Spring 2021 Newsletter ... and Call-to-Action!

04 May 2021 12:09 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

The NPT spring 2021 newsletter is hot off the press
...and available in cool, easy-to-read PDF format HERE.

In this issue:

- CALL TO ACTION! Bizarre zoning appeal seeks to invalidate downtown Newburyport's pro-preservation zoning ordinance. NPT members are urged to read the newsletter for background, and then plan to speak out at the public hearing (via Zoom) of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 7 p.m.

- Caswell Restaurant Group, a prospective tenant at the former Fowle's newsstand and soda fountain, is contesting a city ruling at the Zoning Board of Appeals, claiming that the city's preservation zoning regulations do not apply to the c. 1820 building ... or any building built before the ordinance was adopted in 2014. (Caswell wants to change the storefront windows and replace the distinctive Art Deco sign, protected under current law.)

- The Institution for Savings is appealing the Planning Board's rejection of its expansion plan in Massachusetts Land Court. Central to this appeal is its separate argument to invalidate the city's Downtown Overlay District law.

- A brief history of our pro-preservation zoning ordinances. In 2013 voters across the city elected a slate of pro-preservation City Councillors. In April 2014, that new City Council unanimously approved two new zoning ordinances designed to protect Newburyport's historic character, from Joppa to Atkinson Common.

- The Fowle's issue: It's also about people and public memory. For generations of Newburyporters, the Fowle's facade and signs are loaded with meaning beyond the material objects themselves. Preservation is more than just architecture, and more than just "stuff." It is people and public memory that give meaning to the "stuff" that cultures seek to preserve.

- Bill Harris (1941-2021), a major force in Newburyport's waterfront preservation. Since first living in Newburyport in 1969, Bill Harris advocated for public access to the city's waterfront, even while in the midst of his career as an international lawyer and policy maker. Today, the very existence of Waterfront Park is part of his legacy.

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