Have you been afraid that a single landlord in our Downtown may pose a problem? Are you afraid that a large corporation could trample down the local citizens concerns and just pile through what they want?
Are you afraid that the loss of control over our historic Downtown could destroy the Newburyport we have grown to love?
Well, you’re fears are justified.
Even though the City of Newburyport has assumed the control over signage in the Downtown and the Building Inspector and the Mayor have made sure the NRA/HUD sign control has been sustained, Newburyport Development has decided to go on and have a sign made to replace the historic Art Deco Style, Fowle’s News Sign.
They told the sign company the NRA was no more. (Obviously misquoted – the Lagasse’s were probably thinking “No more control over signs” not that the NRA had ceased to exist.) In a callous fashion, they authorized the sign company to ‘just go ahead and make it” as if the City had given up control.
Cathy’s Country Kitchen does not deserve to arrive in Newburyport amidst controversy and scandal. This small business owner wants to do the right thing and needs to open with community support.
The right thing is not to just keep the neon sign but to restore the Art Deco sign with the following historic lettering:
NEWS STORE FOWLE’S SODA SHOP.
Regardless if the new owner will get away with renaming the historic sign (17 State Street Café) or sustain the historic lettering; because it exceeds the sign ordinance dimension controls, they must appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
So here is my question, “Does the Mayor run the City or does Newburyport Development?”