Category “Audubon”

He feels the NEED… the NEED for SPEED…

Source: Z-2020-05_500 Maple Rd_052120_Drawings

The agenda of the May 21st Planning Board meeting contains two public hearings related to the 500 Maple Rd rezoning that must be held quickly in order for the Supervisor to get his Audubon parkland alienation/UBMD/Westwood/Ciminelli/500 Maple Rd rezoning deal done on time.  But the clock is ticking, TICK, TICK, TICK!

How much time remains to get this deal done you might ask. The short answer is apparently 9 months after Oct 3, 2019. The Governor signed Senate Bill S6285A into law for the Audubon parkland alienation on Oct 3, 2019.


For those who want the messy details, let’s start with Town Board Resolution 2019-617 of May 20, 2019 which states at one point that …

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a signed MOU for the Town’s question of  Westwood must be in place within 9 months or the Town Board directs the Town Attorney to re-designate the Audubon property as inalienable parkland,  and

Resolution 2019-617:  https://amherstny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=20469

But it wasn’t until Aug 19, 2019 when Resolution 2019-990 was adopted that the unsigned MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) first appeared in public. This MOU contained a 9 month “Exclusivity” clause between the Town of Amherst and Bones&Guts, LLC, a legal entity insulating other involved parties.

Resolution 2019-990:  http://amherstny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?ID=20882&highlightTerms=2019-990

Will the Town of Amherst hold true to it’s promise of a 9 month window to get this deal done?  The answer is  … MAYBE, it all depends how much we trust our Town Board to act with honesty and integrity.

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Planning Board Meeting May 21th

The Amherst Planning Board will meet via Zoom video conferencing on Thursday May 21th at 6:30 pm. The Planning Board “public work session” is 30 minutes earlier at 6 pm.

According to the agenda the public will be allowed to participate this time.  At the last Planning Board meeting on April 23rd the public was not allowed to speak at any of the public hearings.

Agenda : http://amherstny.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=2635&Inline=True

There are 5 PUBLIC HEARINGS on the agenda (2) for SITE PLANS (1) for SUBDIVISIONS and (2) for REZONING/BICENTENNIAL PLAN CHANGES. These last two (4 and 5) are by far the most widely concerning to all Amherst residents.

Property located at 500 Maple Road (portion)
Audubon Park MOB LLC, Petitioner

This is the comp plan/rezoning portion of the “UBMD deal” the Supervisor has been putting together. It started with the alienation of 14.97 acres of the Audubon recreational area by New York State. Where it ends is as yet a mystery. More details soon!

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Golfers Gone Wild!

 

It was a raucous, riotous meeting in Town Hall Monday night—the likes of which hasn’t been seen in years. Audubon golfers furious about a cemetery encroaching on their links packed the parking lot and then the council chamber itself. And they were boiling mad.

To further add to the chaos, the 3 minute “Shut up and sit down” bell was apparently in the shop for repair because it was no where to be seen or heard. Just where is Marjory when you need her? After 4 elongated public hearings, golfers marched to the podium one by one and all seemed to have spent 15 minutes each of back and forth with the Supervisor.

Supervisor Kulpa only lost his cool once when the crowd catcalled a speaker from Forest Lawn Cemetery, in what mimicked a Trump rally. He was right to blow his top at the complete lack of decorum.

Town Board season ticket holders sat with mouths agape at what was playing out before their eyes.

And you can watch it all on video and its FREE. So make some popcorn and tune in.

Comments (4)

Comment from a Concerned Citizen

If what Michele is saying is true, this whole charade is truly an outrage. Either Kulpa is naive or he believes the rest of us are. The cemetery was proposed by Mensch during the original land swap with Westwood. Weinstein refused to play their game mostly because of the lopsided value of the people’s parkland, versus Westwood’s. It appears what we have here is the Mensch swap by stealth, bit by bit to get all of the Audubon. Kulpa already finagled 93 acres of parkland using Westwood as the single reason. He initially wanted 240 acres. Now, he’s going back for more parkland to transfer to a for-profit corporation? What else will emerge down the pike to get more parkland? After all, it is still shy of 240.

