Thursday, May 16, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For

Henry Street, Amherst

Click title below left to read

35 comments:

Paula Barrows said...

So you are the first to complain about the students upheavals in town. How can we stop this project?

Anonymous said...

Could they work a deal where they just give Cinda a cool Million, and let her change the zoning in North Amherst so she can make her $$$$ there??

Anonymous said...

We need to save it! Remember this is historic Cushman! Wait a minute,,,explain to me again what the historic significance is, besides the infamous salamander tunnel.

Walter Graff said...

I found it strange when I mentioned this topic to a few "historic" residents and they looked me blindly in the face. Bottom line, a value was set and that's it. You can't just take land because you don't like who's moving in unless you can afford to take it. And even if you did, smart lawyers would be all over it. I counted about 80 "stop" signs around Amherst. Now all they need to do is come up with $812,500 each and Cushman can stay historic. If not take those ugly signs down. They take away the beauty of North Amherst.

Don Lesser said...

As a North Amherst resident, I would like to suggest that they build the retreat in Amherst Woods. There is already bus service and water/sewage/electric there. I sympathize with Cinda's desire to make money, but the issue is not necessarily historic Cushman, but dumping 170 * 4 students into an area where there are no services, no bus stop, and, based on the developer's history, no attempt to stop anti-social behavior. The issue is dumping that many immature people into an area where they can basically go wild. Cushman store will do well, especially if they start selling 40 packs of cheap beer, but the rest of us will see an increase in anti-social behavior and increased costs to the town to police it.

Walter Graff said...

No service? Sewer was put on that street in mid 2000. A PVTA bus already stops right in front of the property now. Electric? Plenty there now. Nothing a transformer addition couldn't take care of. And then there is this assumption that if a student lives there, it will be a disaster. Hate to tell you but many students already occupy properties in Cushman and police aren't visiting.

Anonymous said...

I counted about 80 "stop" signs around Amherst. Now all they need to do is come up with $812,500 each...

My grandfather used to say: When you receive one letter of complaint from a customer, multiply that by the 1,000 who felt the same way but didn't write...

Dr. Ed said...

I read Pill's letter two ways -- is it just $5M in damages total or is it $5M to Retreats-R-Us for improperly blocking their ability to build the place *AND ANOTHER* $5.2M to Cinda & Co for the full value of the taken land?

I am inclined to believe the latter -- otherwise why cite the Burlington case? Why threaten litigation beyond just acquiring the full value of the land?

You have something here that you didn't have with the golf course - a deep-pocketed developer who can and likely will sue for lost economic gain. Fun, fun, fun -- see Amherst taxes go up, up, up....

Walter Graff said...

"My grandfather used to say: When you receive one letter of complaint from a customer, multiply that by the 1,000 who felt the same way but didn't write..."

I like your grandfathers saying.

Walter Graff said...

"You have something here that you didn't have with the golf course - a deep-pocketed developer who can and likely will sue for lost economic gain. Fun, fun, fun -- see Amherst taxes go up, up, up..."


And probably a bit of egotistic principle. The Cowls are old school Amherst. A "historic" family so to speak. I'd imagine somewhere in there is how dare anyone challenge us. That often drives people ot spend money they normally wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the neighborhood but those woods are prehistoric...a virgin expanse of God's green Earth right here in our backyards.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know about the neighborhood but those woods are prehistoric"

The h*ll they are. The land was cleared for farming 3 centuries ago, and this is property that the Jones/Cowl family acquired in the last century and let trees continue to grow on as they were in the timber business.

But this is not old growth forest. This most definitely is not prehistoric forest. Have a clue.

Walter Graff said...

The website says the land has unique features such as:

SPOTTED SALAMANDERS
The property is home to a world famous spotted salamander population.

BATS - The property provides excellent summer bat habitat.

LEDGE OUTCROPS - The property is home to some of Amherst's most rugged terrain. Beautiful outcrops of rock emerge from the forest throughout the property and give way to steep slopes.

The ROBERT FROST TRAIL, part of the extensive and beautiful Amherst Literary trail system, cuts through the northern edge of the property. It connects east to Atkins Reservoir and west to Puffer's Pond.

STREAMS - Three beautiful streams cut down the hillside from Flat Hills, merging into one larger creek that crosses under Henry Street and flows into Hawley Swamp.

WETLANDS & VERNAL POOLS - Although not officially part of the state record, the site is home to numerous wetlands and vernal pools.

Anonymous said...

Counting signs is not going to tell you how residents are against The Retreat- students stole and displaced many signs as they headed home after partying.

I'm sure that's how BABETOWN got their Retreat lawn sign!

Anonymous said...

