Retreat zoning status queried in Amherst
AMHERST — Residents attempting to prevent the 175-unit Retreat at Amherst student housing subdivision in Cushman want town officials to consider whether zoning laws prohibit the project there.
In an appeal to the Select Board Monday, made before about 40 residents gathered in the Town Room at Town Hall, Jack Hirsch, president of Save Historic Cushman, requested the board consult with town counsel Kopelman and Paige about whether such a project would be precluded from being built in the outlying residential zoning district, which prohibits dormitories and other student-specific housing.
While the board took no action on Hirsch’s request, as is customary when matters are presented during the public comment section of the meeting, Town Manager John Musante said Tuesday that the Select Board is unlikely to impede steps by developer Landmark Properties LLC of Athens, Ga., to apply for permits through the definitive subdivision process.
“We think the proponent going through the cluster subdivision process is the appropriate venue,” Musante said.
Members of Save Historic Cushman filed a lawsuit in Land Court in July, arguing that the student housing community is prohibited. A telephone status conference related to that lawsuit is set for March 4.