I was reading the Boston Globe article about the Newburyport LHD issue and totally agree with the following statement,
“’We kept them up [the signs] because it’s the only thing we have,’ said Lyndi Lanphear, one of the organizers of Say No to LHD, a grass-roots group formed to oppose the ordinance.”
Isn’t that the truth!
It has been well-documented that their original premise of ‘homeowner’s rights’ has been the stuff of fantasy. The local historic district ordinance is a zoning issue. It is not a threat to our American way, doesn’t come from the U.N. and the LHD concept is backed up by the Supreme Court. In fact, the Massachusetts Commonwealth has elevated it as a lawful zoning practice in which a couple of hundred towns and cities have applied it with good success.
Our city has a right to control aesthetics for the mutual benefit of the community – just like building codes, zoning and local ordinances. These things are instituted so that EVERYONE’S property rights are protected. If there is any place where it makes sense, it is Newburyport.
The anti-historic preservationists have proposed a society that simply does not exist in America, nor in its prestigious history. Their ideas of sacred property rights are not supported by facts nor practiced in our society.
As for their accusations against the LHD:
An LHD can not tell you what you can do with your property.
An LHD can not control the interior of the house or what goes on in the house.
An LHD can not control what is not visible from the public way.
An LHD commission is not a Star Chamber but a heavily-regimented city volunteer board that must follow strict guidelines much like the Conservation Commission, Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
An LHD does not excuse the rest of the city from practicing and following historic preservation principles or to cease from doing what is necessary for the community benefit. We will still need to learn and apply historic preservation principles if our city is to have a future.
The opponents have further muddied the waters by propagated a document with fifteen lies in it which I have shown as incorrect in one of my posts. I have further posted innumerable, well-documented editorials as to why they have no grounds for their cause.
Simply put, they can be likened to a snowmobile running along on a snowless ground – just kicking up mud and getting nowhere!
They indeed must keep up the signs – it is all they have left!
Newburyport historic preservationists are multi-dimensional – highlighting history, keeping our high quality of life, seeking help for homeowners, working to preserve our investments and enhancing heritage tourism for a bright cultural & economic future.