NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 11, 2012

foes rally against LHD

NEWBURYPORT — Confrontation over a proposed Local Historic District escalated Tuesday night, when close to 20 residents opposing the measure spoke at the City Council meeting urging a “no” vote.

The appearance of the opponents was in contrast to the council’s meeting two weeks ago, when about the same number spoke in support of a new ordinance creating an LHD.

Before Tuesday night, it might have appeared that opposition was subsiding, but Dick Hordon, who heads a group dubbed “Say No to LHD,” said that opponents are more energized than ever.

“We didn’t appear two weeks ago because it was our understanding that residents would not be able to speak,” said Hordon. “But we are still very much opposed.

“We are the silent majority. A growing number of residents are against it and our appearance at the council meeting should demonstrate that there is much opposition.”

Hordon and his team produced a loose-leaf notebook outlining their opposition, a document that appeared large enough to explain and annotate the Manhattan Project.

In addition to position points, the notebook contains petitions with signatures, and it lists names and addresses of “vetted” residents who are against a new ordinance.

“We have an email list of more than 1,000 who oppose the LHD,” said Lyndi Lanphear, also a resident opposing the LHD.

The Local Historic District Study Committee recently submitted its final report to the City Council, which includes a proposed ordinance that would create a district that encompasses nearly 800 buildings. The district includes all of High Street, plus about six blocks in the downtown area between Route 1 and Federal Street.

Among the points of the new LHD would be a measure to regulate the demolition of historic houses and the creation of a commission designed to preserve the architecture of houses and buildings in a proposed historic area.

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