Can you imagine if someone wanted to put a suburban housing project up against the Pilgrim Plantation in Plymouth? Can you imagine that happening in historic Jamestown or putting McMansions next to Williamsburg, Virginia?
We’ve already seen that happen here in Newburyport when the Cherry Street Development was jammed up against Maudsley State Park. Developers know that location is everything in increasing property values – regardless that heritage tourism made it valuable, they will stop at nothing to fill Newburyport with boomtown housing.
Down at Parker River, the river’s edge is a tempting target. Unfortunately, it just happens to be the very spot with largely the same view that settlers saw when they landed in the ‘colonies’ to start a new life more than 350 years ago. Check out this website!
Worse, this view is endangered as indicated in Preservation Massachusetts Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources Listing. How nice to have a big ghastly McMansion looming over the historic Lower Green. (If you don’t believe me, visit Parker River and go down Newman’s Road just north of the Lower Green toward Hay Street. Gaze on your left at the future planned for four acres just west of the Green.)
Essex Greenbelt has made all the legal arrangements to place a conservation restriction on this land so the view will be preserved.
All that is needed is the money to purchase the property and the deadline is September 1st.
Well over half-way in raising $500,000; everyone can help by showing up at the Ould Town Heritage Fair this coming weekend from 10 to 4, Saturday and Sunday.
People are going to come from all over the nation and the world and travel down the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. It would be a tragedy that the historic Lower Green is marred by such uncontrolled greed.
Remember, unchecked greed usually ends up biting the hand of the greedy. The loss in value of over developed lands means everyone including the developers lose out. First, it’s an attractive place that everyone wants to visit, increasing the value of the land. Developers want to cash in and so they build in that area. (which is fine) Then the value further enhances so more people want to visit. Then the Johnny-come-lately developer looks for any land left. Then they build on it decreasing the value of the area because now the open spaces and scenic vistas are gone. Then the property values drop further as crowding and maintenance issues increase. Then the values drop further as the very reasons that drew development in the first place are lost. The buildings left become shabby as people look for another idyllic place to move to. Then the demolishers come to get rid of the shabby buildings which sell at a bargain price and new buildings come in but for an entirely different clientele*.
In the end, the original reason for development has been lost…forever.
You know, Salisbury was once a pretty beach and country resort. Now, Wayne Capolupo is tearing down the shabby remains and putting in new buildings and redoing Salisbury into something else entirely.
My point is for us all to keep the Lower Green and the community around it as the alluring beautiful spot it has always been.
Please donate to purchase this land and be sure to stop by this weekend!!!!!
* This could be Newburyport’s fate if we don’t take historic preservation seriously.