, Newburyport, MA


October 23, 2012

Councilors urged to vote no on LHD

To the editor:

We have respectfully asked our city councilors to vote no on the Local Historic District proposal and protect our homeowners’ rights. We trust homeowners in our neighborhood and our city, unlike the Local Historic District study group who wants to control eventually at least 2,800 homes. It is our understanding that they only decreased the number for the time being, because they realized how unpopular this initiative was becoming and feel they have a better chance of pushing this through if they scaled down a bit to get the votes they need to get this passed.

At the last City Council meeting, we watched the Say No to LHD group present each of the City Council members with books that contained many articles from all over the state and the country telling stories about why people do not like a Local Historic District in their communities. They also received copies of the original signatures (which have been verified as actual residents and/or homeowners in Newburyport) of people who have signed the petition asking our councilors to vote no for the LHD. There were over 1,000 signatures of Newburyport citizens and homeowners which signed the Say No To LHD petition. The Yes group had only 300 signatures, and they admitted that many of the people who signed their petition did not live in Newburyport.

We have lived in our 73 High St. home for 40 years. The house was built in 1809 and we are the fourth family to live in the house. And during these 40 years we have painstakingly preserved all the architectural features of the house. In the 1980s during the gas/oil crunch, we decided to add exterior storm windows; we agonized for few weeks before adding storm windows, which will not jeopardize exterior appearance of windows. There was no LHD then and we realize that storm windows are allowed under the present proposal. We were given the privilege to be in the house and have enjoyed the house for the last 40 years, and we will pass the house to future generations who we are confident will also love, appreciate and care for our home the way we have. We don’t need another layer of government keeping homeowners from their personal property rights. I urge everyone who reads this letter to contact our city councilors and ask them to vote no on the Local Historic District proposal.

Clare and Sadru Hemani


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