Unfortunatley, this has become typical…

July 25, 2008

This story in yesterday’s Daily News is absolutely despicable. I was very happy to hear that they halted the construction, but i’m a bit concerned that there might not be any fines levied. Granted the damage, for the most part is done, but there must be some kind of consequence for such a flagrant act. I would hope that the building inspector or the planning board, or whoever ultimately makes the decision, would pull the owners special permit and not allow a second home to be built on the lot. Since the original house is more or less entirely gutted, it would be reasonable to allow the owners to fully renovate or restore it, at this point there is preserving it, but to allow them to flaunt the rules set forth, which they agreed to, and face little or no consequence would be inexcusable. Residents are sick of developers getting away with murder in this town, and are especially sick of seeing someone buy up an old home, and suddenly cram another house or two onto its lot. I hope the city shows some back bone and does what is right here. It reminds me, unfortunately, of a similar case on Low Street, the homes that were built on the corner of Zabriskie Dr. There was historical home there, which the developers agreed to preserve as part of their building permit, and instead they tore it down with no notification to the city. There was plenty of outrage and the city did nothing, allowing them to continue construction on the two new homes. What is the point of requiring permits if they can be openly ignored and the project can continue as planned. What incentive do developers have to follow the rules and preserve a home if they can tear it down and build 2 homes and only receive a slap on the wrist or a minimal fine? It would be a better cost benefit for them to pay the fine and sell 2 brand new homes on a lot, than to restore a historic home along with one new home. Again, i hope the city comes through on this, or else Newburyport is in serious trouble.


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