Mosque Plan Inches Forward

April 30, 2010

Author: Scott Merzbach

Source: Amherst Bulletin

A smaller parking lot and stricter limits on the number of people allowed in the building at one time appear to be making neighbors in Amherst and Pelham more comfortable with the conversion of a former school on Harkness Road into the Hampshire Mosque.

Planning Board members asked mosque officials to provide a better management plan for parking, ensure cars won't need to park on the street, and improve the landscaping on the property in a hearing this month that was continued to June 2. Most of the parking and landscaping issues have been resolved, and board members suggested they will not need the mosque to hire engineers to complete a traffic impact study.

Warren Hall, chairman of Pelham's Planning Board, who lives at 60 Harkness Road, said three-quarters of the people affected by the mosque live in Pelham. He began the three-hour session by asking the board to do what it could to minimize the impact from the mosque.