Oster gets go-ahead for larger lots, must wait 30 days

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com

A deal paving the way for 43 more Northpointe Estates homes on larger lots was approved unanimously Monday by city council.

Developer Tom Oster didn’t get exactly what he asked for, however. Council declined to declare an emergency, which means work cannot begin for 30 days.

Oster had asked to be allowed to begin moving city utility lines immediately. The roughly $130,000 job would be ideal for late winter when it’s easier to find contractors, the developer said.

Also, at $110 per day in real estate taxes “every day that ticks by is costing money,” Oster said. He also told council he is trying to get homes on the market quickly to beat “any recession that may or may not come.”

The city’s legislative body did vote to forego a third reading of the Northpointe Estates reconfiguration, voting 7-0 to adopt the agreement two weeks early.

Mayor Mark Costilow pledged to “do whatever is necessary” to expedite the planning process for Oster.

In other action, council voted to:

• Fast-track a vote to buy 34 new self-contained breathing apparatus for Amherst firefighters with emergency status.

• Approve a pole-leasing agreement with Everstream Solutions, which plans to mount fiber optic lines. Part of that plan will provide fiber service to the University Hospitals Amherst Health Center.

• Forward an ordinance revising rules on electronic signs to a third reading.

City council has a full plate coming up. This Monday, committees plan to discuss summer street paving, purchase of a digger truck and a 2.5-ton dump truck, changes to its electricity portfolio, and a tree-trimming maintenance program.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk