, Newburyport, MA


December 23, 2013

Puzzled by council's fast action on hotel zoning


The City Council plans to review all zoning in 2014. This work offers an opportunity to include concepts like mass and scale in setback requirements. This would be more logical and equitable than piecemeal allowances to individual developers.

It particularly puzzles me that councilors who have advocated for regulations for private residences — what kinds of additions they can put on their homes for their growing families, what kind of windows they can put in — are throwing all caution to the wind in favor of one commercial developer.

Many are extremely worried about the influence of wealth in national politics. But, of course, all politics is local. The three councilors who objected to a hasty procedure to grant special privilege, who advocated deliberation and care, will no longer be in the council in January. I worry about the next two years.

Susan Hern


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