April 29, 2013

As a 10-year resident of the “age-segregated” community profiled in The Post on April 23, I take exception to some aspects of that article and of Donna Butts’s April 28 letter about it.

Ms. Butts supports mixed-age residences as part of her advocacy for Generations United. Fair enough. That living arrangement might suit many people of my early baby-boom generation. But my experiences in mixed-age neighborhoods in the Washington area impelled me to seek an alternative.

I was frankly tired of my apartment building in the District being party central for residents under age 35 at all hours. I was equally annoyed when I lived in a townhouse community where teens partying in a neighbor’s home left beer bottles in the street and young children bounced off our common wall as they ran up and down the stairs. Now the only noise to speak of is the occasional drone of mowers on well-tended lawns.

A Prince William economist was quoted in the article as saying that some residents of active-adult communities “don’t have much interest in education.” Certainly some might not like paying taxes to fund local schools, just as some young, single people might not like paying those taxes. But not all of us have so lost touch in our dotage that we cannot appreciate the fruits of education for individuals and the common good.

Many of my neighbors and I are retired professionals who have benefited from the highest levels of education. We know that a society that doesn’t vigorously support education is doomed to cater to the lowest common denominator among us, socially, culturally and economically. That isn’t the future we want for our children, grandchildren or ourselves. 

Rob Klein, Gainesville