NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

January 10, 2013

Council to consider reduced LHD at meeting

BY DYKE HENDRICKSON
STAFF WRITER

---- — NEWBURYPORT — The City Council will conduct its first regular meeting of 2013 on Monday beginning at 7:30 p.m., but much of the agenda is populated by matters that were much alive in 2012.

One item will be “the second reading of Ordinance Chapter 16, section 5, Local Historic District.”

Late in the year, councilors blocked an attempt to create an LHD of close to 800 residences and approved a diminished version covering five structures (eight residences.)

Their action represented a first-reading only, and thus the 10-member council will be addressing the matter again.

Aside from the second reading of the LHD ordinance, councilors might address several related matters: altering rules relating to a demolition delay and considering LHD-like protections for the downtown business area.

An agenda item also initiated in 2012 is the replacement of former City Councilor Kathleen O’Connor Ives. She recently resigned from the council to assume a seat in the state Senate.

Council President Tom O’Brien said that the seven residents who have volunteered to replace her until the November election have been invited to address the council on their reasons for seeking the post. Aspirants might be asked questions relating to their qualifications and motivation.

The City Council has full authority on choosing the next councilor, and O’Brien has said that it’s likely that a choice will be made on Monday.

Councilors are also scheduled to elect a council president and to announce committee assignments for the coming year.

Also on the agenda are the City Council meeting schedule for 2013 and City Council Rules for the coming year.