The goal here is to ensure that the Town of Amherst develops in an orderly fashion. Lands are set aside or 'zoned' for certain land uses. Within each zone there are also a number of regulations, such as parking requirements, minimum property sizes and permitted locations for buildings on each property. Such regulations ensure that buildings and uses on one property do not negatively impact an adjacent property.
In planning for the future, we also strive to make efficient use of the town's built infrastructure (streets, water and sewer lines) in order to avoid wasting the town’s limited resources. Our Municipal Planning Strategy also contains policies on environmental protection, acquisition of recreation lands, retention of heritage buildings and revitalization of our downtown business district.
When a developer expresses interest in developing a property in town, planning staff will meet the developer to explain our development regulations so they can plan their development accordingly. In some circumstances, we work with a developer to create a 'site plan' that offers the greatest benefit to both the property owner and the town. Quite often, town staff from other departments, such as Business Development and Operations, will work with a local business to guide them through the development process, or work with an outside developer to entice them to locate in Amherst. The goal is always to come to a mutual agreement that will offer the greatest benefit to both the property owner and the town.
This is where we ensure that all development activity within the Town is in compliance with policies and regulations. In order to do so, we require a development permit prior to construction taking place on any property within town. In the vast majority of cases, the planned development conforms to the relevant regulations and a permit is issued. In the cases when the proposed development does not conform, we work with the applicant to make changes to the development to bring it in conformance. It is extremely rare that a proposed development is not approved.
Manager of Planning & Strategic Initiatives: Andrew Fisher
Phone: (902) 664-6580
Fax: (902) 667-5409