Newburyport’s Urban Renewal Plan for downtown Newburyport has expired.
I went to Newburyport’s Planning Office today and asked what that meant, or if it meant what I thought it meant. And, yup, unfortunately I got it right.
What it means is that there is now NO protection for downtown Newburyport. Anybody can do anything to the buildings downtown except for the E.P. Dodge Building (21 Pleasant Street), the Eaton Drug Building (58 State Street, across from Richdales on the corner of State Street and Pleasant Street), Fowle’s News on State Street and Newburyport City Hall. These buildings are protected through preservation restrictions. But that’s it folks.
The Urban Renewal Plan protected the properties downtown that had received Federal money. But now that the Urban Renewal Plan has come to an end, no more protection.
Almost everyone, I think, would agree that downtown Newburyport is vital to Newburyport’s economic health. And downtown Newburyport is vulnerable once again (being partially destroyed and almost completely destroyed in 1968.)
The only thing that will protect downtown Newburyport is a Local Historic District (LHD).
In the upcoming Newburyport Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, the At Large candidates running for Newburyport City Council who are on record for supporting the process of a Local Historic District, i.e. the economic future of Newburyport are:
Katy O’Connor Ives
Make sure you vote on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.