, Newburyport, MA


January 3, 2013

Preservation restrictions will protect homes

To the editor:

I have been following the LHD story for months and now years. We have heard time and again from a handful of people that properties, particularly on the south side of High Street, are moments away from being destroyed. We have heard that greedy developers are circling the block (cue the theme from “Jaws”), lying in wait, just waiting for the right moment to strike to buy the million-dollar homes so they can rip them down and throw up plastic reproductions.

Their response to this perceived threat is to lock down Newburyport from Atkinson Common to the Newbury line, focusing on other people’s private property, not their own.

Although this question has been asked, to date, not one of the proponents of this ridiculous scheme has answered it. Instead of shifting the responsibility for “protecting” your home to the City of Newburyport, the City Council and to the taxpayers, why don’t you take responsibility “protecting” your own home? Why don’t you hire your own lawyer for a few hundred dollars and place a preservation restriction on it yourself? You can protect part or all of your “threatened” property. Why haven’t you done that? Is it because some of these homes do not fit the ideal of “preservation” because they’re covered with decades-old, first-generation aluminum siding, or is it because some of them don’t qualify due to contemporary or inappropriate renovations such as faux Palladian windows?

Instead of forcing the city to accommodate this handful of fear-mongers by spending taxpayers’ money to create foolish little LHD’s all over the city, let’s make these so-called preservationists step up to the plate and accept responsibility for their own properties, and leave the rest of us alone.

Vote no.

Helen Henwood


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