, Newburyport, MA

April 10, 2012

LHD, the new neighborhood critics?

To the editor:

As a relatively new resident of Newburyport (I moved here four years ago from Wayne, Pa.), I was appalled when two women representing the Local Historic District Commission walked into an open house on Sunday and criticized the builder on the home he had just completed in front of the many potential buyers who had come to see this beautiful, completely renovated Greek Revival home.

Every neighbor on the street expressed their appreciation for what this newly renovated home had done to improve the value of their neighborhood.

The nerve of some people who feel they have the right to enter personal property with the main goal to find fault and draw attention to their cause, is the reason so many in the beautiful city of Newburyport are vehemently against this LHD proposal. With interference in what we do to improve our homes and neighborhoods and with the audacity of the people on this committee to take a public stand in someone's home, Newburyport will no longer be a community to which people want to move. I was certainly discouraged and offended by these two individuals. Who made these people architectural experts?

To the two women who spent an hour accessing every detail of this newly renovated home and publicly criticizing it, I'd like to say, you owe the builder (homeowner) an apology as well as the city.

Leslie Varrelman