Yeah, we met again this evening (at least Town Hall is air conditioned) and Jeanne Traester was MIA, but the rest of us troopers reported for duty--that evil duty of development. And of course we four were outnumbered 2-1 by "concerned neighbors."
Former Amherst Redevelopment Authority member Nancy Gordon, who was elected to the ARA a few years back (when we were dormant) could not make the meeting but sent along a letter of concern. We are trying to schedule a "field trip" to Storrs, CT. to view "Husky Village" which is a development project along the lines of what we are considering for the Amherst/Umass Gateway project.
She writes: "Although I have never been to Storrs, CT, both my sons have so I asked them for their opinions of the proposed "model" being talked about in Storrs. Here is what they had to say:
Son #1: Although he had not been there often, he recognized the part of the Storrs campus being referred to, and he told me that he understood that was the area of Storrs where most of the student unrest has occurred. Is this perhaps "Hobar Lane #2?
Son #2 has been to Storrs on more than one occasion, I suspect in connection with his band, and he laughed when I mentioned the area. That, he said, is where "all the strip joints are." Is that what we want in Amherst?"
Back when I toiled in Town Meeting the ultimate boogeyman used to sabotage any zoning change was "gas station." Folks would "rise in opposition" saying if we change this zoning now for the current owner with this lovely plan to open a flower shop or veterinary clinic they could suddenly drop dead and some evil republican robber baron could absorb the property and turn it into a, gasp, GAS STATION.
Well I guess we've come a long way. The boogeyman has morphed from a "gas station" to a "strip joint." Heck, that sounds like progress to me.