The parkland spoils being divided and Westwood still not in hand would indicate a giant con job on the people. Kulpa with his selected employees were to be different from the past. Sadly, they are. They are not merely tools of these developers, they are their agents. And, we’re paying for it.

Looks like Mensch gets the “mulligan” and the town’s people get shafted.

This comment was originally submitted on February 14, 2020 in response to Town of Amherst Asks for a Mulligan.

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Town of Amherst Asks for a Mulligan

Long rumored to be an Indian burial ground but now acknowledged as a relocated Potters Field, Amherst residents are about to get a brand new cemetery on the Audubon Golf Course. It is a reasonable solution to the shabby treatment of the remains of the poor.

And, as opposed to “Amherst is operating a cemetery”, the truth is that Amherst is allowing customers to golf in a cemetery. Maybe it would be wise to close the affected holes this golfing season.

Comments (6)

Concerned Citizen Letter: A Person Who is Right and Wants the Public to Know What’s Happening in Amherst

May 31, 2019

I am requesting that this letter be incorporated into the town public record.

After I read the recent articles in the Buffalo News and the Amherst Bee article on its front page regarding Supervisor Kulpa’s comments regarding Westwood and parkland alienation and conducting a rather speedy hearing scheduled for May 20 on this matter I found myself very much alarmed. For starters, this is hardly enough timely notification for a hearing on such an ambiguous matter to most town residents. To the best of my recollection the concept of “alienation” has never been mentioned publicly before. And then to turn around later on in the town board program to have the gall to put it to a vote via the town attorney resolution #2019-617 is nothing short of unbelievable. Also, specifically what will be presented at this hearing when it appears to me that at this stage no one knows what the heck is going on and if there is enough specifics to even have an intelligent hearing. This sounds very much to me like a sham hearing just to move this parkland alienation thing along to meet some preliminary requirement with the state to obtain its approval to swap land. Once this is accomplished on such very short notice without an adequate dissemination of the materials available to weigh benefits/ detriments of such a hasty action this will put far too much power in the hands of this town board to make a deal that I frankly do not think this town board on its own is competent enough to handle for the greater good of our town. Also, I do not like that it appears that the only elected official directly involved in whatever has occurred between the town and Mensch Capital Partners, LLC is the town supervisor. Too much is at stake here to trust just one person to get the story straight. Checks and balances are sorely needed.

let each of you remember that the Mensch Capital Partners are not driven here by some altruistic motive to make Amherst great again. They are driven to make their hasty purchase of Westwood as profitable as possible for them first and foremost. The town did not seek the Mensch group out to make this land swap. They sought the town out. The town holds the stronger cards in this poker game. If any good comes out of wheel spinning effort to-date the people the town folk put their faith better make dam sure the greater good of the town is served and that we come out with our interests best served. The town does not owe Mensch a deal. They didn’t elect any of you. And lastly to put the “cherry” on top of the sundae when all is said and done if anything comes of this The Mensch Capital Partners and associates will be suing the town for every bit of tax breaks and favorable funding our IDA can give them. Go figure.

In wrapping this up I’m going to let you in on a little secret, this deal, if it ever comes to fruition, is not going to be the equivalent of the Central Park of NYC. We are not New York City. And to make this park come even close to rivaling Central Park would bankrupt us. I’d expect this example of “Puffing” form a used car salesman, not something from our elected officials. Also, when this resolution comes to a vote later this evening, except for the supervisor the people deserve nothing less from each town board member a substantive explanation of why each voted the way you did. No cop outs by just merely saying, “aye.”

Sincerely,

Edward F. McKee 75 Hobnail Drive Amherst, NY 14051

P.S. Amherst comprises approximately 54 square miles or 34,568 acres. As of the most recent town records I have available (2016) the amount of designated town “green space the town has total designated green space, excluding land specifically designated for private development amounting to 4,428 acres, or 12.8% of town land.

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