There is one fundamental principle that is being missed by the majority of Newburyporters:
A local historic district is the engine for the entire city.
While real estate agents are telling homeowners in our surrounding communities they will have to suffer property values going down and many have found themselves in the most un-envious position of being “under water” on their mortgages; Newburyporters just sit back and relax.
Unfortunately, we have hundreds in the non-historic district area of our City thinking it’s because of a happy accident or it was due to some other factor.
The Daily News recounted that Savannah, Georgia’s historic district is actually quite small but the overall city has been propelled into one of the United States’ most affluent and beautiful cities. And the quality of life is drawing many to want to live there.
Our historic district is the engine for Newburyport. It draws in heritage visitors who according to national surveys a whopping 14% return to live here. They don’t pine for our city, visualizing living around the hospital or over in Quail Run. The most powerful draw is the center of our town and the historic neighborhoods that surround it.
And we all benefit from it.
Citizens and Voters from Wards 1, 4, 5 and 6 should be striving to protect the historic district so their homes in turn can be protected. Decisions about historic preservation should be of keen interest to the dozen neighborhoods in town that are not historic. LHD Yes signs should be popping up along Turkey Hill Road and these property owners along with others should be aggressively joining the petition to support the LHD.
If developers and ignorant and uncaring homeowners despoil the historic district, I assure you that within a decade, we’ll all have to pay more in property taxes to make up the loss. And that will impact our infrastructure, our quality of life and our hospital and schools.
EVERYONE HAS A SKIN IN THE GAME.