Still here…

November 11, 2008

It’s been quite a while since my last post, the election had me quite distracted, and I couldn’t get fired up about much of the local issues, with so much going on nationally. Originally my post was going to be about this letter to the editor in the Newburyport Daily News on Friday, November 7, 2008 by Patty Spaulding and how I couldn’t agree more with her assertion that our elected officials have put the citizens best interests on ice as they move ahead their agenda. I was going to cite the recent debacle that is the solar panel project at the middle school, something I can’t even fathom as to how it was approved and allowed to happen, or how our city council sat idly by and did nothing. And of course I was going to cite the senior center and how it is be forced upon a neighborhood that doesn’t want it by a city councilor that doesn’t even live in that ward.

But then I saw this story in today’s Daily News about local developer Great Woods trying to build 20 homes, each worth over a million dollars, on Toppans Lane. This, city council, is your time to prove that you have the best interests of this city at heart. This is your chance to prove that the local government isn’t in the back pocket of the developers. This is your chance to protect and preserve the city you live in and the city I hope you love as much as the citizens you represent. This project is too much, and we as a city have suffered as much over development as we are willing to handle. It was refreshing to see Councilor Cameron speak out with concerns over the development (as he was the aforementioned councilor pushing the senior center), and I hope the other council members have similar fears. Again, this is your chance to defend Newburyport from a potentially devastating development, and for the sake of us that care about this place, people like Patty Spaulding, please stand up and say no.



  1. hi,

    so are you suggesting that the city purchase these pieces of land?

    otherwise, what do they say no to? property rights? from the article it sounds like they are completely within zoning.

    is it the houses or the prices that you have an issue with?

    not sure if the best solution is to encourage higher density with increased open space in this area.

    great place for a senior center/assisted living setup. something that i believe was looked at by AJH many years ago.


  2. It’s clear from the reader comments on the Daily News articles detailing the debt exclusion defeat that people had no appetite for buying pieces of land. (Of course the question had nothing to do with acquiring new land, but that’s a different story.) So we must be talking about denying a person’s right to develop their property within current zoning.

    If that is the goal, this this might be expensive. Hmmm, perhaps the question would have passed if the mayor dedicated some money to cover any legal costs associated with the city’s denying the right of a property owner?

    But since the question didn’t pass, those people who feel the city doesn’t spend enough on legal bills can send the equivalent of what they would have paid in the tax increase to the city’s legal defense fund.

    I need to see more about the project before passing judgment. Sounds like the planning board–appointed by the mayor and approved by the council–already has concerns.

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