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How low can you go? Snow and ice and cancelled school.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

As I See It...

I attempted to have this published in the local paper, but they refused becaue it was already covered....If you live in Corvallis, or know someone who does, please forward this to them!


As one of the “old curmudgeons” who attended the recent meeting between OSU and the city, I want to respond to the Barometer editorial of November 14th.




It was very clear, listening to testimony and reflecting on my own experience, that the problem in the university neighborhoods is not students per se—but the sheer numbers and the rapid increase in the population. When we moved into our house 15 years ago, six blocks from campus, there were 16,000 students in town. We asked our neighbors about noise and they said “not bad—and we share responsibility for keeping it under control.” Every house on the block was owner occupied and the apartments were a mix of students and other folks. For ten years, there were no problems. Then, the university population exploded and the number of problems exploded with it. We did not deliberately move into a “college neighborhood”—the college moved in on us. We are responding to a problem that none of us foresaw when we bought our homes, five, ten, twenty, thirty years ago.

A house is not just an investment; we do not want to sell our homes and move. When we gather, we talk about how we love the location of our homes, how we can walk everywhere, how our houses are appropriately scaled to our lifestyles, how we enjoy the historic variety of buildings in the area, and even how we like living with a diverse group of people, including college students. I have transformed my little house through paint, plants, and insulation, into a lovely, environmentally sound home. I planted a Macintosh apple tree in my yard; I do not want to move. It is also clear to me that there is no place to move—if the university continues to grow and outsource its housing into the community, there will be no neighborhood that will be quiet and well maintained that I can afford. The frontier, as it were, is closed.

Finally, I do not believe that loud, obnoxious behavior is inherent in student life. There are 25,000 students at OSU. Many of those people are serious students, working and taking classes, trying to balance school and a job with family responsibilities. It is not easy; I remember those years myself. I have to believe that they do not want to be woken up at night by drunken yahoos any more than I do. Everyone deserves to live in a quiet, clean, well-maintained neighborhood, even if it is just a few blocks from campus.

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