Public hearing set for proposed hotel

Public Hearing Set For Proposed Hotel

AMHERST, N.Y. -- The Northtown Center could be expanding with a new hotel. The Amherst Town Board scheduled a public hearing for October 9 at its meeting Tuesday night. The purpose of the hearing is to give the public a chance to talk about the possibility of a new hotel.

In order for the hotel to be built, land has to be rezoned, which is something the planning board voted against earlier this year. The town board ultimately has the final say.

The board would have to rezone a nearly three acre piece of land next to the Northtown Center along Amherst Manor Drive for the hotel. That land is owned by the town, so the board would have to swap out green space with an expanded site in a town park or somewhere else.

The Deputy Town Supervisor says the public hearing allows the board to hear from those who think there's too much development and those who want the town to benefit from more hotel rooms.

"How do you balance those two camps before you make your decision?" asked 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik.

"Well, I mean, obviously, that's the purpose of a public hearing is to hear, make sure we're taking into account all of the relevant issues. I mean, certainly what the economic effects are on the Northtown Center as far as the tournaments that demand more hotel space there that bring additional revenue into the town and so on and so forth, versus the needs of the community and that begs the question as you know what is the recreational value to the community of a detention pond on Amherst Manor Drive that's in the corner of the parcel. I think many would argue that it's very small and so we're not giving up a lot in order to have some economic benefit to the town," says Deputy Supervisor Steven Sanders.

Sanders says if the town board agrees to move forward, the deal still has to be worked out with the developer, and that's a major step that hasn't happened yet.

The public hearing will be held on October 9 at 7 p.m.

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