Our city has emerged from the anti-urban planning dark ages of the 90’s; and the community has over-arching long-term guidance when it comes to future goals.
These, contrary to the clueless, DO NOT pop out of nowhere from some conspiracy-minded junta foisting them upon our city. (Like those outside of the city who are trying to push Common Core or a whole host of unfunded mandates.) These were well-thought out blueprints that had been placed before the citizens through public meetings, and then really vetted by public hearings, then by city council; who in turn, had their public meetings, and so on!
These ‘Plans’ were approved, and are supposed to represent the community of the whole’s wishes.
We’ll be doing the same soon, regardless of the Mayor and City Hall’s efforts; when it comes to the new Master Plan; and the new Zoning re-write, and the new Sidewalk Specifications that were submitted last night. All will be carefully examined by a host of citizens who actually give a d__n about our city!
But unfortunately, The Dark Side, though no longer representing a majority in the city; are pressuring for us to walk away from many requirements in these plans. The main attitude, as it has always been with them, “We need the money, benefits to the community be damned.” Dark Siders care only about jobs and families; and certainly don’t care about sustaining a high quality of life. And if some can line their pockets while achieving this, so be it. And when it comes to design, who cares.
Well, I am seeing their influence all over Newburyport. I see it in the push for the Ale House at 40 Merrimac; I see it at the Towle Building; I see their influence while efforts are being made for the Harbormaster facility. We’re really seeing it through the Building Department and the ZBA; as they find clever ways to trash our historic district. We’re not there yet reaching outrage; but it’s putting an ugly mood across the neighborhoods; matching the dark sider’s dark vision of a worn-out old mill town: business first; citizens be damned. It especially worries me as we see New England Development beginning to stir; and plans for the industrial park and the 40R are formulated.
Can we indeed trust them?
Visitors come to our city and they shake their heads and exclaim, “How can the citizens of Newburyport do this to themselves?”
How can they do it indeed!
All I am saying, and will say it again, and again; respect our democracy and follow the wishes of the community.
And for most of the volunteer boards, “Wake Up! And take a stand!”
STICK TO THE PLANS!
PS. For those who are unaware of these plans that dictate guidelines and requirements to City Hall; here is a short list:
The Plans that Newburyport is supposed to follow (or is trying to wiggle out of its responsibility):