Oster plans larger lots for next Northpointe phase

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com

Tom Oster wants to sell fewer homes on larger lots when his Northpointe Estates expands this year on Amherst’s south side.

City council is close to allowing those bigger homes, opting Monday to push along approval of a new subdivider’s agreement to at least one more vote on Feb. 8.

Oster was granted 140 lots years ago by the city, which shrunk to 105 and again down to 83. Room is left now for 66 more smaller houses, but the developer has asked council to reconfigure his space for 43 in the $200,000 to $250,000 range.

“The market demand is not for the smaller homes and the smaller lots,” he told the building and lands committee in January.

The process isn’t as simple as rubber-stamping a new map.

Amherst serves homes within its borders with water, sewer, and power. Oster is required to build out those utilities to his new houses to the city’s specifications.

“The biggest thing for the city is that we’ve asked all the utility improvements be completed before construction begins,” mayor Mark Costilow said.

Councilman Joe Miller said the Amherst planning commission has signed off on the deal, saying there will be no negative impact from larger lot sizes.

“There is a positive effect, which is we’re going to increase the value of homes going into that neighborhood,” he said.

Miller also lives in the Northpointe neighborhood and said homeowner’s association fees will be affected. That’s because there will be fewer residents paying in for care of the clubhouse and other shared property.

Oster agreed to give the HOA a one-time payment of $36,000 to help offset that burden.

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

By Jason Hawk