The Amherst Planning Department has four primary responsibilities: development plan review; long-range planning; community development and housing program administration; and program implementation.
The Department organizes and undertakes technical reviews of Subdivisions, Site Plans, Rezoning requests and other approvals and provides recommendations for Planning Board action including draft action resolutions. The Department has review and approval authority for Minor Site Plans, Minor Site Plan Adjustments, Sidewalk Waivers and Coordinated Sign Plans. Additionally, it ensures Town compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) for approval actions by the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Board and related Town Agencies and Departments. The Department also provides technical support for the Preservation Commission, Nature View Park Advisory Committee, Town wide Drainage Committee, Conservation Advisory Council and Traffic-Safety Board.
The Town Board adopted the Amherst Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan in January of 2007. The Planning Department was responsible for drafting that plan and is responsible for the Annual and 5-year Reviews it requires. In addition, the Department assists the Town Board in undertaking Opportunity Reviews; those plan amendments that are required to implement unique projects that are consistent with the plan’s Vision Statement. In addition to these comprehensive plan responsibilities, the Department is responsible for developing the Town’s Capital Improvements Program, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Open Space Acquisition and Management Plan and Open Space Index; the latter two in conjunction with the Amherst Conservation Advisory Commission.
Amherst receives federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds each year. Under these programs, the Town replaces aging sewers, water lines, sidewalks and parks in qualifying neighborhoods. In addition, income-eligible residents receive low-cost loans housing rehabilitation and weatherization loans. The program also supports public services such as family counseling, youth programming, community policing and senior transportation. First-time home buyers are assisted under the HOME Program.
Program Implementation / Special Projects
The Planning Department administers or assists in administering several programs that implement the Town’s land use and environmental policies. These include:
- Farmland Protection
- Deer Vehicle Accident Management
- Telecommunications Regulations
- Tree removal permit review
- Landscape plan compliance
- Storm water pollution prevention
- Park and recreation site development
The Planning Department is located on the lower floor of Town Hall at 5583 Main Street in the Village of Williamsville. Office hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday and the office can be reached at 631.7051 (Community Development at 631.7082) or by fax at 631.7153.