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Amherst MA: A New Village Plan for Atkins Corner - page 4 / 13





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Smart Growth Leadership Case Library

developed in the 1950s and 60s by the presidents of the other colleges in the area, to provide a hands-on, alternative learning environment for students who wanted a different experience from traditional higher education. The college’s mission statement includes the following: “Education at Hampshire College prepares students to understand and participate responsibly in a complex world. Through its actions and policies, the College sets an example of the responsible and creative behavior it expects of its students.”

Hampshire College’s commitment to responsible use of its land was a critical factor in the development of the Atkins Corner plan, according to Larry Archey, director of campus planning and support services. Amherst planner LaCour observes that Hampshire College is “land rich, endowment poor,” requiring the college occasionally to generate income from its land holdings. The college has shown a willingness to spin off some of its land for uses compatible with its philosophy.

Atkins Farm Market owns a second parcel that would be affected by the realignment of Route 116. The market has been in existence in one form or another since the late 1960s. At present, it may see 10,000 to 12,000 customers on a given day, creating a heavy burden of turning traffic at the intersection. A major incentive for the market to cooperate on road realignment is the fact that Route 116 separates its land into two parcels, so that any further expansion of the market under current conditions would require customers to cross Route 116, a possibly dangerous undertaking.


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