, Newburyport, MA

November 27, 2012

Questions on LHD that need answers

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

In following the LHD controversy, I feel that I have missed seeing any hard facts and dollar costs.

So here are my key questions to which I think the council should know the answers before any action is taken on the LHD proposal:

In the last three years which building permits or changes made in the proposed district that did not need permits would the LHD proponents have found objectionable as implemented? They should provide a listing with addresses and objections so everyone can drive by the properties and get a true feel for how this might affect present and future homeowners in that district. Then they should expand the recap to include what the LHD proponents have wanted in each case and what the cost would have been to the homeowner.

In general I do not feel that we need any more rules and regulations than we already have in place and certainly not a “new” commission. The listing that I am suggesting might, however, point to some construction/zoning loopholes that if found to be valid could then be placed under the jurisdiction of some existing board or town official.

I do believe that people who feel strongly in favor of this issue could begin by forming a voluntary LHD. If it were truly a valuable source of historic prospective without being cumbersome on homeowners, others would see this and the voluntary district would grow.

In conclusion, I hope that the city councilors and The Daily News would request LHD proponents to publish in the paper the listing of properties that have made changes in the last three years that they would have found objectionable, what they would have requested the homeowner do instead and the cost associated with their request.

Virginia Fruh