, Newburyport, MA

February 5, 2014

Say no to development on waterfront

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

On March 1, we will celebrate the 29th anniversary of moving into our home on High Street. We have loved living in Newburyport and feel a continual sense of joy in our decision to move here in 1985. It is with fear and frustration that we follow the NRA plans for the development of the waterfront. We fear that the development will alter the character of the downtown, which was one of the attractions to our moving here.

We are frustrated that after so many non-binding referendums and elections where the majority of the citizens have expressed their desire for an open waterfront, our opinions are being ignored.

While the decision in question is about the NRA-owned land, that land is only a small part of the overall waterfront. While it may look like there is plenty of open space now, it won’t when the privately owned land is developed. Although we don’t know the intricacies of the working of the NRA, we understand that it was created for the public good. It has done much to benefit the community. In order to continue to do so, we believe that the land should never be sold to private concerns.

We hate to pit one civic good against another, but we can’t help but think that if CPA money is being considered for the football stadium at the high school, it could be considered for some part of the preservation of an open waterfront. We live in a generous community. The outpouring of support for the Newburyport Screening Room’s Kickstarter fundraiser is the most recent example.

We encourage the mayor and the City Council to approach this situation with an open mind and stand up to the interests that are pushing Newburyport in a direction that the majority of the citizens have rejected.

Susan and Charles Gaylord