Neighbors of proposed development already seeing red
Landmark Properties received an all too typical "welcome to Amherst" last night at their informational meeting in the Jones Library to discuss with neighbors their proposed Amherst Retreat Student Housing Project, a 170 unit development off Henry Street currently owned by W.D. Cowls, Inc, the largest private landowner in the state.
One of the neighbors who received an invite to the informational session forwarded a rallying dispatch to organized opposition -- including many in surrounding towns -- erroneously stating the developers "had a terrible reputation in terms of follow through and upkeep."
Of course the other facts this spinmeister got wrong was the assertion that the "salamander crossing will be destroyed" and that "This development is only step one of a long range plan by Cinda >Jones (i.e. Cowls and DH Jones combined) for more development on Cowls property."
Wrong. Cinda Jones is not connected to the real estate agency owned by children of D. H. Jones.
But not letting the facts get in the way of a good narrative is certainly an effective way to mobilize the troops. Over 50 protesters were waiting in front of the Jones Library a few minutes before the meeting start time.
But not everyone who showed up was a disciple of the Church of Obstruction, and some helpful discussion did take place. Landmark has addressed a major concern by adapting their original plan to reroute traffic from the narrow streets in the heart of Cushman by locating the main entry to the development on Market Hill Road by the town's Water Treatment Plant (A).
The salamanders will still be able to cross the road
Too bad neighbors did not reciprocate.
Cinda Jones speaks