Town Center Permit Parking

This system was adopted by the Select Board in October of 2000 and is a non-zoning permit system intended to provide long-term parking for people who live, work, or own property downtown while protecting prime-street parking for customers and visitors.

The following are the basic eligibility requirements for a Town Center Permit:

Eligibility for parking permits in the town center permit parking area shall be limited to persons who reside or work at, or own, properties which: a) are within the General Business (B-G) and abutting Limited Business (B-L) zoning districts or; b) have frontage on, or principal access by established rights of access, to posted streets or sections of streets listed in Section 1.0, except that the Select Board shall determine such permits as may made available to persons who reside or work on any such properties owned by Amherst College.

Based on preliminary data from the Collectors Office, in FY2014 an approximate total of 740 permits were sold. Of those, approximately 150 were residential permits and 500 business permits.

The current Permit Parking Regulations are found online. Permit Parking spaces are displayed on the Amherst Parking Map:

Historical Information/Changes
Summary of 2008 PVPC study coming soon.


Note: the garage groundbreaking occurred in April of 2001. As excerpted from the 2000 Select Board Annual Report:

The parking permit system that the Parking Commission had been struggling with for several years was approved by the Select Board and went into effect on October 1. It is intended to make parking spaces available to shoppers and workers in the downtown area by offering permits only to people who live, work, or own property downtown.

As excerpted from the 2000 Parking Commission Annual Report:

The Parking Commission made major progress this past year in working towards providing a comprehensive, self-supporting Town center Parking system. After over 5 years of discussion about how to provide long-term parking, as well as studies of many permit systems and neighborhood meetings, on July 26, 1999 a permit system was adopted by the Select Board as part of the Town Bylaws. The system regulates long-term parking on streets in and around the Town center and restricts parking in two residential areas next to the University to residents of those streets. It operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from September through May. Town Center Permits were issued to 488 Town center business owners, employees and residents. In Resident-Only Are 1 (Allen Street and Nutting Avenue) there were 28 permits and 12 in Area 2 (McClellan Street). The permit system worked very well in its first year, with only a few requests for special exceptions brought to the Commission. Careful consideration was given to each of those. Efforts were made to follow parking patterns during the year. The purpose of the Town Center Permit system is to protect prime-street parking for shore term shoppers and visitors. The system clearly achieved that objective in the first year. The Resident-Only permits on streets near the University achieved the goal of preventing commuters from overcrowding those residential areas.

A complete copy of the 2000 Town Annual Report is online.