —–

    Check the members appointed to these boards over the last EIGHT years and you will find a preponderance of ideological development friendly appointments, many prominent Amherst Republican Committee members.

    When the Republicans controlled the Town Board, getting appointed to any of these boards required Republican connections, it’s that simple.

    What Mr. Sanders is really saying is don’t do what we did now that we are no longer control the Town Board.

    Remember, Planning Board members have SEVEN year appointments, and the ZBA are for FIVE years! There are will be plenty of important and influential development friendly Republicans on both boards for many, many years. Steve, you don’t really need to worry.

    The Amherst IDA is a different beast. It can change more quickly. Steve Sanders WILL almost certainly be replaced by a Town Board member from the opposing party.

    Here are the lessons everyone should learn …

    1. It precisely because of the blatant practice by town government during the last eight years, of minimizing resident needs in favor of those of developers, that has caused this stunning Republican loss.

    2. There is now an established culture and system of town government intended to promote and institutionalize pro-development decision making which needs to be corrected. Steve Sanders wants to keep it, the voters want to change it to reduce the negative impacts of OVER development.

    -$$

  3. Phil says:

    Big Money says:

    “2. There is now an established culture and system of town government intended to promote and institutionalize pro-development decision making which needs to be corrected.”

    and he is spot on. This “Every GreenSpace needs a Hotel” mentality needs to be stopped.

  4. Sam says:

    Steve Sanders concerned about “ideology” shows a still out-of-touch mentality by many in power over the people at town hall. The people said, Nov. 7, Mr. Sander’s and company “ideology” is loathsome, the people have suffered enough and they want real change. A new “ideology” is sorely needed. One that listens to the people not override them to service cronies, elitists and big donors.
    Examples:
    a). Town employees working for developers regardless of need or how it impacts residents.
    b). Working for developers and elitists to exchange town parkland for another needless hotel.
    c). 6-story hotels in residential neighborhoods.
    d). Building on wetlands using underhanded methods to accomplish it.
    e). Imagine Amherst’s methodical subterfuge to accommodate developers and infringe on unsuspecting neighborhoods. A change in zoning codes that will ultimately create
    more Millersport fiascos by simply needing approval from ignorant or corrupt departments.
    f). Ignorant or corrupt ZBA members and attorneys that permit unlawful use variances, resulting in hiring outside attorneys, at taxpayers expense. 190 Maple Rd. and 4400
    North French were two unmitigated disasters. Guilty parties need to resign or be “fired.”
    g). Town employees working behind closed doors and springing daycare centers in dangerous and inappropriate places.
    h). Ignoring the people who understand proper traffic mitigations, in their neighborhoods, better than the “expert” hirelings.
    i). A slum created by the Mensches on Westwood, transforming it to a car lot complete with a spite fence. At the same time being told the mensches are interested in beautifying a neighborhood and town. Actions speak louder that words. It is only the money, their money, that matters. The rest be damned.
    j). Privilege to developers who buy land, any land, and expect a rezone to serve themselves, while turning neighborhoods and a town upside down.
    The list of such “ideology” goes on.

    “Amherst Deserves Better.”

  5. Jason says:

    “Mr. Sanders and company” got their lunch handed to them and shown the door for perpetuating the “ideology” partially outlined by Sam.

    The town clerk’s office hooligans, under the town clerk, herself, speaks to an arrogance and above the law mentality that pervades.

    Did we dodge a bullet or what?

    “AMHERST DESERVES BETTER”

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