Monday, September 9, 2013

NIMBYs Never Say Die

Have land, will develop

North Amherst residents filed a petition article this morning just before deadline which places on the fall Town Meeting warrant another anti-development zoning proposal that would simply reverse the June 3rd passage of article #31 (by a whopping 119 to 56 vote) allowing 10 housing units per mixed use development "by right" before needing a "Special Permit".   The old standard was six units.

The problem with a "Special Permit" is that it requires a unanimous vote of the three-member Zoning Board, a rather high hurdle to clear.

This particular article is a bolt from a crossbow aimed directly at W.D. Cowls, Inc and its feisty President Cinda Jones.  Already under fire for selling 154 acre parcel in Northeast Amherst for a student housing development known as "The Retreat," Cowls is also anxious to develop their former saw mill that closed in 2009.

And mixed use buildings are the way to go.  But only with a decent density of housing units above the ground floor commercial space.

Amherst is in the midst of a severe housing crisis brought on by supply failing miserably to keep up with demand, mainly due to to NIMBY offensives directed at any project more ambitious than a tree house.

Since the NIMBY petition article is a zoning issue it will require a two-thirds vote to pass.  And since the make up of Town Meeting has not changed since June 3rd the likelihood of passage is, well, unlikely.  Very unlikely


Anonymous said...

Curious, ain't it that LK Never Says Die about his most deeply held beliefs, yet lacks any capacity for respectful regard for others' expression of theirs

When he Never Says Die, he sees himself as the wise and courageous voice of the unrecognized underdog.

When others do, he ridicules and namecallls.

Anonymous said...

"Amherst is in the midst of a severe housing crisis brought on by supply failing miserably to keep up with demand"

Really, that must be news to our local realtors, as they list page after page of houses and condos in Amherst. The cheapest house is only $169,000 and the cheapest condo is a very reasonable $150,000.

Anonymous said...

Single mothers with another baby on the way cannot afford $150K housing, besides there probably in bad neighborhoods any way.

Anonymous said...

Well, single mother with another baby on the way probably can't buy a house anywhere. Besides, Amherst has no bad neighborhoods.

Larry Kelley said...

Walked down Phillips Street lately?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that a major factor in the housing crisis is the failure of UMass to build adequate housing for its growing number of students over the last dozen years. Larry, you've provided some interesting graphs lately. Can you make up one that compares the rate of dorm room increase with rate of student increase?

Anonymous said...

And when youre done with that, will you wash my car and do my laundry?

Dr. Ed said...

Single mothers with another baby on the way cannot afford $150K housing

And might we inquire how said "single mother" wound up with "another baby on the way?"

I think we are all adult enough to know that someone male has to be involved in all of this, that every baby also has a father...

And might we inquire as to why "single mother" isn't married to the baby's father?!?!?!?

Please don't ask me to cry for you and please stop pretending that you are some innocent bystander -- at least after the first child, you kinda have to know what causes pregnancy, don't you?

And why the h*** are you expecting us to subsidize your lifestyle? If you didn't want to be poor, you should have either (a) gotten married or (b) not gotten pregnant -- ever -- and there is one totally-effective way of avoiding pregnancy.

It's a case of not doing something.

After all, our society has no problem saying that to men, and aren't women supposed to be treated equally?

Anonymous said...

The vocal opponents of anything new in North Amherst aught to be ashamed. They are currently the driving minority force for no change in Amherst. They are the reason that our single family homes are getting bought up and converted. I want to hear their grand plan that involves them spending millions to make more housing. North Amherst opponents have become a disgrace to good governance. Get on board or take what comes your way once developers realize we are below the 10% threshold for low income.

Anonymous said...

I concur with the last writer. This Petition is a colossal waste of time of Town Meeting. The tyranny of the minority is at an end and, after their repeated obstructions at the expense of the entire town, the North Amherstians behind this petition can't accept it. Their neighborhood, unlike others, not under threat. They will go down in defeat but will have succeeded in monopolizing TM as they always do. Shame on then!