Killing the Golden Goose

Golden GooseIt’s a simple fact – unlike other communities, Newburyport receives a huge amount of tax revenue (86% or more) from its residential neighborhoods.          Normally, this would be disastrous for the typical American city.         For every house in a typical town, four times the revenue must be generated in infrastructure and services.     In contrast, every time a business is established, in particular manufacturing or office-oriented (or medical); three to four times more revenue is added to a community.

But Newburyport is unlike the typical American city.

Our long ago built historic neighborhoods create a stable, consistent resource for tax revenue.     In addition, the heightened value of our rare (8.3%) historical homes; jumps up radically the amount of equity, property value, and eventual tax revenue generated.

But City Hall (the Mayor and the Building Department and the ZBA) increasingly see this golden goose can be fleeced by demolishing and gutting them to generate a fountain of Killing the golden goose‘free cash’ on the books.       But eventually they are going to run out of the golden geese and be left with typical, over-priced new construction that doesn’t last, and, when the looting is finished, and the boon has busted, it will all start to unravel and lose value.

Thanks to Councilor Eigerman (and the majority of city councilors) an attempt was made through the DCD, and the DCOD to stop the loss of our historic neighborhoods.      But the bankers, the demo-lawyers and developers have found more loopholes.         So, in an attempt again to try to slow this destruction; an ordinance has been introduced anew.

On Monday, the Council will consider rewording the definition of “two-family” and “multifamily” uses in our zoning ordinance.  Worked out carefully with the Planning Board and Councillors Cameron and Connell, the new wording will ensure that all new multi-family buildings are really _single_ buildings, rather than multiple buildings on one lot.

Again, on Monday, June 29, 2015, the city council will need to have 8 out of 11 votes to pass to close a harmful loophole in our Zoning Ordinance, by rewording the definition of two-family and multifamily uses.  The proposed amendment would ensure that a building is really a “building,” and not a trick to build multiple buildings on a single lot without following the normal rules.

If we are to stop the slaughter of our golden goose, we need everyone to voice their support of this ordinance, write to their councilors and show up in golden goose eggperson at the city council meeting.        All three are needed to counteract the developers, the lawyers and the bankers who want to kill our historic neighborhoods.

We need to e-mail to the city councilors to support this ordinance:;;;;;; ;;;

And, to show up at the city council meeting to voice our support:

Appear and speak in person at the very beginning of our public hearing on Monday night, starting at 7:30 pm.   Sign up on the clipboard at the city council chamber entrance door.     When you come up and speak , you only need to state your name and address, and say that you support the ordinance.     Anything else is extra gravy if you wish.

If they decide to delay this emergency ordinance (heaven forbid); you may have to write letters later to the editor and spread the word on social media via blogs, Facebook and Twitter (and any other means).

It is truly, little sacrifice in effort, in order to preserve our cherished quality of life!

Please take the time.

-P. Preservationist

golden_goose destroyed

This entry was posted in Demolitions, Developers, Economics, Education, Health and wellness, News and politics, Planning, Preservation, Quality of Life, Taxes, Zoning. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Killing the Golden Goose

  1. indyjerry77 says:

    Unanimous vote to approve the new ordinance to re-define two-family and multi family.

    Large number of people who are not ‘political regulars’ came out showing wide support.

    Thank you for Councilor Eigerman and the subcommittee to present this with diagrams.

    And thank you for all across the city who love our historic city and took the time to come out and speak; and the many more who sent e-mails.

    Well done!

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