Is the Amherst Village still a vibrant center of town?

AMHERST – What do Amherst residents want from their Village district?

Currently, it’s mostly a leafy common surrounded by white colonial homes. And though people complain about traffic, it’s peaceful and quiet most of the time.

Do residents want more stores and businesses, or do they like it the way it is now?

That is presumedly one of the questions that will be asked during the strategic planning process that was approved by selectmen last week.

“At the moment it’s coming closer to being a museum than being a living breathing downtown area,” said Selectman John D’Angelo at the board’s July 14 meeting.

Is there any desire for a bookstore or a dress shop there? He said, “The Amherst Farmers Market moved because it could not draw enough traffic … We have a nice asset, but I think it’s dying.”

Selectman Tom Grella noted that long ago, there was a bank in the Village, as well as barber shops and places for “liquid refreshments,” meaning taverns, and they were probably the busiest businesses in town.