Amherst citizens want greenery, not never-ending development
The Amherst Parks Plan, based on the results of a citizen survey, was recently released. The results were almost identical to what was found in surveys in 1992 and 2002-2003.
The citizens have consistently given priority to parkland, nature trails and a general protection of greenspace, waterways, wetlands and wildlife. It is time to listen to the people and just do it.
There has been no demand for a fifth sheet of ice at Northtown Center. No demand for more hotels, especially one on town parkland with wetlands and a meager $50,000 annual return to the town. There also has been no demand for more retail, apartments or office buildings, beyond the people profiting.
We were told by an economic analyst that Amherst is built out. As if we needed to be told. We believe our eyes, not the town actors whose personal agendas are transparent, performing for many who lack the knowledge needed to decipher acting from facts and common sense.
A central park, preserving land in the middle of Amherst, rehabilitating the historical Westwood clubhouse with complementary cultural amenities on the grounds, extending to nearby green and open land, would be extraordinary. A welcome change from the indiscriminate development that has been allowed to proliferate throughout Amherst.
Smart redevelopment is called for, not destroying greenspace and tinkering with wetlands to develop more. We now know, in hindsight, that these actors may be fine orators but they cannot walk on water, or build on it. Respecting and preserving greenspace, waterways, wetlands, nature and wildlife have their own importance and value and add to quality of life.