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Old 03-03-2011, 09:55 AM
 
9 posts, read 11,925 times
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Default Please: what are the differences between Amherst, Orchard Park, Lancaster?

Hello, we are going to be moving to Buffalo for jobs and from what I have seen briefly of the following: Clarence, Amherst, Orchard Park and Lancaster I really liked (I know not much of a narrowing it down!) but I thought it would be helpful to "rule in or rule out" places based on subtle differences in:
-ease of shopping (grocery/target/a mall)
-fun things to do (outdoorsy) and restaurants
-culturally-and demographics--young families vs. older, overall feel or vibe
-crimes/gangs
-schools,
-nice people (down to earth) vs. snobby
- ethnic/racial diversity (husband is Asian,I am white),





Thanks so much for input! We really appreciate it!
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Hamburg, NY
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The main difference is that Amherst is much bigger (over 100K population) while Lancaster is around 40K, Clarence & OP are 25K-30K. Parts of Amherst that border Buffalo are urban in feel and appearance. Clarence, Lancaster & OP are very much suburban & even rural in the outlying areas.

-ease of shopping (grocery/target/a mall)

Not much difference at all. All either have malls in them are very near by. Easy access to grocery stores from any of these towns.

-crimes/gangs

Parts of Amherst that are close to Buffalo can be bad. Outer areas of Amherst (Getzville & Williamsville) have very little crime & no gangs. Lancaster, Clarence & OP have little crime & no gangs.

-schools,

Williamsville & Clarence are typically the highest ranked districts in the area (almost always amongst the top 3 in WNY), OP & Amherst are usually just behind them (usually in the top 6-8 districts in WNY). Lancaster comes in a little lower (10-15) but its still a very good district. You really couldn't make a bad choice with any of these districts. Amherst district usually does well in the rankings (top 10 last year) but its also the school that you would most expect to see gangs/trouble (out of the places you are considering).

- ethnic/racial diversity (husband is Asian,I am white),

Amherst has the most diversity. Unfortunately, the areas of Amherst that have said diversity are also the areas that would be considered the less desirable of your list. The other towns (including the Williamsville area of Amherst) are going to be overwhelmingly white with upper middle & above incomes. That being said, I don't think you guys would have any racial issues in any of the areas.

-fun things to do (outdoorsy) and restaurants

Really not a huge difference here either other than the fact that Amherst is a bigger town & has more dining choices than the other towns.

As far as outdoors I would say OP because of its proximity to the ski areas as well as the fact that its very close to some really nice state parks.

-nice people (down to earth) vs. snobby

You're going to find a mixture of both in all these towns. I personally think Lancaster has less of the "Im better than you because I have more money than you" than any of the other towns as Lancaster is more of a middle class town while Clarence, Williamsville & OP tend to attract the well to do.

-culturally-and demographics--young families vs. older, overall feel or vibe

Again not a real big difference here.


There is really not a bad choice amongst these towns. Where are you going to be working? You may want to start narrowing your choices based on proximity to your job. What you are looking to pay for a home (as well as what kind of home you are looking for) may help narrow it down as well.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Excellent summary from jblake.

The one thing I do want to add is Lancaster (I feel) is lacking in the "village" aspect compared to OP or Amherst. The other 2 have more shops and restaurants to offer right in town.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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WOW!!!!! JBlake--that was an amazing summary! Thank you so much! That helps soooo much!
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:29 PM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 21 days ago)
 
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Just to add to jblake's great post, Williamsville/East Amherst might still be a bit more diverse than the other towns mentioned, with a noticeable amount of East and South Asians and a few Black people. Snyder in the Amherst SD might be the area to look at in that SD, as it still has some diversity and has that "old money" feel in many of it's neighborhoods.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Hamburg, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Just to add to jblake's great post, Williamsville/East Amherst might still be a bit more diverse than the other towns mentioned, with a noticeable amount of East and South Asians and a few Black people. Snyder in the Amherst SD might be the area to look at in that SD, as it still has some diversity and has that "old money" feel in many of it's neighborhoods.

