Let’s Not Raise the Roof!

Tonight the ZBA will again reconsider the 33 Market Street property.       The applicants want to add a third story to a classic Georgian home.       Their initial plans drew out basically a rectangular cylinder that would rise up above the surrounding properties.        If anyone has seen a Georgian that has had a floor added. (There are some horrible examples over on Ring’s Island in Salisbury), you will know that the integrity of the architecture will be lost.        It is hard to believe these applicants are coming before the Zoning Board with a straight face especially in the midst of an historic landmark application, local historic district efforts and a general resurgence in cultural and heritage tourism, but here they are!       I encourage anyone who can be there tonight to attend.      I plan on being there!
 
In contrast, the applicant for the State Street property at numbers 84-86 (behind Taffy’s and Port Tavern) have done something rather novel.     They have actually listened and worked cooperatively with the Historical Commission.     If they can get past ZBA, they will be able to save hundreds of thousands in potential tax credits because they did something as simple as listened.
 
A good example of someone not listening was the Towle Project
 
First Republic complained that they could have finished the Towle Project in record time but the city dragged its feet.
 
Excuse me?     First, they had arrogant consultants and lawyers that laid out plans that had no consideration to abutters, the City and historic architecture.    Then the Planning Board was threatened with "I’ll turn it into a 40B!"     First Republic grumbled and belly-ached about providing an extension to the boardwalk complaining that no one will use it.       Can anyone spell H-A-R-B-O-R-W-A-L-K?     Once the way is open under the Gillis Bridge, the waterfront between Towle and Michael’s Harborside will be RED HOT.       The continual foot-dragging caused the long delays.    
 
I heartily commend Stonehaven Realty.     Are they perfect?    No, they’ve made some mistakes but they are being assigned an "A-" for trying.       I was happy to see the Chair of the Historical Commission reporting to the Daily News how pleased the commission was at the developer’s efforts.    
 
They should be heartily rewarded.      Thanks to their attitude, a blighted area will be restored to economic health AND the project will reverberate across the historic downtown adding benefit to the entire City.
 
-P. Preservationist.
 
 
 
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About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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