Owen's Pond top center
The acquisition of open space is a double edged sword, especially in a town more than half-owned by tax exempt entities.
Yes, it's beautiful and adds to the quality of life -- especially for immediate neighbors -- but it does not financially contribute to the General Fund for basic services like police, fire and DPW.
Regarding the 32 acre Hall property purchase for "conservation and public passive recreation purposes" Community Preservation Act Committee Chair Mary Streeter repeated stated that her committee has never seen such public support for a proposal.
Gull Pond (right) Stavros Center, also a tax exempt, on left
And since the state is financing two-thirds of the $340K purchase price the $105,995 requested from CPA funds will fly through Town Meeting faster than a seagull targeting junk food.
The property near Owen's Pond was approved for a 14-house subdivision 25 years ago but is no particular "danger" at the moment of being developed. And of course that is the #1 reason why Amherst housing is so damn expensive.
Too much demand and not enough supply.
Yet when a developer comes along and tries to increase density in the Village Centers, so that we can safely preserve outlying open space, the NIMBY machine gears up for war.
Life is a balance, and Amherst land use is out of whack.
The much maligned 5-story mixed-use Kendrick Place (top center)