Just our of morbid curiosity, I decided to take a look at “Brown Street,” the street that Todd Smith and Peter Nordbloom of Willis Lane Investments LLC are planning to use to develop the back of the Wheelwright property, or the “rape of the Ridge.”
So I crossed State Street from Greenleaf Street (which goes past the Newburyport Fire Station and the video store) and went right onto Brown Street.
That beautiful driveway down to the cemetery where the Wheelwright family is buried is real easy to find.
Edward Gerrish Mair © 2006
The driveway to the Oak Hill Cemetery
off Brown Street that Willis Lane LLC plans to develop
But although Brown Street is large as life on the Newburyport GIS map, all that was in front of me, one house in on Brown Street were lots and lots of trees. I couldn’t even find a path, much less anything that resembled a road.
Well, two things.
Just to build a road, much less a 4-6 house subdivision back there would entail an incredible amount of damage.
Second, from what I understand reading planning and development stuff, it’s really, really not a good idea to put in any new roads (or in this case resurrect what was once an old roadway) because it only leads to more and more development.
(One can envision “Brown Street” going all the way across the Ridge enabling all that land back there to be developed. What a treat.)
So I was really depressed on my foray down Brown Street, and I am very, very angry that Todd Smith and Peter Nordbloom of Willis Lane LLC are determined to make this come about.
Zoning amendments to protect our historic heritage where are you?