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John & Ann Martin: Housing project in Cushman a path to destruction

To the editor:

We came to Amherst in 1967 to a beautiful, small, safe and peaceful New England town where the residents clearly prided themselves on keeping it that way. It remained so for many years but recently things have changed. Now the town seems to be on a slow but sure path to self-destruction.

The latest dilemma is the proposed 170-student “cottages” to be sited in Cushman Village by Landmark Properties of Athens, Ga., and to be built on 154 acres of woodland owned by W.D. Cowls Inc. This horrifying proposal has the potential of severely affecting not only Cushman but also the entire town of Amherst.

It is totally incomprehensible that after all the good development work in North Amherst, particularly that Jones family members have done over many years, the younger generation should choose to overthrow their patient stewardship. This proposal would destroy our formerly tranquil neighborhood, triple its population in a year, cause chaos with vehicular traffic and noise and, in the process, cast contemptuously aside the Amherst zoning ordinances.

This is one of the most appalling and short-sighted proposals ever. It makes a complete travesty of former generations’ contributions to orderly community planning. It would be a very sad day indeed for Amherst if, in defiance of the existing zoning, this proposal were to go forward.

Ann & John Martin


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