NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 19, 2013

Members needed for Board of Appeals

Town officials are seeking at least two volunteers to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals. The need became especially critical recently, according to ZBA chairwoman Susan Pawlisheck, when another member of the board resigned, leaving only three members on the five-person board.

Although there’s still enough people for a quorum, she said, some crucial ZBA votes require approval by a supermajority, or four members. Without more people serving, the board may not be able to deal with some of the important issues before it.

On a temporary basis, Selectman Ed Hunt offered to fill in until January, as did Warrant Advisory Committee member Kevin Henderson. But permanent members are needed to staff the board that not only grants variances, but also handles special permits.

Those interested in volunteering for the ZBA should send a letter of interest to Town Manager Neil Harrington at Town Hall.

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A sign that the economic climate may be changing is the increase in activity in the town’s building office.

According to Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer David Lovering, last year, 350 permits were issued for a total of $150,000 in permit fees, representing $9.8 million of new building growth in town.

With five months still to go in the calendar year, 248 permits have been issued so far this year, bringing in $159,000 in permit fees for the town coffers and representing $10.3 million in new growth.

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According to Salisbury Field Assessor Sherry Volpone, a number of new home owners in town have received letters from a company called “National Records Service.” The letter offers to provide a copy of the homeowners deed for $65.

Although there is nothing illegal in the offer, Volpone wants residents to know that copies of deeds are also available through the town’s assessors office, or online through the Registry of Deeds website. These copies come with a minimal charge for copying, or are free of charge.

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