1. Amherst coronavirus reopening plan involves outdoor restaurant seating, retail display

    Amherst coronavirus reopening plan involves outdoor restaurant seating, retail display

    Town Manager Paul Bockelman’s plan to begin reopening the local economy involves relaxing zoning rules so restaurants can seat more people outdoors and shops can display goods outside. This would expand business uses of sidewalks, town rights-of-way and private property — and temporarily suspend the Planning Board’s function to regulate land use, putting this in the hands of town departments supervised by Bockelman instead.

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    1. I anticipate that occupancy limits for most restaurants will be limited to 25%-50% of a restaurant's normal seating capacity.
    2. The Building Commissioner shall approve, approve with conditions, or deny any request within 10 business days of receipt of a complete application. Decisions shall be made in writing, filed with the Town Clerk and kept on record with the Conservation and Development Department.
    3. The Building Commissioner in consultation with the Planning Director shall be authorized to review applications and apply any design review criteria normally reviewed by the Design Review Board.
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