You're right, East Amherst does have a decent size Asian population. Its still 85-90% white but OP, Clarence & the main area of Williamsville are something like 95%+ white. Once you head north out of Williamsville (approximately above Sheridan) it starts getting more diverse.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Infamous WNY - CLT - Dallas
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I'd rank them:

1) Amherst 2) Orchard Park 3) Lancaster

Amherst benefits from having a lot of the corporate developments so there is a good chance your job will be located there. Orchard Park is nice, but being in the south towns you generally receive the most snow. Lancaster is quite close to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport so noise from airplanes could be an issue depending on where you are considering a house.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:05 AM
JH6
 
703 posts, read 1,402,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA4U View Post
Hello, we are going to be moving to Buffalo for jobs and from what I have seen briefly of the following: Clarence, Amherst, Orchard Park and Lancaster I really liked (I know not much of a narrowing it down!) but I thought it would be helpful to "rule in or rule out" places based on subtle differences in:
-ease of shopping (grocery/target/a mall)
-fun things to do (outdoorsy) and restaurants
-culturally-and demographics--young families vs. older, overall feel or vibe
-crimes/gangs
-schools,
-nice people (down to earth) vs. snobby
- ethnic/racial diversity (husband is Asian,I am white),





Thanks so much for input! We really appreciate it!
For Ease of Shopping, Amherst is the best bet.. There is every chain restaurant, box store, anything you could imagine. Amherst also have the Boulevard Mall. It depends where in Clarence you live, if it is anywhere near Transit Road, then you will have all the same ammenities of Amherst, with the Eastern Hills Mall, and tons of shopping. Orchard Park is no slouch either, there is plenty of stuff on Milestrip road, and alot of brand new shopping. Certain areas of OP or Lancaster would be a drive to get to anything, and people like it that way!

Orchard Park has more outdoorsy type areas, check out the Chestnut Ridge park, it is quite a large piece of wilderness right in Orchard Park. Amherst has some nice bike paths near UB, and some other parks.

There is very little crime in any of these areas, they range from nice to very upscale. There aren't gangs either. All three are mostly white suburbs, I would not call any of them very diverse.

Where are you working? That would be the answer to where you want to live. If you are working in the Southtowns, then take a look at West Seneca, Orchard Park, or Hamburg.

If you are working in the northtowns, then Amherst, Town of Tonawanda (or city of tonawanda) are all great places to start.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:27 AM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 21 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinH View Post
For Ease of Shopping, Amherst is the best bet.. There is every chain restaurant, box store, anything you could imagine. Amherst also have the Boulevard Mall. It depends where in Clarence you live, if it is anywhere near Transit Road, then you will have all the same ammenities of Amherst, with the Eastern Hills Mall, and tons of shopping. Orchard Park is no slouch either, there is plenty of stuff on Milestrip road, and alot of brand new shopping. Certain areas of OP or Lancaster would be a drive to get to anything, and people like it that way!

Orchard Park has more outdoorsy type areas, check out the Chestnut Ridge park, it is quite a large piece of wilderness right in Orchard Park. Amherst has some nice bike paths near UB, and some other parks.

There is very little crime in any of these areas, they range from nice to very upscale. There aren't gangs either. All three are mostly white suburbs, I would not call any of them very diverse.

Where are you working? That would be the answer to where you want to live. If you are working in the Southtowns, then take a look at West Seneca, Orchard Park, or Hamburg.

If you are working in the northtowns, then Amherst, Town of Tonawanda (or city of tonawanda) are all great places to start.
Perhaps, but school districts like Amherst and Sweet Home(some parts of this SD are in the town of Tonawanda) are both about 25-30% minority students now. Both are still good, but with the edge to Amherst.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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I am biased. We live on the border of Lancaster / Alden. We bought here when young, raised out kids here and are not planning on moving away. Granted, we live where the back lot line is a farm. If you don't want cookie cutter suburbia, this town is great. On my road, you can live in 4 school districts: Iroquois, Alden, Clarence or Lancaster. You just have to see the maps and figure out what district it is ( we are Lancaster). If you lived in this town, you could actually go to Clarence schools -- if you could find a place and get the lower Lancaster taxes for the rest ( town & county). Having grown up in a real "villagy" town in another part of the state, this may be less so, but it is also less snobby. It is also a real village (if small). There are all the same stores, all the chains, shopping etc. down by the new developments ( outside of the village). Go into Clarence just out of the town and you still get Eastern Hills mall (small, but you don't need to walk to kill yourself -- a lap around the inside is about a mile; I sometimes walk it in winter). We traveled to work 25 min nice day/40 min on a bad winter day in north Buffalo. It is an easier commute than you think. We have lovely parks and a new bike path opened last year thru parks to the Alden line.

I suggest you drive around each area and look for 3 things: crowded roads at rush hour & school buses in am, # people hanging around in the day doing nothing (not working); drive around areas you want at dusk and see if you see families, not groups of teens hanging out.

But, like I said, I am biased .
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