Oh Walter -- the Cowls are a "historic" family so to speak -- did you ever happen to notice what Cinda's last name is? Or what her father's was?

Anonymous said...

This most definitely is not prehistoric forest.

You need to dig a little deeper.

Anonymous said...

The last name of the people who left Cinda her millions and this forest is inconsequential.

Anonymous said...

Oh, OK, so farmers used this land in the 1600's, not virgin stretches of God's green Earth, my mistake.

Walter Graff said...

"The last name of the people who left Cinda her millions and this forest is inconsequential."

"Oh Walter -- the Cowls are a "historic" family so to speak -- did you ever happen to notice what Cinda's last name is? Or what her father's was?"

All this matters little. The family (ies) have money. The families have friends. The families are connected. The people who want to build are on the same fence. Some of you might think the world is an even keel but having worked with billionaires, millionaires, and all the roles that give you that money along with high level politicians and with government large and small and I can tell you if someone is connected and wants something they get it. That is all I'm saying.

Walter Graff said...

"I'm sure that's how BABETOWN got their Retreat lawn sign!"

Plus some residents themselves have been "finding" signs and putting them on their lawns. I know one house on Market HIll Road that "found" one discarded and now proudly displays it.

Safe to assume no one in North Amherst wants to have a well manicured nicely designed housing complex that no one will see from their homes as it will be nestled in the woods on a nice huge parcel surrounded by trees, albiet a new traffic circle in Cushman and a wider Pine Street will certainly take away the 'charm' of Cushamn and finally eliminate the potholes that develop yearly on Pine Street. But in the end, no ones house will drop in value, Children of the Corn will not invade the neighborhood, togas will not become standard fashion and the Ambystoma maculatum will still be commonly found from Nova Scotia to Georgia to Texas even if the Amherst Salamander crossing is affected. In the end North Amherst will do just fine, as it always has.

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on the conditions of Pine st. Market Hill rd. Flat Hills rd. and North East st. These roads have been crushed to bits by over weight logging trucks. Maybe Amherst should send the paving bill to Cinda Jones.

Larry Kelley said...

So you want the property to remain a woodlands but not for anybody to tend to the forest.

Anonymous said...

Cinda wouldn't pay the paving bill even if it could be shown that logging trucks caused most of the damage. Furthermore, the letter from Mr. Pill is business as usual by Ms. Jones.

Larry Kelley said...

A person has a right to defend their property rights (and that's why God invented lawyers).

Nothing is more American than that.

So, you demonize Ms. Jones for defending her family estate, but cheer on those who defend their backyards by tying to use Other People's Money to steal Ms. Jones God given right to develop that land.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Could you please cite some scripture or text that says "God" (who may be different things to different people or not exist at all) gives people the right to develop their land?

Anonymous said...

My guess is God has more important things on her mind than this...

Walter Graff said...

"I would like to comment on the conditions of Pine st. Market Hill rd. Flat Hills rd. and North East st. These roads have been crushed to bits by over weight logging trucks. Maybe Amherst should send the paving bill to Cinda Jones. "

Ha. I travel these roads multiple times a day and have lived off them for ten years and rarely have I ever seen logging trucks on it at all. Then again, who has the scale to say these trucks are overweight. I would say these roads get good daily use by regular old passenger vehicles though. But what a stretchFto imply that logging trucks have killed these roads. frankly, it's laughable.

Walter Graff said...

"Could you please cite some scripture or text that says "God" gives people the right to develop their land?"

God’s sovereignty includes ownership of all his creation aka all the earth is his(Ex. 19:5). “For the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains” (1 Cor. 10:26). Because God is absolutely sovereign, no earthly institution can claim independent and absolute ownership of property. Only God can claim such a right. So I guess it will be God's decision about the Retreat and if it gets approved.

Anonymous said...

Cinda, bless her heart, has the right to do what she wants with that land because she is an "achiever".

Anonymous said...

So I guess it will be God's decision about the Retreat and if it gets approved.

So, is God responsible for everything that happens, in your opinion?

Do you believe God could heal all the sick children in the world if He only wanted to?

Walter Graff said...

"Do you believe God could heal all the sick children in the world if He only wanted to?"

No, he wouldn't cause he'd put the medical and charity industries out of business and that might cut into religion and bottom line.

Anonymous said...

The ones I believe will be responsible if the Retreat is built may be one or all or none of these "usual suspects":

deceiver
accuser
father of contention
great dragon
liar from the beginning

Anonymous said...

I once had a professor tell me that when you drag God into the conversation to make your point you've lost. Case in point.

Larry Kelley said...

As I've said many times: sarcasm, irony, joking require their own special font.

Anonymous said...

I once had a professor tell me...

me too, and then i became an adult and started thinking for myself.