Unfortunately, I think it does. I'll be voting for Margaret (Peggy) Roberts and Aaron Hayden. Based on what I've seen in Town Meeting, Carol Gray has never met a development project that she likes. And based on what I saw at the LWV candidate's night (along with his Town Meeting voting record), I think Jim Oldham will be overly cautious. The Redevelopment Authority will have to be a strong voice for change to make anything happen.
Gavin's mini-ARA-ratings, from the inAmherst.com Vote Database:
Vote 22: Rezone S.E./College St. intersection to Village Center - Business.(Aaron is not a Town Meeting member yet)
Vote 24: Change PRP zoning designation to also allow businesses with client visits.
Vote 34: Change PRP zoning designation to also allow businesses with client visits.
Vote 63: Zoning - Hotels/Motels by SPR - Main Motion
Vote 64: Zoning - Professional Offices in PRP and R-VC
Vote 65: Zoning - College St./South East St.
Vote 22 Vote 24 Vote 34 Vote 63 Vote 64 Vote 65 Rating
CAROL JEANNETTE GRAY NO NO NO NO NO -5
JAMES BURGESS OLDHAM NO YES NO YES NO -1
MARGARET R. ROBERTS YES YES YES YES 4
I say it's "unfortunate" that we need a Redevelopment Authority not because there are places in town that need redevelopment. That's true of any town-- there's always room for improvement, whether the improvement is getting rid of an ugly strip mall or turning an old factory building into high-tech offices.
It is the "Authority" part that is unfortunate. We shouldn't need a small group of people with special legal authority to make Amherst reinvent itself. After all, Amherst seemed to do pretty well for over 150 years without any zoning regulations or Redevelopment Authority. In fact, I think that the areas in Amherst most in need of redevelopment were all created after we got zoning.
What is your favorite and least favorite developed place in Amherst? Were they developed before or after the early 1900's? (that's when zoning regulations started in Amherst)
My favorite place in Amherst: the common and the buildings around the common. Except for the Bank of America building-- I think it's ugly, and would like to see it redeveloped. It was built in the 1960s, after Zoning.