There is a new trick being used by outside developers and it is rather clever. Drawn by the high value of our historic neighborhoods, they purchase distressed properties.
Now even though these are historic buildings, they have no idea how to restore these homes – they are more familiar with building new.
THE QUESTION IS, “HOW DO YOU GET RID OF THE OLD HOUSE SO YOU CAN BUILD A NEW HIGH-PRICED HOME?”
It’s a problem because fortunately most Newburyporters have got wind of these true carpetbaggers and take a very dim view of demolishing historic homes. If they come to the Planning Office, the Planning Board, the ZBA and the Historical Commission; they will suffer great loss of time and money and catch a lot of hell.
THE NEW TRICK IS TO GET AN EXPLORATORY PERMIT FROM THE BUILDING INSPECTOR.
Since the building inspector is a busy man taking care of the entire City, the chances are he won’t notice what they are doing.
The hope is to find some rotting that will justify taking the entire structure down.
Then they come before the boards with a weeping tale of rot.
If they did this to my house, they would definitely demand my house be torn down. Instead of exposing gleaming tropical wood that looked like it was just out of a big box store, they expose dense, first-growth timber that is not normally prone to deterioration – unless its exposed to large amounts of water and humidity. Lambert Roofing redid our attic area and discovered three rotting beams in our roof. Instead of giving up and demanding we tear our house down, they simply replaced the aggrieved beams.
Gary Calderwood needs to know that this dirty trick is being used. The Historical Commission is already been eyewitnesses to this atrocity more than once.
The rest of us need to demand that the Building Department enforce strict guidelines for Exploratory Work and punish with fines those builders who are using it to destroy Newburyport.