The Infill Ordinance, Newburyport, MA

In response to Newburyport City Councilor Erford Fowler’s feeling that every homeowner who would be effected by the proposed “Infill Ordinance” or “Amendment to Section 9” be notified, because a “Finding” could be very expensive.

Well, I asked around.

The first response was that if a person could afford to build, paying for a “Finding” would be “Bubkes” (Yiddish for nothing.)

As I understand it, if what was being proposed was “reasonable” and met the criteria in the proposed zoning revision, (i.e. that it fit in with the neighborhood in regards to size, scale, mass, volume) then whoever is requesting the “Finding” could probably do it themselves or use their architect.

However, if whatever is being proposed is out of character with the existing neighborhood and the City of Newburyport, well then, an attorney might be in order. As far as I’m concerned, hopefully that applicant would not be granted a Finding by the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), but instead would have to go back to the drawing board.

Let’s face it, greedy developers who do not have our City’s best interest at heart probably are not going to like this new proposed “Infill Ordinance” or “Revision to Section 9.”

Those who do have the City’s best interest at heart or are willing to be educated on what would be an appropriate addition or alteration for a “non-conforming” structure over 500 Square feet (and there are lots of folks like that out there,) would really appreciate this new zoning amendment.

It’s about Saving Our Town. And to quote from Steve Rudolph of Save Our Town, it’s about making sure that “our historical assets are not exploited for short-term economic gain, but preserved for long term economic growth,” And let me tell you that really, really works for me.

Mary Eaton