NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 9, 2013

City Council tackles new challenges

The three issues that have largely dominated the City Council’s agenda this year, namely the budget, pay raises and Lower Millyard, have all finally been put to rest. Now as the City Council meets again for the first time since the pay raise decision, the councilors will have a chance to look ahead at the new challenges to come.

There are six new bills being put forth before the council for first readings tonight, and four of them revolve around a request to designate certain properties along Water Street and Chestnut Street as part of the “Lower Millyard and Carriage Hill Urban Park” Priority Development Site.

The idea of the legislation is to amend the zoning laws governing these properties to allow for more flexibility and encourage the economic revitalization of existing historic structures, particularly underutilized ones.

“The existing uses in the industrial buildings in the Lower Millyard and Carriage Hill neighborhood are evolving and changing with the needs of the time and economy,” one of the bills reads. “As more and more conventional manufacturing industrial uses decline, the property owners seek to revitalize these buildings for mixed residential and commercial uses.”

The first bill would establish the area as the Lower Millyard and Carriage Hill Urban Park Priority Development Site and the second would amend the city’s Overlay District Zoning Map to reflect the change.

The third bill would further amend the zoning map to establish two new Smart Growth Overlay Districts, which would allow mixed uses to revitalize dilapidated buildings and vacant parcels, and the fourth bill would make the existing dimensional controls more flexible and integrate the additional requirements within the permit approval process through the Planning Board.

The other two bills being put forth request that the council accept Quitclaim deeds on Lions Mouth Road and Quimby Lane.

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