Newburyport, Development along Route 1

Thank goodness for the indepth article, along with photographs, written by Ulrika Gerth in the Newburyport Current, February 16, 2007, on the proposed development in Newbury along Route 1.

The article not only talks about the complexities that Newbury faces, but also puts it in context of the Little River Transit Village and Newbury’s threat from 40B projects.

Whether this is a good development for Newbury and Newburyport or not still remains to be seen, but good solid facts help the public to make an informed decision.

* This possible project has entailed “years of planning.”

* Newbury has been threatened with a shopping mall in that area and a 40B project.

* The proposed plan is for development on 14 acres not 72 acres. The remaining 58 acres would be under a “conservation restriction.”

* This would help protect Newbury from 40B developments as hopefully the numbers for affordable housing would be raised from 3% to more like 10%.

* Newburyport has to Ok the water and sewer for any project like this is to happen. And from what I can make out, we have by no means said “yes.”

* Planning for the Little River Transit Village on our end is very much in the works.

* This project has a long way to go.

* The development “would dramatically change the Route 1 gateway to Newburyport.” The photographs in the Newburyport Current show that what is there now is not exactly “scenic.” There is not enough information yet to know if people would feel that this development would or would not be acceptable.

* It could “potentially attract more business along Route 1.” I’m assuming that means more business South along Route 1, not the planned Little River Transit Village. And if that would be the case the pastoral feeling leading to Newburyport could be diminished. Although from what I can make out, the area South of this proposal is not slated for zoning changes (I am unclear on this point).

* Change and growth are inevitable. My impression is that Newbury’s Town Planner, Judy Tymon, and the Newbury Planning Board appear to be doing everything they can to try and make that growth be as responsible as possible.

Mary Eaton