NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 16, 2012

Dick Hordon: LHD invades on property rights

Editor’s Note: As the discussion over a proposed Local Historic District in Newburyport continues through the fall and makes its way to the City Council for final review, The Daily News is profiling several of the principals involved on both sides of the debate.

The following is a look at Dick Hordon, who heads a group (Say No to LHD) opposing passage of a Local Historic District.

NEWBURYPORT — At a meeting of the City Council in late September, Dick Hordon was the only resident who spoke against the creation of a Local Historic District. About 20 were in favor.

Hordon is not alone in his opposition — his committee has more than 1,000 signatures of residents who are on record as opposing a new ordinance that would create an LHD and a historical commission.

But he emerged that night, as he has at numerous public meetings in the last year, as the leader of what he calls a “silent majority” of residents opposing the LHD.

“Not all opponents come to every meeting, but there is a very large number opposing an LHD,” said Hordon, who with his wife, Kathy Mason Hordon, lives at 338 Merrimac St. Both are working against the proposed measure.

Their house was built in 1779, and they have owned it since 1968. The structure would not be within the boundary of the LHD.

Hordon said, “It’s my opinion that the joy of owning my antique home would be forever compromised and overshadowed by the ambiguous rules, regulations and oversight of a committee of enthusiasts who would be forcing their idea of historic preservation on me.”

Hordon is a native of Melrose and a graduate of Melrose High School. He went on to graduate from the East Coast Aero Technical School at Hanscom Field in Bedford.

He is a pilot, a business owner and professionally trained investigator of aviation accidents.

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