NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 11, 2014

Protect and preserve Ferry Lane Park

To the editor:

I ask that all West Newbury voters support Article 5 at the Annual Town Meeting to be held on April 28.

Article 5 reads, in part, as follows: “To see if the Town will vote to set aside for conservation purposes as a passive green Park that parcel of land that ... is bounded by Church Street, Bridge Street and Ferry Lane. Said parcel of land hereafter shall be formally designated as ‘Ferry Lane Park’ and shall be subject to the provisions of Article 97 of the Massachusetts State Constitution in perpetuity.”

Reasons for supporting this article include:

In 1998 an effort was made to pave this land in its entirety, as part of an extensive boat ramp development project on the waterfront in cooperation with Mass. Fish & Game. A petition opposing that project was signed by 300 townspeople and presented to the Board of Selectmen, who voted “no action” in that matter.

In 2013, the Town’s Open Space Committee promoted another extensive boat ramp development project on the waterfront, again in cooperation with Jack Shepard at Mass. Fish and Game, that would require the paving of much of this land to provide parking for cars/trucks and boat trailers of users. As in 1998, a petition opposing the project was signed by 270 townspeople and presented to the Board of Selectmen requesting that they not approve the project. To date the Board of Selectmen has taken no action in this matter, other than to appoint another study committee.

Most importantly, townspeople need to recognize and support the efforts of the West Newbury Garden Club in that area over the last 40 years and, by supporting Article 5, to stave off any future development projects that might include the destruction of any part of Ferry Lane Park.

Vote yes on Article 5.

Wayne Sanborn

West Newbury

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