Why I'm running for
Why I’m Running for Re-Election
When my husband and I moved to Amherst twelve years ago, we chose to live in a historic, diverse neighborhood within walking distance of downtown. What we didn’t bargain for was that our beloved neighborhood would be under constant pressure, targeted for over-densification to solve UMass’s on-campus housing shortage.
The newly redrawn District 4 contains the only two General Residence (RG) zoning districts in town. In contrast to many of our other residential areas, these RGs are already zoned for greater density and variety of housing stock. This diversity of housing makes us a uniquely rich and multi-hued district – we’re home to young families, retirees, and university students. Some of our neighbors have called District 4 home for nearly half a century.
Yet, throughout my time on the Council, there have been repeated calls to amend our zoning bylaws to allow for even greater density in the General Residence neighborhoods. To increase the number of units per acre beyond the current nine (housing up to 36 people), would irreparably tip the balance between student and year-round residents, undermining the viability of some neighborhoods for non-student households.
During my years on the Council, I’ve found that, too often, the Council’s time and resources are waylaid by pet projects and hidden agendas — neglecting the “bread and butter” issues of real concern, such as road and sidewalk repair and replacing our sorely outdated fire station and inadequate DPW facility.
If you re-elect me, I will continue advocating for housing that is within the means of our “missing middle,” supporting efforts to direct reparations to youth services, affordable housing, and entrepreneurship and finally, shepherding the waste hauler bylaw through to adoption.
Amherst is a unique and very special place. My ultimate goal is to keep Amherst a town where people want to live and, equally important, can afford to. As we build a new elementary school and expand our library, we need to grow our year-round community, especially families with young children for whom we are building these new facilities.