I still can’t believe there are people walking up and down our town saying, “I see no need for an LHD.”
I was horrified right in the midst of all the celebration of this great city to hear that Thursday was no party at the Historical Commission. As one visitor pointed out,
“… for the first time in nine years administering a Demolition Delay Ordinance, the Commission had to act on an application for demolition of any or all buildings on a property, without any effort by the Applicant to identify which structure(s), which hardship, and which benefit accruing from issuance of a demolition permit.
“The Applicant was the owner of a year 1775 Georgian era historic building that is identified as a contributing structure to the Newburyport National Register Historic District. The Applicant, ______________, indicated an intention not to appear before the NHC.”
Not only that, but they wanted the demolition delay to be transferrable to anyone who purchased the property!
As has been apparent in the last year and even noted by such prestigious newspapers as
the Boston Globe and the Washington Post; an increasing number of people are determined to demo old houses and to replace them with ‘new’ structures.
Developers and uncaring newcomers (and yes, old dark siders) have now worked in the demolition delay as just part of doing business to get what they want.
Fortunately, the Planning Office and the Historical Commission along with interested parties are hard at work to stop this gross demonstration of ‘bad faith’.
The purpose of a demo delay is to give ample opportunity to explore alternatives and solutions to avoid the destruction of our national heritage that surrounds us in Newburyport. By not showing up is what is called in legal terms, “unclean hands” and what I would call ‘deliberate cynicism’ against the very nature of our historic seaport.
The first step is to make sure an applicant must appear before the historical commission and to make it impossible for it to be transferred to a third party.
While the anti-historic preservationist live in denial; the danger to Newburyport is growing every week from a developer wanting to replace an historic structure with an access road to total gutting of the structure such as on Pine Street so it looks like a modern industrial building to total removal on Hancock Street and more developers working their way into our community.
We must advocate and work hard to stop this destruction of our future!