We totally agree with Naomi Thomas concerning student housing. She is correct in saying it is the responsibility of Penn State Altoona to take care of this issue.
This problem turns up every time a developer purchases land in the Penn State Altoona area of Logan Township.
Year after year, we in Wehnwood, Beverly Hills and surrounding areas are threatened with this dilemma. Developers insist on building more student housing and want zoning changed so they can do so. Why? If Penn State needs more student housing, let it take care of the problem. Don't upset our whole community.
According to a Nov. 9 Mirror article, Kerry Weatherbee from the Pennsylvania Landlord's Association said he and a half dozen other landlords have vacant apartments that are usually rented to Penn State Altoona students. If this is so, then why is more housing needed?
Don't disrupt the adjoining neighborhoods by building more student housing. This is Penn State's obligation to provide and police these students, not the Logan Township police.
We pay our taxes and elect our supervisors to protect us - the homeowners in the township. So far the supervisors have understood the problem, and we hope they continue to do so and look at this problem through the homeowners' and taxpayers' eyes.
Possibly Mike Irwin, Penn State Altoona Advisory Board chairman, and vice chairman Tom Smith, because they asked our supervisors to be supportive of the project proposed by Durbin & Associates to build an additional 400-unit student housing, would consider having them build this complex in their backyards.
We have seen what some students can do to a property; they can wreck the neighborhood.
Supervisor Jim Patterson, came up with a good idea of using the former Bon Secours for student housing, but Irwin, Smith, along with a landlord Reynolds Baldwin, who is a real estate developer, stated that in converting Bon Secours into student housing would be economically impossible because, "it's not what kids want."
These kids come into our area for a few years, then leave, then more come in, then leave. In the meantime our property values are going down along with our neighborhood. Who is the most important, the kids or the taxpayers?
Chancellor Lori Bechtel-Wherry stated that the school had plans to build an addition to Oak Hall that would accommodate 300 more students. But that the proposed project has yet to be approved. This is what should be done.
In the past, our immediate neighborhood had to hire attorneys to defend our neighborhood, the Beverly Hills area, because another local developer wanted to come into our area and change the zoning to build student housing.
We took up collections from time to time from all of the neighbors to hire out-of-town attorneys so there would be no conflict of interest.
Fortunately, Logan Township stood behind its citizens, so it was worth the money we spent.
But this shouldn't be necessary Leave the zoning alone. This is why people buy into a certain area, so they are protected.
As Supervisor Frank Meloy stated, "our job is to look at the zoning issue and whether the use of the land is consistent with the area."
This is so correct. Supervisors, please continue to protect your citizens.
John and Sally Leiden, Altoona