First green light for 99-home ‘Quarry Lakes’ subdivision

By Jason Hawk -

A new 99-home subdivision on Amherst’s north side received preliminary approval Wednesday from the city’s planning commission.

The Preserve at Quarry Lakes is expected to roll out in four phases starting with 26 units and adding more over four years.

Drawings show it situated between Cooper Foster Park Road and Rt. 2 just east of Kolbe Road (North Main Street) with the entrance and exit on the northern side.

Shaun Brady of the Westlake-based TJCO East said the neighborhood will aim to draw first-time home-buyers and retirees to a single-family, non-rental environmental.

Homes are expected to start in the low $200,000 range but floor plans have not yet been completely developed.

“The houses will all have two-car attached garages, some will be two-story, and there will be a handful of ranch plans offered,” Brady said.

The Preserve will be the first planned development community under Amherst’s new multi-use zoning rules.

As such, the subdivision needs to have a “unity” to its design, said city assistant law director Frank Carlson. He said a planned development district isn’t just a mechanism to allow small lots.

Brady indicated there will likely be four floor plans for homes at the Preserve at Quarry Lakes with shared architectural themes. There will limited color designs, standardized landscaping elements, and building will all be done by one contractor.

The project are is 30 acres and includes 41 percent open space with large common areas that will be governed by a homeowners’ association.

Those spaces will include two retention ponds to handle storm water drainage worries voiced by Amherst officials.

Brady, who has already met with administrators to talk about water controls, said the plan is to direct rain water to Beaver Creek.

Before voting 7-0 to give TJCO East the first stage of approval needed for the Preserve, the planning commission listed several concerns: Cul-de-sacs need to be properly designed to allow snow plows to work; ground stabilization issues must be addressed near the entrance; and a dead-end on the far southwest corner of the development should be re-thought.

Carlson also asked about a clause in the company’s paperwork that would place restrictions on solar panels at the subdivision.

Brady said he has nothing against solar power but does want to limit “hobbyists” from erecting panels in a slapdash fashion.

The next step for TJCO East is to hire an architect and engineer to provide drawings for secondary approval.

City council will also be asked to rezone the area to the new multi-use zoning type.

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

By Jason Hawk