, Newburyport, MA


July 15, 2013

NRA plan neglects those who use park

To the editor:

On June 29 the NRA presented its plan to build on Newburyport’s central waterfront, outlining the proposed buildings’ footprints with orange cones and height with cherry pickers. Astonishing. Just imagine moving two Oldies Flea Markets to the left and to the right of the Firehouse.

In the ensuing discussion, former Mayor Mary Carrier made suggestions as to how the NRA land could be developed and funded without such massive buildings and loss of public access to riverfront land. Others suggested that we develop a waterfront park like Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, which generates income through rentals for weddings and other events, their concerts and festivals drawing residents and tourists to enjoy their riverfront.

The NRA’s plan seems to emphasize optimizing the amenities for its new penthouse condo owners. They made clear that the result of the test borings will not deter the start of the project — the difficulty of

digging on contaminated land will simply increase the eventual cost of the condos. What will happen when one of these new owners picks up the phone to complain about those pesky people making noise on their new front lawn — or what residents of Newburyport used to think of as our waterfront park?

Ann Spraker


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