Wow, the citizens of Newburyport came through last night and the attendance was excellent at the City Council Meeting of the Whole between the Planning & Development Committee and the Planning Board.
Even Councilor Cronin was bursting with pride to see citizens genuinely concerned enough to make it at such an early hour (6:00). I know many more would have loved to have been there but were probably still on the road heading home. He turned to me and said, “Not everyone is out there Christmas shopping!”
This took me back a bit. I’m thinking, ‘What’s he talking about? I always do my Christmas shopping at the last minute!”
But then I realized he was referring to all the citizens not just the male part.
EVERYONE WHO SHOWED UP MADE A DIFFERENCE. Even the lady from Woodman Way speaking on Storey Avenue traffic who may have had doubts of her impact; it literally affected the vote. The Planning Director tried to make it look like a simple, rational thing to change the zoning from residential to commercial. Then why has earlier attempts been defeated? (1999, 2006)
Not a good speaker? Afraid of standing up in front of strangers? Not fully understanding all the minutiae? Don’t understand who’s there or why certain of them look so puffed up and important?
Don’t worry about it.
AS I RE-AFFIRM, YOU’RE VERY PRESENCE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Unfortunately, the most important ordinances that really stick in the throat of dark siders was not covered – The Lot Width Dimension.
The Dark Siders and those with vested interests don’t want to see this passed. Why else would Gary Calderwood be there in the first place AND carefully fingering a copy of the proposed ordinance.
As soon as the announcement is made for the next meeting, I will broadcast it immediately and we need again all those dedicated and concerned citizens to show up again!
PS: I caught a lie last night. It could have been postulated to placate the dark siders. In the one ordinance, the NRA was to be deleted from signage enforcement and the statement was said that it was the ONLY thing that was being required. Not so:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, all signs and other advertising devices within the B‐2, B‐3 and WMU zoning districts shall meet the requirements contained within
the document entitled “Signage Standards for Downtown Newburyport,”dated October 11, 2011 and on file with the City Clerk and Office of Planning & Development.”
Watch them now try to block it!