North Amherst Congregational Church (now under new management).
After narrow back-to-back victories sabotaging the attempted rezoning of North Amherst Village Center to encourage denser, smart growth through Form Based Zoning, the local NIMBYs -- who only need one third plus one of antiquated Town Meeting to agree with them to block such proposals -- have come up with a new scheme, yet another hurdle for town officials and local developers: Declare the area a "historic district."
A recent article in Preservation Nation portrays the merry band as selfless neighbors fighting valiantly to protect their heritage against "future threats," presumably the evils of corporate greed.
But they fail to mention the lead architect of this gambit, Louis Greenbaum, is a major rental property owner of less-than-upscale housing, who stands to benefit by preventing any mixed-use development that increases the supply of Amherst rental housing.
Oldest saying in capitalism: "When products compete, they get better." And God knows, with the squeaky tight housing market in our little college town, home to a very large flagship University, we could use new housing developments to compete with the current supply of aging, expensive units.
Historical preservation, when used correctly, is an admirable, worthy endeavor. Using it as a weapon against badly needed development is a travesty.