It is pretty bad when Allison Heartquist has to speak before her fellow councilors to remind them they have an obligation to protect the citizens of Newburyport. She has identified the subject matter of Plum Island but it is a continuing problem with many of the present members concerning the whole city. They are supposed to represent all of the citizens and for ward councilors, particular neighborhoods – but instead they have decided our community should be wide-open to a small group of self-centered homeowners and to the vicious exploitation of developers. Why sure, “contractors, realtors, engineers and trade craftsmen” will benefit as Dyke Hendrickson stated in his editorial today but the vast majority of Newburyporter’s are not in these fields – we want a beautifully preserved community with a high quality of life.
The anti-historic preservationists are determined to strip bare our city of its historic assets. The first move was produced by Lord Sith who submitted an odious attack against the Historical Commission. At least it was obvious. But now we have Councilor Cronin deciding he wants to strip away the city’s defenses in a more sophisticated way and has submitted the following ordinance proposal.
These ‘attacks’ are much more sophisticated than a full-frontal offensive. This involves ‘lawyering’ and so I am going to be documenting and dissecting and comparing it with the present Demolition Delay Ordinance. Suffice it to say, the intention is to destroy its intent and purpose:
“preserving and protecting significant buildings and structures within the City of Newburyport…to encourage owners of any such…to preserve or to seek out persons who might be willing to purchase and preserve, rehabilitate or restore such buildings…rather than demolish them; and by furthering these purposes to promote the public welfare and to preserve the resources of the city. (full intent and purpose is here.)
They hope to strip away the power of the Historical Commission which is entrusted to protect our city’s most valuable asset: our historic buildings and neighborhoods.
I will cover the details in the next post: