Amherst, NY - Thursday night, Amherst neighbors combined forces with a group from Snyder to fight what they are calling the over-development of their communities.
They are concerned about their quality of life and hope their grassroots effort prevents certain buildings from going up.
"We're continuing to lose green space, and we're having developments that are encroaching on the residential areas more and more," says Patrick Welch.
Welch is the President of Protect Amherst Life. He formed the group with his neighbors this fall after fighting a developer who wanted to build apartments for seniors on Youngs Road on the land bordering his backyard.
"We've retained an attorney that will be working with us to help give us some legal guidance as to what we can and can't do. And then, we'll also be doing a lot of advocacy work with all of the town officials, planning board people, with the various departments encouraging them to start looking at Amherst in a little bit better light than we believe they have in the past," he says.
Thursday night, the Amherst group met for the first time with members of Friends of Mike's Pond, who have been busy fighting a hotel in Snyder. Just this week, a judge decided construction on that hotel could resume.
"We're not too happy about it. They went through and did the battles that they had to do. Unfortunately, developers seem to win more often than not in the town of Amherst," says Welch.
But, Welch and his neighbors are not against all development. They just think more can be done to protect the environment and their way of life.
"Somewhere along the line, the people have to rise up and say we've had enough, and we're going to take a stand against bad development in our communities," he says.
The group plans on going to every Amherst Town Board meeting. Right now, the group has about twenty members and expects to add more.