So it comes as no surprise that "new growth" is down fairly dramatically, and if some people had their way the town would see zero growth--as in a BANANA Republic (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.)
In 2005 a Texas company tried to build 200 units of upscale student housing (50 of them "affordable") just off campus--a project that today would be generating a half million dollars in property taxes.
Town Meeting recently voted down a development modification to the zoning bylaw that would have encouraged smart development--something highly recommended by our expensive Master Plan.
Critics seemed to make it a referendum on the Gateway Project, a mixed-use commercial development that will significantly improve the main approach to Umass, add desperately needed housing stock to a terribly tight market, encourage pedestrian traffic into our downtown, and provide significant tax revenues. A win-win squared.