AMHERST, N.Y. - The Amherst Town Board voted on Monday to issue a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) for the Westwood Country Club redevelopment plan, which raises a few key questions for the newly-elected board to consider starting in January.
Mensch Capital Partners has proposed a multi-million dollar development at the corner of Sheridan and North Forest, which would include homes, apartments, a hotel, senior living and neighborhoods with green space. Some neighbors on nearby streets have vigorously opposed the project, claiming it could create traffic headaches and harm public works systems.
The town-commissioned environmental review raised some concerns, including the potential for the proposed development to overwhelm the sanitary sewer capacity. By issuing the FGEIS, the board is now close to the end of the environmental review process, which occurs prior to any talk of rezoning.
Deputy Supervisor Steven Sanders said the review may complicate matters for the Planning Board and the next Town Board, which will be installed in January.
“Just because the project as proposed doesn't make sense, doesn't mean they can’t come up with some other project,” Sanders said, “and that other infrastructure improvements would allow something to go forward.”
Mensch Capital believes the project would represent an economic victory for the Town of Amherst by creating millions in property tax revenue and adding hundreds of permanent jobs. The developers do not believe the traffic problems will be as severe as some neighbors fear.
Mensch Capital declined comment because it is involved in ongoing litigation with the Town of Amherst.