Residents of Highlands have heard this line often. From students, when we complain about their noise and vandalism, from owners of party homes and recently, from a member of the planning commission. In the planning commission meeting held on Sept. 18, residents voiced their concerns in response to a developer’s rezoning request for the area where Kildare’s Pub is located. The plan is to build a highrise. Residents were unhappy this high-density would increase noise and vandalism in the Highlands. In response, Rich Kalin, a member of the planning commission, essentially said we had made a choice to live in a college town. If we didn’t like it, we should leave.
Hurtful as this comment is, it is also untrue. We did not choose to live in a college town. We chose to live close to our workplace. We chose to live in an old house. We also chose to live in a vibrant community with socially and environmentally conscious and proactive neighbors. This is our view of State College. The borough on the other hand, views it as a college town. Unfortunately, this is dangerous because it is this one-sided vision held by those in office that will shape the reality of this town. Maybe that is why 77 percent of Highlands population is now aged 18-24.
What we don’t like is your vision, or the lack of it.