The ZBA should not be in the business of presiding over the dismantling of the Newburyport Historic District.
But that is exactly what they are doing.
Developers and ignorant property owners are waiting out the demolition delay so they can build new. There is no desire to preserve history or even to justify themselves.
Zoning laws were designed to improve our community not destroy them.
Tonight a special permit will be requested to build a new building on the shattered remains of one of our oldest historic buildings at 17 Ship Street.
Reminding again the purpose of a special permit is to refer to Massachusetts General Law as to its definition:
Special Permit (M.G.L. 40A (zoning), Chapter 9)
Special permits may be issued…[that] impose conditions, safeguards and limitations on time or use. Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide that special permits may be granted… where the public good would be served…Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide for special permits…that encourage the transfer of development rights in a manner that protect open space, preserve farmland, promote housing for persons of low and moderate income or further other community interests.
Where is the public good served?
How does this special permit protect our city?
How is the community served by destroying a historical building?
Tonight the applicant wants to get permission to put up a replacement building – to yet further the destruction of the most desirable area of our city, the South End. A neighborhood which is the most desirable real estate because it is a historic neighborhood. People are putting up with limited space, little parking and tight proximity of buildings to do what? So they can re-format the neighborhood into a ‘modern’ sector?
Most understand who come here that this is hot property because it is ancient architecture.
Can anyone please put some sense into the applicant tonight to save 17 Ship Street from being demolished. There are many others who would love to take care of these fine homes – if they are not willing, they need to sell and move to the more modern areas of Newburyport. (12 ‘other’ non-historic neighborhoods to choose from)
If you care about Newburyport, please come and speak against a special permit being granted to this property owner. Only when residents care enough to fight for our city will we see this damaging trend stopped.
Meeting is at City Hall tonight and starts at 7:00, with the applicant being considered at 7:15.