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Ann Kearns: ‘Will no one act’ to solve housing problems?

To the editor:

Amherst endures noise and detritus from students in off-campus housing as an ongoing way of life that has become increasingly unpleasant and irritating. After reading recent accounts of the ease with which our town government issues permits to landlords for multiple-unit housing, often occupied by students (25 issued in 2012 alone), I want to know why it is that these permits are issued with such ease and frequency.

The quality of life in Amherst is being destroyed. Who can stop this? Town Meeting? The Select Board? The housing inspector? Will no one act?

Ann Kearns

Amherst

Town Meeting can stop the squeezing of student rentals into non-traditional neighborhoods by amending the zoning bylaw to allow construction of dense residential space. We have irresponsibly forbidden anything new to be built for 40 years, and that is why the segregation Amherst residents are used to is ending, leading to laments about quality of life. Creating more dense residential space close to downtown will also make oft-desired businesses such as a food market more financially viable. I say "downtown" but nevertheless, we need everything we can get to relieve the excess pressure on our housing market.

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