While we have a few business owners, homeowners and developers who want to turn their back on historic preservation; most people who come here instinctively realize it is to their own best interest to continue the heritage tourism theme. And since the DPS* has traditionally been incapable of understanding that concept; it is very encouraging that many homeowners go ahead and install historic brick sidewalks lined by granite on their own.
It’s instinctive that you would want to reinforce the historic seaport concept. What these businesses and homeowners don’t realize, it can boost your property values as much as 20-30%**! Their consideration to the entire community has many times been rewarded. Which makes me laugh when many spend huge amounts of money to renovate/restore their historical buildings and then dump concrete or worse, blacktop directly in front of their homes.
Step-by-painful-step, the city is continuing to improve but the biggest problem is the lack of continuity. Many homeowners’ efforts can be thwarted by having one bad egg on the street thwart the general theme of the neighborhood!
This unfortunately, fitfully and inconsistently, has resulted on many a street with brick, blacktop, concrete and then cycled through again.
What every homeowner needs to know – if you live in the Newburyport Historic District, you need to lay brick in front of your house**.
And please don’t let the DPS* ‘help’ with a slather of asphalt!
* Some guy in overalls comes knocking and offers to ‘fix’ the broken up sidewalk in front of your house for free is NOT doing you any favors.
** Special Research Division, Internal Revenue Service, Denver, Colorado: IRS has ruled that a resident who fixes the sidewalk in front of his home even though it is city property can not deduct the cost of repair. This is due to two court decisions, Myers vs. US, 1980 and McConnell vs. US, 1988. It was determined that the homeowner receives direct benefit from improving the sidewalk condition by raising the property value of the home. If the sidewalk is improved in a National Historic District or in a LHD, it is ruled the home’s value is significantly improved.