This report was the result of a long-term participatory planning process in the Atkins Corner neighborhood in South Amherst. Working with the major property owners - Hampshire College and Atkins Farms Country Market - as well as with other local property owners and residents of the area, this plan was developed to guide future growth in this part of Town.
The Plan includes guidelines for a sustainable compact village center plan for Atkins Corner. These model guidelines can also be used for other village centers in Amherst, as well as other center and towns.
This project was funded by a grant from the Livable Communities program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Workbook and Action Steps were developed by Dodson Associates & Joel Russell, land use attorney.
Build-Out Analysis and Future Growth Study (October 2002)
At its most fundamental, a build-out analysis sets out to determine how much land in a town is available for development, what type of development is permitted on that land, and how much development could ultimately result.
The Town hired the consulting firms of Applied Geographics and Phil Herr & Associates to conduct this study, which was completed in October 2002. The consultants were assisted by the Planning Department through the use of the Town’s highly accurate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that provided the detailed digital base-map information for the build-out analysis.
The Town of Amherst has recently completed several projects as part of the process to update the Town's Comprehensive Plan, including the Build-out Analysis and Future Growth Study, Action Steps for a Better Amherst, and Atkins Corner Workbook. There are still many steps that need to be taken to complete the different sections of the Comprehensive Plan, several which will be undertaken by different committees in Town (i.e., Open Space Committee and Historical Commission) and others that await major funding by the town. In order to assist the Town's Comprehensive Planning Committee and Planning Department in these planning efforts, the Planning Department contracted with the University of Massachusetts' Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning to work on three key focus points of the Plan. These are:
Open Space and Viewshed Protection,
Defining Village Boundaries,
And Designing Village Centers.
This May 2004 report details the results of that work.
The Amherst Design Review Board, Planning Department, and Public Works Department are making plans for future sidewalk and streetscape improvements for the center of "Pomeroy Village," the area around the intersection of West Street (Rte. 116) and Pomeroy/West Pomeroy Lane. The process started with a survey distributed to the people who use the village center, including residents, property owners, business owners, customers, employees, and visitors.
Town Center Streetscape Design Guidelines Manual (December 2002)
These Design Guidelines were prepared as part of the Town Center Sidewalk Design and Accessibility Project, administered by the Amherst Planning Department.
These guidelines provide design direction for streetscape improvements throughout the downtown. These improvements include new sidewalks, crosswalks, benches, street lights, way-finding signs, and trash receptacles. The improvements will also provide for increased safety and mobility for the disabled.
The overall goal of the Guidelines is to create a more pedestrian friendly downtown, one with increased safety, comfort, and amenities for Amherst citizens and visitors alike.
The Guidelines may also be applied to the village centers in Amherst at a later date.
The Guidelines were developed by Berkshire Design Group, Inc., working with numerous Amherst boards, committees, and citizens.