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Angela Fina: ‘Gated community’ of The Retreat is hardly right tone for Amherst

To the editor:

A gated community in Amherst? In a story that appeared May 28, Jason Doorn­bos, a spokesman for Georgia’s Landmark Properties, assured a local reporter that The Retreat planned for Cushman Village to house 700 or more students would be a gated community requiring an identification card for entry.

This would be a sorry first in the Five College area. The exclusive isolation inherent in a gated community is abhorrent to the values and mores of Amherst, a town justly proud of its progressive, open diversity.

While this recently trumpeted component of the planned development may or may not be practical or even realistic, it is certainly a tremendous public relations gaffe.

This Georgia developer has still not learned enough about Amherst to promote its product with an eye toward our local sensibilities.

I suggest that the Landmark team consult the work of our beloved local bard Robert Frost, who could lead them through important considerations in this matter: Before I built a wall I would ask what I was walling in (the students?) or walling out (other students? their friends? the neighbors?) and to whom I was likely to give offense (the entire town!).

Angela Fina


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